Guide to Surfing

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Surfing is a water sport in which a person rides on the surface of water usually with the help of a surf board. It is considered to be a popular water sport among people of all ages. Usually surfing is done in oceans where there are big waves, but there are also artificial wave pools for water surfing. Surfing has been around for centuries; it was developed by the Polynesians and later discovered by the Europeans in the 18th century. It's not only a sport but a lifestyle; surfers have their own style of dressing, language, etc. It's a competitive sport and major surfing competitions are held in different parts of the world.

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Surfing Basics

There is a lot to learn about surfing but these are the absolute basic things you need to know:

  • Surfboards: The first thing to learn about surfing is to know your surfboard. Beginners are advised to use longer surfboards because these are easier to balance on. Find the center of gravity on the surfboard or the point where it balances. When you lie on the board it should float on the water as it was when you weren't on it.
  • Paddling: In order to get to the actual surfing, you will have to launch your board in the correct manner. After lying down on the board in the right position, paddle with your arms alternatively until you catch the right wave.
  • Sitting: Once you are tired of just laying down on the board and paddling, you can try the sitting position. Balancing is the key in this maneuver also; it can be frustrating in the beginning but eventually you will find your groove.
  • Standing: When you feel that you are ready for real surfing, go out and when you catch a wave, put the palms of your hands next to your shoulders and slowly raise yourself. Keep your feet in the center of the board so that you remain in balance. This requires a lot of practice so practice the position as much as possible before going into the water. An excellent guide on all aspects of surfing

Surf How: A great collection of information on various aspects of surfing

Surfer Magazine: The latest news about surfers, videos, surfing wallpapers, surfboard buyers' guide, subscription information

Surfing Styles and Maneuvers

These are some of the surfing styles that are popular among surfers:

  • Body boarding: This is a fairly advanced style in which the surfer lies down on the board stomach down and uses swim fins to catch a wave. It is popular because it allows more control over the movements and also the board is not expensive.
  • Surfboarding: The surfer uses a longer board in this style and the board has a sort of fin at the rear which helps to keep the board stable.
  • Skim Surfing: This style is preferred by new surfers or people who want to play it safe. It involves using the waves that break on the shoreline. Among the different types of skim boards available, circular and bullet boards are quite popular.
  • Body surfing: This is a popular style among the experienced surfers. Surf boards are not used in this style, instead, the surfer uses his body to ride the waves.
  • Long and short boarding: Long boarding and short boarding refers to different designs of surfing boards including their length. These are used for standup surfing and for different riding styles.
  • Tow-in surfing: In this style, a water craft (such as a boat) tows the surfer into the waves giving them much higher speed to match with that of waves. It is usually done in low wave areas.

Surf with Style! : Descriptions of various surfing styles and methods

Surf Better-Surf Deeper: Tips to improve your surfing skills

Improve Your Surfing Skills: Learn how to become a top class surfer in a few weeks

Surfing handbook: This website provides news from around the surfing world, product reviews, surfers' profiles and interviews, surfing tips, surfing travel reports, surfing stories, etc.

Surfing Tips and Guidelines

  • Make sure that your board is not between you and the waves
  • Always keep at least the distance of the length of the surfboard from the other surfers
  • Wear the safety nose guard to prevent injury due to collision with the surfboard nose.
  • You have to be a really good swimmer in order to consider surfing
  • If you fall off the board, try to keep an eye on the board because a stray board can be dangerous
  • For beginners, it is recommended to go on the surf board with a helmet and in case you slip off the board it is recommended to cover your head with your hands and ears with the wrist.
  • The quality of wax you use for your surf board is also very important as it provides the required grip. It is highly recommended to use wax in accordance with the weather conditions.
  • Consuming alcohol before surfing is a big mistake and should be avoided to prevent accidents.

Surfing for Life: A great article about the history of surfing.

Top Surfing Destinations

Although surfing can be done on any beach or even in artificial pools, below are some of the hot water surfing locations:

  • Arugam Bay (Ullae / Pottuvil, Sri Lanka)
  • Bells Beach (Victoria, Australia)
  • Jeffrey's Bay (Eastern Cape, South Africa)
  • La Libertad (El Salvador)
  • Mavericks (California)
  • Pipeline (Oahu, Hawaii)
  • Teahupoo (Tahiti)
  • Zicatela Beach (Mexican Pipeline)

Surf Spots for Beginners: Ideal places to start your surfing ambitions

Made for Surfing: Famous spots for surfers

Hawaii : The Heaven of Surfers: Famous surfing spots in Hawaii where you can surf with the best of them

Surfing Risks and Dangers

Although thousands of people surf every day, this doesn't undermine the risks associated with water surfing. Below are some of the major risks associated with water surfing:

  • Drowning: As surfing is usually done in high wave oceans, there is always a risk of losing control and drowning. So it is very important to have basic swimming skills and careful analysis of water depth and wave strength. Additionally, the use of life jackets and other protective gear is also very important, especially for learners.
  • Collisions: Collisions with sand bars, rocks, stones are also very critical risks associated with surfing and may result in serious injuries. Not only this, but most of the time injuries occur due to collisions with one's own surf board or with other surfers. So it's very important to constantly remain aware of your surroundings.
  • Water Creatures: Sometimes water creatures also cause severe injuries to surfers. These might include fishes, sharks, water snakes and other animals.
  • Rip Currents: Rip currents are water channels that flow away from shore. Since these currents lurk in seemingly calm waters, tired or inexperienced swimmers or surfers can be swept away.

Safety Measures for Girls: Do's and don'ts for female surfers
Surf Safe: Etiquettes of surfing in deep waters
Safety Gadgets: Learn about the necessary safety gear for surfers
Surfing waves: Stunning Surfing images
MPORA: Great surfing videos
The artful codger: Great surf videos from a private collection
Amazing Surf Videos: A very nice collection of surfing videos
Surf How: Top ten surfing videos
Best of Paradise: The story of a Guinness book world record for surfing
Surfing Siarago: Destination guide for surfing in the Philippines
SurfThereNow: A number of surfing destination guides
Legendary Surfers - The legends of surfing
Surf Trip - Find the best surfing spots and locations near you


Surf Shops


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