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.
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).
- Surfing — participants stand on a surfboard, and use the waves for propulsion.
- Bodyboarding — a water sport in which the surfer rides a bodyboard.
- Windsurfing — riding a modified surfboard manoeuvered using a sail on a movable mast.
- Skysurfing — a skydiver attaches a board to his feet during freefall.
- Kitesurfing — a board and kite are used on the water utilizing different styles consisting of freeride, speed, down winders and racing.
- Surf Kayaking — involves surfing in the ocean using a kayak.
- Sandsurfing — attach a skateboard deck or other similar object to the back of an ATV or vehicle with a watersports tow rope (not a competitive sport).