Rideing Wave on a Bodyboard

Surf­ing is a sur­face water sport in which the wave rid­er, referred to as a surfer, rides on the for­ward or deep face of a mov­ing wave, which is usu­al­ly car­ry­ing the surfer towards the shore. Waves suit­able for surf­ing are pri­mar­i­ly found in the ocean, but can also be found in lakes or in rivers in the form of a stand­ing wave or tidal bore. How­ev­er, surfers can also uti­lize arti­fi­cial waves such as those from boat wakes and the waves cre­at­ed in arti­fi­cial wave pools.
The term surf­ing refers to the act of rid­ing a wave, regard­less of whether the wave is rid­den with a board or with­out a board, and regard­less of the stance used. The native peo­ples of the Pacif­ic, for instance, surfed waves on ala­ia, paipo, and oth­er such craft, and did so on their bel­ly and knees. The mod­ern-day def­i­n­i­tion of surf­ing, how­ev­er, most often refers to a surfer rid­ing a wave stand­ing up on a surf­board; this is also referred to as stand-up surf­ing.

Anoth­er promi­nent form of surf­ing is body board­ing, when a surfer rides a wave on a body­board, either lying on their bel­ly, drop knee, or some­times even stand­ing up on a body board. Oth­er types of surf­ing include knee board­ing, surf mat­ting (rid­ing inflat­able mats), and using foils. Body surf­ing, where the wave is surfed with­out a board, using the surfer’s own body to catch and ride the wave, is very com­mon and is con­sid­ered by some to be the purest form of surf­ing.

Three major sub­di­vi­sions with­in stand­ing-up surf­ing are long board­ing and short board­ing and these two have sev­er­al major dif­fer­ences, includ­ing the board design and length, the rid­ing style, and the kind of wave that is rid­den.

In tow-in surf­ing (most often, but not exclu­sive­ly, asso­ci­at­ed with big wave surf­ing), a motor­ized water vehi­cle, such as a per­son­al water­craft, tows the surfer into the wave front, help­ing the surfer match a large wave’s speed, which is gen­er­al­ly a high­er speed than a self-pro­pelled surfer can pro­duce. Surf­ing-relat­ed sports such as pad­dle board­ing and sea kayak­ing do not require waves, and oth­er deriv­a­tive sports such as kite surf­ing and wind­surf­ing rely pri­mar­i­ly on wind for pow­er, yet all of these plat­forms may also be used to ride waves. pexels-photo-25496

Recent­ly with the use of V-dri­ve boats, Wakesurf­ing, in which one surfs on the wake of a boat, has emerged. The Guin­ness Book of World Records rec­og­nized a 78 feet (23.8 m) wave ride by Gar­rett McNa­ma­ra at Nazaré, Por­tu­gal as the largest wave ever surfed, although this remains an issue of much con­tention amongst many surfers, giv­en the dif­fi­cul­ty of mea­sur­ing a con­stant­ly chang­ing mound of water.
Ref­er­ences to surf rid­ing on planks and sin­gle canoe hulls are also ver­i­fied for pre-con­tact Samoa, where surf­ing was called fa’ase’e or se’egalu, and Ton­ga, far pre-dat­ing the prac­tice of surf­ing by Hawai­ians and east­ern Poly­ne­sians by over a thou­sand years.

In July 1885, three teenage Hawai­ian princes took a break from their board­ing school, St. Mathew’s Hall in San Mateo, and came to cool off in San­ta Cruz, Cal­i­for­nia. There, David Kawananakoa, Edward Keli­ia­honui and Jon­ah Kuhio Kalaniana’ole surfed the mouth of the San Loren­zo Riv­er on cus­tom-shaped red­wood boards, accord­ing to surf his­to­ri­ans Kim Ston­er and Geoff Dunn.

In 1907, the eclec­tic inter­ests of the land baron Hen­ry E. Hunt­ing­ton brought the ancient art of surf­ing to the Cal­i­for­nia coast. While on vaca­tion, Hunt­ing­ton had seen Hawai­ian boys surf­ing the island waves. Look­ing for a way to entice vis­i­tors to the area of Redon­do Beach, where he had heav­i­ly invest­ed in real estate, he hired a young Hawai­ian to ride surf­boards. George Freeth decid­ed to revive the art of surf­ing, but had lit­tle suc­cess with the huge 16-foot hard­wood boards that were pop­u­lar at that time. When he cut them in half to make them more man­age­able, he cre­at­ed the orig­i­nal “Long board”, which made him the talk of the islands. To the delight of vis­i­tors, Freeth exhib­it­ed his surf­ing skills twice a day in front of the Hotel Redon­do.


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