Surfing was a central part of ancient Hawaiian culture, and the chief was the most skilled wave rider in the community with the best board made from the best tree. Moreover, the ruling class had the best beaches and the best boards, and commoners were not allowed on the same beaches, but they could gain prestige by their ability to ride the surf on their extremely heavy boards. According to the same website, surfing permeated ancient Hawaiian society, including religion and myth, and Hawaiian chiefs would demonstrate and confirm their authority by the skills they displayed in the surf.