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Most people wouldn’t believe there is a rich history and strong culture around Texas surfing, but a quick tour around the Texas Surf Museum would silence any doubt.The intimate museum is covered from floor to ceiling in history, educational exhibits, and rows of longboards on display. A giant map of the Texas Gulf Coast is spread across an entire wall and is covered in old photos and articles that make guests immediately feel drenched in Texas surf culture.
The Texas Surf Museum, which opened in 2005 in Corpus Christi, explores the history of surfing in general and showcases the Lone Star State's unique place in that history. The mission of the Texas Surf Museum is to enlighten, educate, and encourage Texas surfing. In June 2014, the Texas Surf Museum transitioned from a privately-owned museum into a 501(c)(3) organization, allowing it to provide more educational opportunities. The museum is currently focused on launching new exhibits that explain the science of surfing.
“We want to be an education tool for Corpus Christi,” says owner Brad Lomax. “We think the cool factor will help teachers educate kids. They are possibly more interested in learning something that relates to surfing than if you just start talking about sines and cosines, which all relate to waves.”
There is a whole wall dedicated to the physics of surf board fins, and the brand new Wave Tank exhibit was a collaborative effort with the Harte Research Center. The tank allows guests to simulate how waves break along different types of sandbars.
Opening in February and running through June is a new photography exhibit by Rodney Bursiel, who met Lomax while touring with Donovan Frankeriter on their stop in Corpus Christi last year. Bursiel’s work includes a wide range of surf photography and ocean life. Also new to the museum is a virtual reality surfing experience created by Robert Weaver, otherwise known as Wingnut, from the famous surf film The Endless Summer.
“There is a huge problem with kids spending too much time in front of a computer. If you tell somebody to go workout or exercise, that’s not particularly appealing. But if you tell them to paddle out or skateboard or standup paddle or any water related sport, you might be able to inspire kids to go exercise and start to eliminate the diabetes that is so rampant down here.”
The museum’s emphasis is on encouraging more people to take up surfing in Texas, but it certainly goes beyond the sport to the general well-being of the community.
Just like the waves, the museum is free to visit, but donations are appreciated.
309A N. Water Street
Corpus Christi, TX 78401