Both professional and amateur surfers live for the exhilarating experience of riding the biggest wave they can find. If you’re heading to Hawaii, California, or another tropical destination, going surfing can be a great way to experience local culture while enjoying the ocean.
History of Surfing
Surfing has been around for several centuries. The earliest known record of surfing is from 1767 in Tahiti, and it is believed that the sport has likely existed in some form since ancient times. While the first surfing competitions as we know them today did not appear until the 20th century, early Polynesian cultures are believed to have chosen their village leaders based on their surfing ability.
Surfing Equipment and Safety
Choosing the right surfboard is the most important step in planning a memorable surfing experience. Surfboards are generally made of coated foam or other lightweight materials, and they come in a variety of sizes and types. Be sure to select a board that is appropriate for your height and matches the type of waves that you plan to surf on.
Always dress appropriately in order to protect yourself from the sun, your board, and the water. Depending on where you are surfing, wear a wetsuit or a rash guard and board shorts, rather than a bikini, t-shirt, or other clothing. Other essential equipment includes a leash to keep the surfer connected to the surfboard, surf wax to help the surfer avoid slipping off the surfboard, and surf earplugs to protect the ears from extreme temperature or pressure differences.
Always bring plenty of water, and avoid surfing during the sunniest hours in the middle of the day whenever possible. Never go surfing alone, and use extreme caution when surfing in unfamiliar areas.
Tourists surf occasionally on vacation, but natives to top surfing areas often participate in a variety of competitions that may lead to careers as professional surfers. Children, teens, and adults who live in Hawaii, California, and other tropical areas often spend part of the majority of their days in the ocean, and natives to coastal cities often begin building their swimming and surfing skills from a young age. Bethany Hamilton, a Hawaiian surfer, became well-known as a teen, and she continues to inspire both surfers and other women around the world.
Where Can I Go Surfing?
While surfing is often thought of as a Hawaiian sport, it can be done in virtually any coastal city that is located in a tropical climate. According to the Travel Channel, some of the best places to catch a wave around the world include California, Costa Rica, Australia, Morocco, and Tahiti, in addition to Hawaii. Many top tourist destinations offer surfing lessons and equipment rental.
If you’re heading to Hawaii or another popular ocean destination, be sure to add surfing lessons to your to-do list and get ready to have some fun in the sun!