Surfing is an outdoor water sport that 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.
To successfully ride a wave, the surfers need to accurately judge the shape of each wave, the strength and direction of the wind, height of the tide, the current and many other variables.
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, throughout the year. The 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.
- Big Wave Surfing — experienced surfers paddle into or are towed onto waves that are at least 20 feet high.
- 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.
- Wakeboarding — riding a board and doing tricks on the wake behind a boat.
- Snowboarding — involves descending on a slope covered in snow using a single board attached to both feet.
- Standup Paddleboarding — paddle boarders stand on their boards and use a paddle to propel themselves through the water.
- Paddleboarding — a person kneels on a board and uses their arms to propel themselves through the water.
- Surf Kayaking — involves surfing in the ocean using a kayak
- Water Skiing — riders are pulled along behind a boat skimming atop the water wearing one or two skis
- Ironman Surflifesaving — combines four major aspects of surflifesaving into a single race.
- Surf Polo — water polo played in the water at the beach while riding surfboards.
- 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).
- More about the sport of surfing
- Surfing at the Olympics
- Complete list of sports
- The Encyclopedia of Sports