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Big Wave Surfing

Big Wave Surfing is a sub-discipline of wave surfing, in which experienced surfers paddle into or are towed onto large waves. To distinguish big wave surfing from regular surfing, the waves need to be at least 20 feet (6.2 m) high.

Big wave surfers use specialized equipment to be able to ride these large waves. The surfboards, known as "guns" or towboards, are larger, longer than a regular surfboard, which allows a rider to paddle fast enough to catch the wave and has the advantage of being more stable. Alternatively, the riders use a jetski to tow them into the waves, so they can get the desired speed on a smaller and therefore more maneuverable board.

Big wave surfing in Java, Indonesia Big wave surfing in Java, Indonesia

Some surfers decide not to use a leash to attach themselves to the board as it may hold them under the water when they get dumped. Some tow-in surfboards now have foot holds.

Some of the world's premier big wave surfing locations include Mavericks (California USA), Pipeline (Oahu, Hawaii), Ghost Trees (Pebble Beach, California), Jaws Peahi (Maui, Hawaii).

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Check out our Encyclopedia of Every Sport. Well not every sport, as there is a list of unusual sports, extinct sports and newly created sports. How to get on these lists? See What is a sport?

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