MIAMI
04/10/2012 04:48 pm ET Updated Apr 11, 2012

"Surfing Florida": Florida Atlantic University's Photo Retrospective

Up until this January, anyone caught hanging ten in Miami Beach could be jailed for 30 days as surfing was banned off 305's coast save for two spots. But surfers were rarely, if ever, arrested -- just hassled to move their boarding to 3rd street.

When the Miami Beach City Commission decided to ban surfing in 1964, surfers were considered a pretty undesirable group.

"Surfers were seen as a sort of unruly counterculture by the public in the '60s. They used to call it 'surf, suds and sex,'" former Florida surfer Paul Aho told the Sun Sentinel.

Aho, who is head of photography and digital imaging at the Paducah School of Art, just spent 3 years curating a photographic retrospective of surfing in Florida with Rod Faulds, Florida Atlantic University's Galleries Director.

The result, "Surfing Florida," is currently up at FAU's Schmidt Center Gallery through May 12. It presents more than a hundred images from over 50 photographers like Florida's Tom Dugan and Richard Messerol to internationally known photographers Jeff Divine and Steve Wilkings.

“Because of the inconsistent surf, surfers from Florida share an insatiable hunger for waves and an aggressive approach to the sport that has resulted in an incredible number of world titles for Florida’s competitive surfers and a deep cultural history," Faulds said in a release.

Aho told the Sun Sentinel that surfing in Florida began in Miami via brothers Dudley and Bill Whitman, who established local surfing culture in the 1930s. In the 1960s, Aho said, teenage surfers from Dade and Broward traveled north to Cocoa Beach and the Space Coast in search of large waves created by the Gulfstream.

Click below to see South Florida's surfing stars like Kelly Slater and the early pioneers who rode the trend in our area.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article listed Kelly's last name as 'Taylor.' His last name is 'Slater.'

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