Published on September 27th, 2013 | by Joe Starks0
Exercise Spotlight: Surfing
In many parts of the world, surfing is more than just a vacation sport. For many people surfing is a way of life and the center of a whole lifestyle. Riding a wave can be a rather safe way to get a thrill, feeling free and entertained at the same time. The mix of sea water, tall waves and long beaches is for many people an ideal scene to pass their free time in. Whether you choose to ride the waves during holidays in some exotic place or if you have a wavy beach right before your house and catch a wave every day, surfing can be a part of your life that offers you individuality, style and a pretty good workout.
What is surfing?
Surfing is a sport, during which you stand or lie on a long floating board while you ride waves or currents on the sea. It is an ancient Polynesian sport, which was almost eradicated when European colonists arrived on the islands. Even though the sport was almost forgotten, in modern times it has luckily been adopted by many nations, including most notably Australia, where surfing has become something of a national sport.
There are many styles to surf with and different equipment depending on your skill and the type of waves you want to ride. People usually start out slowly, trying to balance on their boards while still on shore or in very shallow water. This balance training might seem funny at start, but it is quite some work to manage to get your balance up there where it needs to be for a good wave ride.
You don’t need a lot of equipment for surfing. If you are a beginner it is best to start off with the standard surfboard which is around 8-12 feet long. Depending on the water temperature, it is usually a good idea to wear a wetsuit. This is a whole body, elastic suit that protects you from the cold water temperature.
Benefits of surfing
Compared to many, more mainstream sports, surfing is one of those choices that will shape your character a lot and give you a certain style. Really getting into this sport will have you spend lots of time on the beach, working out your body while riding the waves.
You need to be a of a slightly risky nature and in good health to be able to surf. This is no sport for the injured or weak, but it is quite safe for children, if they are taught by an experienced adult. Remember that surfable waves differ from each other quite a bit. Depending on how tall the waves are and how bad the weather, surfing on certain beaches at certain times might not be safe, except for the most experienced adults.
Always supervise children when they surf and choose beaches with lifeguards even as an adult. Surfing alone might seem romantic and daring, but it is rarely a good idea. Wearing a lifejacket is a good idea if you want to stay on the safe side, though a well chosen beach and decent wave weather won’t need you to do so.
Downsides of Surfing
Surfing is not for everybody. The boards are slippery, balancing is hard, and falling on your board or off it can injure you. This is why the best candidates for this sport are healthy young people and experienced adults. Children need to be supervised closely if they are surfing and be only allowed to surf on small waves in safe beaches.
It is not advised to start surfing at an old age, especially if your health isn’t what it used to be. It is generally best to have an experienced surfer to show you the ropes before you try to surf alone, no matter how fit you are. Never forget to place your lifeline on your foot, as your board can keep you too afloat during a strong wave that might topple you over.
All in all, surfing is a thrilling, enjoyable sport and people should try it if only during a holiday for a new experience. Making surfing part of your life might come afterwards, if you fall in love with the waves.