World Stamps

Hang ten: Surfing around the world

Aug 4, 2017, 9 AM

By Denise McCarty

Although  surfing is usually associated with warmer climates, ardent surfers have tested the waves all around the world, from the tropics to the Arctic Ocean.

According to a American Topical Association’s surfing checklist, more than 30 postal administrations have issued surfing stamps. 

French Polynesia issued the first surfing postage stamp in 1971. Its many other surfing stamps include a 2007 issue showing three colorful surfboards.

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Staying in the South Pacific, the most recent surfing stamps were issued by New Zealand in June. Look closely to see the surfers on the beach on the $2.30 stamp in the Surf Breaks issue.

Australia has issued numerous surfing stamps, including the infamous Surfing Santa Christmas stamp of 1971. Micronesia’s Jan. 26, 2009, issue of 14 surfing stamps is the largest set of stamps devoted to the subject.

While surfing dates back to ancient times,  Duke Kahanamoku, honored on a United States stamp of 2002, is considered the “father of modern surfing.”

This round-the-world surfing safari continues with stamps of Peru, the Azores, Ireland, Israel and Sri Lanka.