The Beach Boys, Baywatch and Hollywood films such as Point Break have all done their bit to make surfing one of the most popular extreme water sports in the world. Whilst free-living sixties music, Pamela Anderson and Keanu Reeves may arguably sell just about anything to anyone, there is little doubt that surfing is one of the greatest recreational activities and professional sports that can be enjoyed in the water. Furthermore, it is surprisingly easy to learn how to surf and those with a natural flair for it will soon find themselves showing off to all the onlooking beach babes (or dudes) – but do not expect David Hasselhoff to rescue you when it all goes pear shaped!
Surfing has actually been around since the second world war or just a bit earlier, but it was only during the 1950s and 1960s that it became a higher profile sport. Nowadays, there are regular surfing tournaments and competitions all over the world, and the sport itself is split into long board and short board variants.
Long boards are those used by the majority of surfers and can be described in tournament terms as anything over 6 foot, although in competitive circles they are typically between 9 and 12 feet. Beginners and medium level surfers use long boards because balance is easier to achieve, with the surfer's weight distributed over a relatively large area. Moreover, the long board catches waves more easily and are essential for big, big waves, which means that advanced or professional surfers use them too. Short boards are exclusively for the skilled, experienced surfer as they demand a greater starting speed, which means more frantic paddling, and are typically used for shorter waves.
Stand up paddle surfing is another variation of traditional surfing that is gradually growing in popularity. Comprising a long board and paddle, this form of surfing may look a little unusual but it is actually an excellent activity that demands extremely strong core strength and flexibility.
Among the best places to go surfing in the world include Bells Beach in Australia, which gives the seasoned surfer plenty of time in the tube but suffers a bit when it comes to water temperatures, which are cold throughout the year. However, there is arguably nowhere better in the world for a surfer to perfect his or her skills than at Sunset Beach in Hawaii, which comprises one of the most challenging waves known to man!
Get the right surfing kit!
Beginner surfers should always ensure that they develop an understanding of the board before learning how to balance correctly. It is also essential to train hard physically, as good core strength will make the learning process a whole lot easier. Also, choosing the right gear is important – ensure that wetsuits have a snug fit and the board is not too big to handle. With a little effort and plenty of practice, the beginner will be trying out tricks such as cutbacks and bottom turns in no time. Finally, look the part when out of the ocean with Animal surf clothing. Click here to find out more