Surfing – Riding the Waves

What is surfing?

Surfing is a surface water sport in which the person wishing to surf uses a surfboard to travel along the face of a breaking ocean wave. Such waves are called ‘surfs’ and thus the activity is called ‘surfing’.

Origin of surfing

Surfing originated in ancient Polynesia with the chief being the best skilled rider and the ruling classes had access to the best beaches. This activity was noticed by Europeans in Tahiti in 1767 and has now become one of the most popular forms of adventure sports at beaches around the world.

Types of surfing

There are three major types of stand up surfing practiced widely. These are –

o Longboarding – This type of surfing is performed using a type of surfboard known as a longboard. The longboard is primarily a single finned surfboard with large rounded nose and length of 9 to 12 feet (2.7 to 3.7 m).

o Shortboarding – A new type of surfboard has been in widespread use since the 1960’s. These boards are between five and seven feet in length, with a pointed nose and a rounded or squarish tail, typically with three skegs (fins) but sometimes with two or as many as five.

o Tow in surfing – This is a unique form of surfing which the ancient Polynesians would not even have imagined about. In this type of surfing, the surfer is towed into a breaking wave by a partner driving a personal watercraft or a helicopter with an attached tow-line. This is generally done when the wave is too large or too quick.

Some other sports which are variations on surfing are paddleboating, sea kayaking, kitesurfing and windsurfing.

A surfing enthusiast (or as his friends call him, a surfing ‘nutcase’), Andy Griffiths has travelled the world searching for the best spots to surf. His travels have taken him to almost all the surfing destinations all across the world and his articles regarding them are both informative and interesting.