Surfing is one of the oldest sports in the world. Its popularity has, however, changed and increased rapidly as the years unfolded. In as much as the fundamentals are still the same, there is a huge contrast when you compare the current and the early surfing scenes. There has been more innovation; there is more hype in the sport and even incorporation of technology in the surfing. The past was glorious, and things have gotten even better over the years making the sport even more attractive. Check out these facts by sportsovernight.com that indicate the transformation surfing has undergone over the years.
- Judging the performance
When surfing started many years ago, the best surfer was the one who rode on the biggest wave. How they performed was not such a big deal. The size of the wave was what was important. The situation is different right now. Other than the size of the wave a surfer rides on, their maneuvers, speed, and other skills are what determine their performance. More of the new surfers currently focus on developing their skills first rather than having that connection with the sea.
- Surf Forecasting
People have made significant strides with regards to surf forecast. Back then, getting weather information was quite difficult given that communication and forecast tools were not available, or as advanced as they are now. At the moment, it is possible to foretell the kind of weather to expect in the ocean, and consequently the size of waves to expect. Surfing report is more accurate and more reliable with the various technological advancements.
- Surfing boards have become better
Surfboard designs were relatively crude when surfing started. The surfers had to battle with the waves to be good at the sport. Surfboards back then were made of thick and heavy solid wood. Today, people make them from materials that make them much lighter and water resistant. The shape too has changed. Today’s surfboards are more streamlined to reduce water resistance. They are, also, more durable and can withstand harsher ocean conditions. Most surfers have more than one surfboard.
The number of platforms and contests where surfers can compete has grown and is perhaps one of the biggest changes that have characterized the surfing culture. Now there are international competitions held at different places which mean surfers get to face different waves as they progress in their international circuit. Surfing has become more adventurous than ever before. Initially, competitions would just be among locals.
- Surf cameras
Being in the sea is such a thrilling experience. Technology has been improving continuously every year, and now it is possible to capture and re-live your surfing at sea with the surf camera – something that was not likely to do in the past. These surf cameras are water resistant, and one can wear it without them interfering with your surfing performance. They can take snapshots and record videos of your surfing.
- Animal surfing
It is not uncommon to see surfers head to the sea with their pets. At first, surfing was only for humans, and no one thought they could let their pets, particularly dogs, have the same experience. The scene is different today. Some surfboards have been equipped to accommodate a surfer and their pet. There are, also, various trainers who train surfers how to surf with their pets. The experience is much better.
The internet has brought a whole set of possibilities in the surfing world, and the social networking aspect of surfing is one of them. There are many online forums today where surfers engage. The magazines and the media exposure presented at the moment is an excellent way to advertise, communicate and expose surfers to the world. The internet, also, acts as a platform for the modern day surfers to share their experiences and skills with others.
- Money, Money, Money
There is plenty of money in surfing today. The surfers in the past years surfed because they loved the sport and connected with the ocean. Riding on the biggest wave earned you respect, more competition from other surfers and bragging rights. Today, money is, also, a great factor that drives people into the sport. There are many tournaments and tours organized by various surf organizations with money prizes. They often have many contestants who want to participate just to win.
- Jet skies
Jet skiing allows you to experience the insanity of surfing on the big wave. Big wave surfing is quite dangerous if you are not careful. Only a few can handle the giant waves. Jet Ski tows you to the unreachable big waves lying further away from the shore. It is quite a thrilling way to enjoy surfing in the recent days.
- Surf tourism
The surf industry is worth a billion dollars, and people are looking to tap into that. Many surf resorts around the world aim at bringing surfers from different parts of the world together. Business men and women are creating surf resorts along beaches as a way of attracting more tourists.