Encyclopedia of Sport: Every sport from around the world

Surfing

Surfing is an outdoor water sport which is predominantly conducted on the shores of oceans and seas. In this sport, the athlete, usually referred to as a surfer, starts off at a certain distance away from the shore, and moves towards the shore standing on a surfboard, using the waves for propulsion.

Though surfing dates back to couple centuries, modern surfing originated in the early twentieth century on the Hawaiian islands, and professional surfing competitions did not start until 1975. Earlier surfboards were made of wood which made it heavier and bulkier. But current surfboards are made of fiberglass materials that makes it lighter and easier to carry.

The sport of surfing is completely based on the types of maneuvers surfers make while riding the waves. Some of the common types of maneuvers are, cutbacks, carving, floater, tube ride, and top-turn.

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In professional surfing competitions, surfers are judged based on several factors: commitment, degree of difficulty, innovative and progressive maneuvers, combination of major maneuvers, variety of maneuvers, speed, power and flow of the ride. Each ride is adjudged by a panel of judges, and is awarded points between 5 to 10. The two highest scoring rides for each surfer is totaled to determine the winner of the competition.

Several professional surfing competitions are conducted around the world, for both men and women, all through the year. World Surf League the highest governing body of the sport, conducts men's and women's championship tours; which are the most popular competitions in the sport, from February to December every year.

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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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