SURFING

Surfing is the surface water activity that involves a person riding on the forward or the face of a moving wave by the means of a Surfboard that usually carries him to the shore. The person riding the wave is called the Surfer or The wave rider. It is also called a sport of riding waves.  There are various types of surfing worldwide. The most common one is the stand-up surfing where the surfer rides the waves standing on his board.

History

Surfing has been believed to first originate in western America Hawaii and Polynesia. In 1907, Henry E. Huntington brought the first glimpses of surfing to the California coast. While on vacation, Henry saw 3 Hawaiian boys surfing along the island waves and, it immediately struck him as a great way of luring tourists near the areas of the Redondo Beach where he had heavily invested in Real estate. He soon hired a young Hawaiian named George Freeth to ride on the surfboards who led to revival the whole art of surfing in that era. Slowly and steadily, it spread worldwide.  George Freeth is often credited as being “The father of modern Surfing”. He is said to be the first modern surfer.

Design

The early board design ridden by the Kahanamoku’s  generation was solid wood, heavy weighted and long. Elementary designs and finless feature made it extremely difficult to manoeuvre. Surfers back then merely pointed and tilted towards the shore without any steering. That is not the case now.  Modern-day surfing involves advanced surfboards that have 1 or 2 fins etched on the bottom of the board to help in better directional stability. These are much lighter in weight but can hold a standing man riding over the waves.

Types of surf waves and the style of surfing :

Surfing tends to vary depending on the kind of wave generated. So before learning how to surf, one needs to know about all kinds of waves.

Beach breaks— When the waves break from offshore waves over a sandy bottom. Wave breaks happen repeatedly in beach breaks. For example, In the Aramoana beach (Newzealand) and Goldcoast (Australia).

Point breaks— When the swell wave lines hit the main land stretch at a perpendicular or oblique angle, it breaks around and carries the surfer along the shore rather than towards it. This occurrence is called a point break. These are usually seen near the headland like in Malibu, California and Kirra, Australia etc.

Reef breaks— These are the kind of wave breaks that form over a rocky bottom. Reef breaks show some of the beastliest waves for surfers that are massive yet break often due to the rocky seabed. Only experienced surfers play with it.  For example in Padang Padang (Indonesia), Pipeline (Hawaii) etc.

Double up waves— When two waves align completely, double up waves are formed. Here, the trough and crest of both the waves go in synchronicity, producing  a massive yet powerful surf wave. But with the massiveness comes the high chance of the wave breaking as it is mostly hollow and so even experienced surfers rarely try surfing on it.

Rivermouth waves—Rivermouth waves are actually the nice, good-body waves that delight any surfer. Smooth, predictable waves are formed when the river deposits sand onto the well-defined sandbars carrying the surfer to the shore gently.  A popular river mouth wave is Mundaka in the Basque country of North Europe.

Ledge breaks— These kinds of wave breaks are produced when the waves travel through deeper water and then suddenly reach a shallower end. Ledge breaks are intense waves forming due to steep rocky ledges.

Crumbly waves— Crumby or Mushy waves are the first choice for beginners as these waves are quite forgiving and calm. They break gently are not too hollow, fast or steep.