Surfing has slowly gained track as one of the best ways to have fun on the coast in countries around the world. The activity has a significant history that spreads for centuries, and Sports Overnight has compiled these ten facts that will give you and your surf buddies something interesting to discuss.
- Surfing originated from the Polynesians,and it played a central role in their culture long before the Europeans docked their ships on their coasts. Joseph Banks was the first person to record these activities during the voyage of James Cook in Hawaii. As more people traveled around the world, they found surfing being practiced in Tahiti and by the Samoans.
- George Freeth introduced surfing to California and in 1928 Corona Del Mar, California hosted the first ever major surfing event. Major surfing legends including Duke Kahanamoku and Tom Blake attended the event. Blake came with a new hollow surfboard and clinched the top spot in the Pacific Coast Surfriding Championships. However, it was the design of Blake’s surfboard that stole the show in the event and also revolutionized the design of surfboards. The hollow design helped to shed significant weight from his surfboard to 120 pounds.
- Forty-seven surfers who stood on a 12-meter surfboard in Queensland, Australia set the Guinness World Record in 2005 for the highest number of persons riding on a surfboard.On this day the surfers also set the record for longest surfboard ever. Epic Big Board Ride has since broken the record in Huntington Beach, California with a group of 66 surfers who were riding a 12.83-meter surfboard in 2015.
- No one should blame you for thinking that people reserve surfing only for oceans. Some large rivers create a back flow called a tidal bore which you can use for surfing. James Cotton holds the record for the longest surf ride on a river, that is, Kampar River found on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. The ride went on for 17.2 kilometers at an average speed of 12.4 mph. The river bores can achieve great heights as the waves because Cotton’s ridewent as high as eight feet.
- If you thought surfing is an activity reserved only for humans, then think again. Dogs are great surfers too. What’s more, they also enter into competitions. Huntington Beach, California, is a spot for many surfing activities among them the Annual Surf City Surf Dog competition. The yearly event is a fundraiser for animal welfare organizations, and it will register its ninth event this year. More than seventy dogs were battling for the top spot last year, and this number is expected to increase in the coming event.
- Are you interested in everything in surfing? Why not get a degree in Surf Science and Technology? The Plymouth University in the United Kingdom has been offering this course since 1999. Surfing classes have now become popular, and they are available in other tertiary institutions such asthe Spanish University of La Laguna and Swansea University in the UK. The course seeks to explore the surf culture, fitness, and surfing as well as environmental studies on the impact of surfing,among other studies.
- Surfing is all about patience. The Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand conducted a study that showed surfers are only riding waves 8% of the time they are in the water. Slightly more than half of the surf session is spent paddling while a third of the time goes into waiting for a good surfable wave. The rarity of the surfing experience is what makes the activity even more enjoyable.
- The two main types of surfing are shortboarding and long boarding. Shortboarding is fast and allows you to control the board easily. It is the best board for eccentric surfing and surfing on giant Longboarding is easier to learn since the board is more stable due to its length and weight. However, the boards are heavy and thus carrying them to the water can be challenging. It is also harder to control a longboard due to its size and weight.
Other types of surfing include tow-surfing and foil surfing.
- Surfing is a cool sport, and the ability to ride waves is prestigious in itself. However, there are those that are willing to ride on the respect and social status accorded to surfers without really doing the work. “Hodad” is the term for these pretend surfers. A hodad might come to the beach on a day with perfect waves, but his board will never leave the sand.
- The surfing industry churns in almost 10 billion dollars annually, and there is a lot of money in surfing. Kelly Slater has raked in the most money as a pro surfer. He is also the most successful World Surf League Champion having bagged the title for a record 11 times, twice as much as second-placed Mark Richards.