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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 might want to consider putting wax on the board for a better grip. Surfing is an increasingly popular and fun sport. No trip to Florida would be complete without trying to surf. Some knowledge of surfing safety, how to buy surf gear ,and the history of surfing is helpful before the novice attempts the sport.
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