What is wave surfing?
Wave surfing is a water sport where the surfer uses energy of the waves exclusively, as opposed to windsurfing, where he uses power of wind. Waves which are breaking due to arrival to shallower part of the coast allow surfers to move on their surface.
Surfing can be divided into longboarding and shortboarding which differ in design and size of surfboards. In addition they are different in the way that surfer rides on a surfboard. Every of these categories have various riding style and different surfing maneuvers are usually performed.
In addition, tow-in surfing is developed recently (often associated with riding big waves), where surfers are using jetskis and speedboats to catch the breaking waves. They help surfers to catch waves because bigger waves have greater speed that is difficult to achieve without tow-in help.
Where does surfing come from?
Surfing is a very old sport and its roots are coming from the Polynesian culture. Europeans had first contact with surfing in Tahiti around 1767, during an expedition led by Captain James Cook. His logbook (which was completed by his officer after Cook was killed in 1779) describes the tradition of riding the waves on wooden boards.
Later during their migrations, the Polynesians brought surfing to the shores of Hawaii, which is now considered the cradle of modern surfing. Nowadays there are no any barriers for surfing anymore, people are surfing on all continents around the world, somewhere in better, and somewhere in worse conditions.
Where was surfing introduced in Europe for the first time?
Hollywood screenwriter Peter Viertel has spent some time in 1956 in Biarritz on the Cote de Basques, shooting adaptation of Hemingway novel “The Sun Also Rises”. Surprised with the quality of local waves, he sent for his board in California. Peter was a rookie who has shared his learning with some local people. Soon he founded “The Waikiki”, the first surf club in France. Already in one year the sport was becoming increasingly popular and the locals who quickly progressed begun producing their own longboards. One of them was Michel Barland, under whose label the boards were produced, and who later contributed to various advances in surf boards manufacturing technology.
Which equipment do I need for surfing?
For wave surfing you only need a surf board and a wetsuit. As the ocean warms up slower than sea, most of the time you`ll need to use a wetsuit. You will learn how to surf on longer surfboards with a larger volume, and later you can move on to shorter and more responsive boards. An integral part of the surfboard is leash, which connects surfboard with the surfers ankle and it ensures that your deck will stay somewhere near around you during falls.