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November 16, 2018 – June 23, 2019

Museum of Florida History

The Museum of Florida History is stoked to present the special exhibit Surf’s Up, Florida! The exhibit opens November 16 and continues through June 23, 2019. It will present a broad overview of the history of surfing in Florida from the first beachgoers to ride the waves in the early 1900s, to the ‘60s boom, surf culture, and competitive surfing of today.

More than thirty vintage and modern surfboards will be featured in the exhibit, including boards once used by world champion Kelly Slater of Cocoa Beach. Clothing, autographed shirts and posters, trophies, and other artifacts help to interpret the sport and culture of surfing. More than a dozen lenders have contributed surfboards and other objects for the exhibit, and the Museum extends its deepest appreciation to all of the lenders for their generosity in supporting Surf’s Up, Florida!

Visitors can see a recreated surfboard shaping room and learn about the skills needed to craft a custom board. Hands-on activities in the exhibit include hands-on surfboards and a surfing video game. Museum-goers can test their talent for surfing on a wobble board or have their picture taken standing on a stationary surfboard with a backdrop of a beautiful Florida ocean wave.


The Museum wishes to thank Surfing’s Evolution & Preservation Foundation for being a program sponsor.

The Museum will offer several programs related to the exhibit:

November 27, 12:00 – 12:45 p.m.
History at High Noon: Finding that Perfect Ride–Surfboard Shaping and Design

Dennis Litchfield, a Florida surfboard shaper and avid surfer, discusses his passion for surfing and board design. Mr. Litchfield also explains the process of shaping boards and his personal experience creating surfboards locally in Florida.

December 8, 11:00 a.m.12:30 p.m.
2nd Saturday- Hang 10: Surfing and Surfboards

“Hang 10” during a visit to the new exhibit, Surf’s Up, Florida!, and learn surfboard positions and riding techniques from local avid surfer and surfboard shaper Dennis Litchfield. Have a picture taken while riding the waves at our photo op station. Then create and decorate a cool miniature surfboard of your very own.

February 21, 5:30 7:30 p.m.
An Evening with Balsa Wood Board Maker George Robinson

Before modern fiberglass surfboards, surf boards were carved from wood. Now these natural boards are making a comeback. Join us as balsa wood surfboard carver George Robinson discusses his craft, how he got into surfing, and early surf culture in Florida.

March 21, 5:307:30 p.m.
Florida's Female Surfers

Women have been a part of Florida's surfing history from the earliest days. Despite the male domination of the sport, many female surfers have succeeded in becoming champions. For this special event, the Museum will host three of these champion surfers – Mimi Munro, Kathy Jo Anderson, and Pam Hill, who will share their passion for surfing and their experiences in Florida's surfing culture. The event begins with a free reception at 5:30 p.m., followed at 6:30 p.m. by the program.

April 18, 5:008:00 p.m.
And Two if by Sea

The Museum of Florida History presents And Two if by Sea, a new documentary about Florida natives and professional surfers CJ and Damien Hobgood. Prior to the screening, Justin Purser, the film's director, and CJ Hobgood, 2001 world champion surfer, will discuss their new film. The event begins with a free reception at 5:00 p.m., followed at 5:30 p.m. by the discussion and film.

Every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Twice a day on Wednesdays, Museum educators will provide free Spotlight Tours of the exhibit.

All events and programs are free and open to the public.