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Surfing is a surface water sport in which the wave rider, referred to as a "surfer", rides on the forward face of a moving wave which is usually carrying the surfer towards the shore.
he equipment required for surfing varies, depending on where the surfer is. At a minimum, a board is needed, which may vary in length or construction depending on the style of surfing that the surfer practices. Most boards are broken into traditional longboards and more modern shortboards. In climates with cold water, a surfer will also require a wetsuit so that he or she will be comfortable in the water.
ORIGINS AND HISTORY
The origins of surfing are at least 500 years old, and possibly even older. Early Polynesian cultures developed the sport and brought it with them as they traveled throughout the Pacific, introducing it to missionaries and European explorers. Lest you think surfing is only for shaggy bums, Captain Cook himself wrote about surfing in Hawaii on his voyages there. Early missionaries tried to repress surfing, but the sport continued to be practiced, and in the 1920s, it exploded in popularity, thanks to the work of Duke Kahanamoku, a Hawaiian surfing legend.References to surf riding on planks and single canoe hulls are also verified for pre-contact Samoa, where surfing was called fa'ase'e or se'egalu (see Augustin Krämer, The Samoa Islands) and Tonga far pre-dating the practice of surfing by Hawaiians and eastern Polynesians by over a thousand years.
Surfers and surf culture
Surfers represent a diverse culture based on riding the waves. Some people practice surfing as a recreational activity while others make it the central focus of their lives. Within the United States, surfing culture is most dominant in Hawaii and California because these two states offer the best surfing conditions Some historical markers of the culture included the woodie, the station wagon used to carry surfers' boards, as well as boardshorts, the long swim shorts typically worn while surfing. Surfers also wear wetsuits in colder regions.
Surfing begins when the surfer paddles toward shore in an attempt to match the speed of the wave. Once the wave begins to carry the surfer forward, the surfer stands up and proceeds to ride the wave. The basic idea is to position the surfboard so it is just ahead of the breaking part (white water) of the wave. A common problem for beginners is being able to catch the wave at all.Surfers' skills are tested by their ability to control their board in challenging conditions, riding challenging waves, and executing maneuvers such as strong turns and cutbacks (turning board back to the breaking wave) and carving (a series of strong back-to-back maneuvers). More advanced skills include the floater (riding on top of the breaking curl of the wave), and off the lip (banking off the breaking wave). A newer addition to surfing is the progression of the air whereby a surfer propels off the wave entirely and re-enters the wave.