Essay by ChaosJunior High, 9th gradeA+, February 1997

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The intent of this paper is to introduce the reader to surfing. There are many

things to learn about surfing such as its history, surf gear, and safety hints.

Surfing is a water sport that involves planing, "in a controlled way,"

on the sloping portion of a wave as it moves toward shore. The most basic

form of the sport is body surfing. It is done without a board. A person first

swims toward shore "to equal the wave speed." Then the person stiffens the

body in order to "plane" on the front of the wave. Surfing is basically the

same as body surfing. The only difference is, instead of stiffening the body,

the surfer must stand on a surfboard.

In the middle 1950's, surfboards were made of heavy wood. They

were handmade and required alot of sanding and filing to make the boards

smooth. Today's surfboards are manufactured in a factory using light balsa

wood or fiberglass and polyurethane.

An added benefit of using these

materials is a great reduction in the weight of the boards.

Surfing is becoming more popular each year. For safety, new surfers

must be good swimmers. Boards should be checked for cracks and slivers

before each use. All surfers should check the water conditions posted at the

life guard station before entering the water. Surfing should only be done

during the daylight hours and when other people are present. A new

beginning surfboard costs $50.00 to $70.00. A helpful device is a leash

which attaches around the wrist with velcro to the board. In this way, the

board will not drift away from the surfer. A good leash costs $7.00 to

$11.00. Surfers might also want to consider buying a wetsuit which protects

from hypothermia . Prices begin around $100.00. New surfers...