In 2016 alone, legendary pro surfer Kelly Slater built a mind-blowing artificial wave that could bring the sport inland, surfing finally got the Olympic recognition it deserves and female surfers made history by proving that their athletic prowess could surpass a male surfer's.
Men and women who belonged to this beach-loving community were rebelling against the prim and perfect roles society expected them to fill -- female surfers, especially.
"It was difficult [for these women] to be surfers when they were expected to have a family and make a happy home," Cori Schumacher, founder of the History of Women's Surfing Project, told The Huffington Post last year.
But men and women alike used surfing as their way out.
"There was this camaraderie of ‘Let’s escape from the bullshit ... and be together in the freedom of the ocean,'" Schumacher said.
"It was [a time] of love and good vibes. It was so early on in the sport," Linda Benson, an iconic big wave surfer of the '60s, previously told HuffPost, adding that some of today's professional surfers seem to be all about the money.
Back then, "you went surfing because you loved it and you loved the people you surfed with."
Below, relive surfing's humble beginnings with a sweet look back on its rebellious past.