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...