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Off the coast of western Africa
Off the coast of western Africa, "in areas of Senegal, the Ivory Coast and
Ghana. Near Dakar, Senegal," wrote Finney and Houston, "... African youths
and young fishermen regularly body-surf, ride body-boards and catch waves
while standing erect on boards about six feet long. These Atlantic skills
seem in no way connected with the Pacific, either historically or prehistorically.
Evidently, it's an old pastime in west Africa ; young Africans were seen
riding waves while lying prone on light wooden planks as long ago as 1838,
long before surfing began to spread from Hawaii."