The surfing , and surfing is a water in which the dynamic form of a water wave is utilized to refer to a surfboard move around standing on the water. Today's form of surfing comes from the islands of Hawaii . After being brought to a near standstill by missionaries in the 19th century , surfing experienced a new boom in the 1950s when many Americans discovered the sport for themselves. Nowadays there are many competitions where surfers show their skills. You can surf not only in Hawaii, California or Australia , but also in Europe there are numerous beaches that are good for surfing. All you need is a surfboard, surf wax, a leash (known as a "legrope" in Australia), a two-meter-long cord that is used to secure the board to the leg, and possibly a surf suit . The two possible positions on the board are called regular foot and goofy foot .
At the 2020 Summer Olympics , surfing should actually be held as an Olympic competition for the first time.
History of surfing
Surfing or surfing has its origin in the South Seas, where it spread through the travels of the Polynesians . Surfing ( Hawaiian : heʻe nalu ) experienced its heyday on the islands of Hawaii, where it became a fixed spiritual and cultural part of society.
The development of surfing probably began with "body surfing". The waves were only slid off with the body without aids. Later bundles of rushes , smaller tree trunks, wooden planks or canoe tips were used to give the body more buoyancy . In the following years people surfed lying, sitting or on their knees on larger boards. In this form surfing was common all over Polynesia (and beyond). In Tahiti in particular , it has developed into “surfing while standing”. Women and men of all classes and ages went out to sea here to surf.
In the course of the settlement of Eastern Polynesia from Tahiti, surfing came in this form to the Marquesas Islands , New Zealand , Rapa, Easter Island and Hawaii. In Hawaii it finally developed furthest to the point of inclined travel. The social significance of surfing was made clear, among other things, by the fact that the bays with the highest and best waves were reserved for the kings and taboo for the rest of the population. Once a year, the Makahiki festival took place in Hawaii . Work was interrupted for three months to enjoy recreation, sports, dancing and feasts. The surf competitions, which attracted thousands of spectators, were of particular importance. Surfing was and is a national sport in Hawaii.
Since surfing existed before the colonization of Hawaii (in the 10th century AD), it can be assumed that it is at least 1000 years old. However, there is evidence that this sport is much older. Waves were also ridden in Melanesia ( e.g. Fiji Islands, New Guinea ) and Micronesia ( e.g. Marshall Islands , Carolines ), but only where there was also a great social and cultural influence from Polynesian. However, since the Polynesians are believed to have stayed in these areas in the time before Christ, it can be assumed that surfing dates back to pre-Christian times. At the World Surfing Championships, however, the winners weren't Polynesians for a long time. The first native Hawaiian to win this title was Derek Ho in 1993.
Surfing will be added to the competition program at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The Executive Committee of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had previously decided in Lausanne to follow the proposal of the organizers of the Tokyo Games and to recommend the IOC session to include surfing in the 2020 program. The approval of the general assembly was given on August 3, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.
The history of surfing in Europe is described in more detail in the corresponding article.
The Briton James Cook discovered Hawaii in 1778, where he watched the local population surf the waves, as his records show.
He made his first written notes earlier in Tahiti. The island of Hawaii was discovered by settlers from the Marquesas Islands. They were led by Hawailoa , one of the greatest seafarers in Polynesia, around the year 400.
When King Kamehameha I , whose surfing achievements were celebrated long after his death, died in 1819, the previously applicable taboo laws were abolished. This prepared the ground for Christianity and initiated the collapse of Hawaiian culture. This year the Makahiki Festival took place for the last time. The missionaries who then arrived replaced the pagan customs with strict church customs. The cultural integration of surfing was lost and it was less exercised. But it never completely disappeared, because in 1866 Mark Twain described traditional surfing as a pastime.
The founding of the first Hawaiian surf clubs in 1908 ushered in an era that has never ended to this day, in which surfing developed again and, initially under the influence of Georg Freeth and Duke Paoa Kahanamoku , spread all over the world, with the latter in particular Brought about a renaissance of the almost non-existent sport. As a multiple Olympic champion in swimming, this ambassador of the Aloha first transported the sport via Australia, later with further journeys into the souls of the people. In the 1920s, it was primarily the Californian Tom Blake who gave surfing a new direction. New materials and improvements brought surfing forward every year: from the old wooden boards to the modern foam boards , from the finless surfboard to the most diverse constructions and designs of the boards.
In 1955 Peter Viertel , a Hollywood screenwriter who was married to film actress Deborah Kerr , came to Biarritz to film . He liked the waves, got a board from California and tried his hand at surfing. With him began the French Michel Barland , Georges Henebutte (the inventor of the leash) and Joël de Rosnay , who soon founded the first surf club in France.
Surfing in Germany
In the Federal Republic of Germany, too, surfing began in the mid-1950s. At that time, the Sylt lifeguards got their first lifeboats, which were quite unsuitable for surfing. Nevertheless, Uwe Draht started his first surfing attempts with it. Dieter Behrens , Walter Viereck and others did the same. In Biarritz they bought their first real surf boards. However, they only found out later that there was a special surf wax that prevented the board from slipping off. In 1966 they founded the "Surfing Club Sylt".
In 1977 the Cologne sports students Ulrich Richter and Manfred Lauterbach founded the first German surf school in Hendaye on the Spanish-French border on the Atlantic. They were the first Europeans to give systematic group lessons in theory and practice. In 1979 Ulrich Richter wrote the first textbook in German ( Surfing, surfing: the fascinating game with the surf ). Most of the German surfing terms used today come from this book.
Only 25 years after the "Surfing Club Sylt" were other German surfing clubs founded, which finally founded the German Surfing Association (DWV) in Cologne in 1991 . In the same year the DWV started its work on the development of a sport-science-based concept for the training of surfing instructors. In the summer of 1992, the first training of DWV surfing instructors began under the direction of Norbert Hoischen. It was also the first time that international competitions, the amateur world championships in Lacanau (France), took part, and their own competitions were held. In 1996 the first German championship took place in Cap de l'Homy on the French Atlantic coast. This development has been viewed very critically from many sides since its inception. The decisive factor is the strongly commercial attitude that is adopted by training as a surf instructor.
The successes of Marlon Lipke ( ASP Europe Junior Champion 2004) and Sonni Hönscheid (multiple German champion, winner Redbull Soulwave 2003) are examples of the liveliness of the German surfing scene and its international importance.
- Main article: surfboard
Surfboards come in different designs and sizes, from shortboards to longboards. They usually consist of wood and fiberglass-reinforced plastic .
A boardbag is a protective cover for the board and is intended to protect the board from knocks and scratches, especially when traveling.
The surf suit , which is mostly made of chloroprene rubber such as neoprene , offers protection against heat loss and sunburn. The surf suit is usually a wet suit or wet suit ("wetsuit") . From a water temperature of 20 ° C, a shorty (short sleeves and legs) two millimeters thick in the torso area and one millimeter for arms and legs is sufficient. Below 16 ° C, three to four millimeters of thickness are recommended. In between and for an all-round suit, it's two to three millimeters. A Lycra shirt can be worn under the surf suit, which protects the armpits and neck from the abrasion of the skin that the surf suit can cause.
Main article: Board leash
The leash, known in Australia as "Legrope", is the connecting line between surfboard and surfer and prevents the board from being lost. It varies in length and diameter depending on the conditions of use.
The surf wax increases the slip resistance on the board. It is applied to the top of the surfboard, ensures a secure stand and prevents slipping off the board after paddling ( take off ). As the adhesive effect of the wax depends on the temperature, a distinction is made between warm and cold water wax.
Due to the high levels of ultraviolet radiation on the water, the use of a zinc skin cream or waterproof sunscreen with a high sun protection factor is necessary to reduce the risk of developing skin cancer.
Waves occur when the wind blows constantly over a large area of open water (so-called fetch ). The wind strength, the duration and the area of the fetch determine the size of the waves, which is why wave surfing is often practiced in coastal areas with a large area of free water in front. The ideal surfing conditions include light to moderate winds in the direction of the oncoming wave, which forms a "barrel" that allows the surfer to stay in the wave while it breaks. However, the topography of the water bed ( bathymetry ) in the area behind and next to the breaking wave has the greatest influence on the wave shape . Since the topographical nature of the waterbed is always different, it is difficult to predict the shape of the wave (beach breakers carry sand, which continuously changes the nature of the bottom).
Depending on how the waves break, one speaks of right-handed or left-handed waves. In general, waves are defined by the surfaces over which they break (beach breakers, cliff breakers, etc.).
The wave intensity is determined by the geometry of the wave and its speed. The speed is determined by the entry angle of the shaft surface. Geometrically, waves are divided into squares (ratio <1: 1), rounds (1-2: 1) and almonds (> 2: 1) according to their length-width ratio. The wind conditions directly on the coast determine the wave quality. In stormy conditions, the surface of the wave becomes irregular and is therefore less suitable for surfing.
Learn to surf
Any experienced swimmer can learn to surf. In order not to take any unnecessary risk when dealing with waves , currents and tides , however, the help of a qualified surfing instructor should be sought.
In addition to the right board, choosing a suitable beach is of great importance. A guarded, gently sloping sandy beach without stones or groynes is a prerequisite. Before you venture out on the water, you should thoroughly familiarize yourself with the safety and right of way rules. Surfers usually go into the water when there are good waves, precisely at the point when swimmers stop going into the surf . Therefore, the surfer has to bear the risk himself. You should also be physically fit enough to reduce the risk of injury. Surf fitness exercises help prepare for a surf trip. The four essential surf fitness exercises are called Power Paddle, Take Off Push-ups, Take Off Knee Crunch and Indo Balance. The aim of surf fitness exercises is to prepare the body for the shaky surfing surface. Standing on a surfboard is very shaky, because the leg muscles are not used to compensating for these movements. Exercises on unstable surfaces, such as a stability ball or balance board help to strengthen the leg muscles and the stability on the surfboard to improve.
As with any nature sport, it is also very important to take a close look at the natural surroundings. The general weather, the currents, special underwater events, dangerous animals, reefs or rocks in the sand. These are empirical values. To really be able to judge a beach, one would have to have seen it in all four seasons. It is important to find out how the beach changes with the ebb and flow of the tide . For beginners, the total low water when the tide comes in is recommended, but never the breaks of the full high water towards the end of the tide, because they have a multiple of power. In addition, the wind is often offshore (offshore) in the early morning, i.e. directed against the wave. So the wind stops the wave until the last moment and it breaks more beautifully and hollowly; the water is then often as smooth as a mirror.
If the conditions are good, surfers lie flat on the board to paddle out to sea. When you arrive at the break line, you have to sit on the board and wait for the next wave. When the wave comes, you turn to the beach and start paddling, then finally jump on the board and surf to the beach. In order to keep the risk of injury low, surfers fall in front of or next to their board if they lose their balance.
Surfing is called an extreme sport because of the high risk of injury . Serious injuries and deaths occur again and again, even with very experienced professional surfers. The main risks while surfing are collisions with hard objects, marine life, and water pollution.
Studies have shown that the greatest risk is colliding with your board. Over 60% of the injuries were caused by a collision with the nose or the fins of one's own surfboard. The most injured region of the body is the rider's head. This results in the main risk of the sport of losing consciousness and drowning in a collision with hard ground or your own surfboard.
Marine life such as sharks , stingrays and jellyfish pose a risk to surfers. Water sports enthusiasts in warm waters often run with the so-called "stingray shuffle" through shallow waters to drive away stingrays.
In order not to hinder others and to minimize dangers, it is important to follow the surfing rules:
- Those who drive closer to the breakpoint of the wave have priority over those who are more distant. If necessary, the latter has to get out of the wave. One wave - one surfer.
- It is forbidden to maneuver into the right of way position behind the back of a waiting surfer. "Don't sneak!"
- It is also not allowed to re-enter a wave when it is building up again if there is already a surfer in it. Again, one wave - one surfer.
- The one who paddles out must always give priority to the one in the wave.
- It is not allowed to insist on compliance with these rules if this provokes an accident.
- Never let go of the surfboard when paddling out or duck diving through the wave, otherwise you could injure other surfers with the surfboard whirling around in the wave!
Known surfing areas
The best surf spots in Europe are on the Atlantic coast of Portugal, Spain and France. In northern Spain, for example, the left wave from Mundaka near Bilbao is one of the best and longest waves in the world. A World Championship Tour (WCT) contest was held here every year from October until 2007. The Canary Islands are also a good surfing area due to the high wave quality, the warm water and outside temperatures, especially in winter. The French Atlantic coast from Biarritz in the south to Bordeaux in the north has a long surfing tradition. The center is Hossegor , where the 34 best professionals will also surf for the world title in September as part of the World Championship Tour (WCT).
The Portuguese Atlantic coast, with the surf centers Peniche , Ericeira and Sagres on the southern tip of Portugal, also offers very good surf spots. 120 km north of Lisbon is Nazaré , where in 2011 the Hawaiian surfer Garret McNamara let himself be pulled into the largest wave surfed until then with a jet ski.
- There are also wonderful surf spots in southern Spain, Andalusia, Cadiz and around Conil de la Frontera that are suitable for beginners to experts.
- There are also good opportunities for surfing in Great Britain , Scotland ( e.g. Thurso ), Ireland , Wales , North Devon , Cornwall ( e.g. Newquay , St. Ives Bay , Penzance ) and on the Channel Islands (especially Jersey ).
- The Mediterranean offers a number of surf spots, for example in Spain ( Catalonia ), France (St. Mandrier, Brutal Beach), Italy ( Varazze ) and Israel . However, the Mediterranean waves are not as constant as the Atlantic waves and surfing is usually only possible in winter.
- There are surfable waves in the North Sea too, but they are less reliable. Sylt and Norderney , Sankt Peter-Ording , Scheveningen , Texel and sometimes Denmark (North Sea coast, Römö , Blåvand ) are worth a try . In Norway the water is rather cool, but the waves are sometimes good. The most famous spots are the beaches of Jæren (south of Stavanger ).
- Even in the Baltic Sea there are “secret spots” that promise surfable conditions on a few days a year. The waves are never as powerful here as on the North Sea, but there are many bays and hooks on the Baltic Sea . With wind force seven you can even find waves with a slightly offshore wind. This is extremely seldom the case in the North Sea .
- Well-known standing waves (river waves) that are surfable are in Bavaria ( Eisbach , Floßlände ), in Switzerland ( Bremgarten ) and in Austria in the city of Salzburg ( Almkanal ).
The United States has the best surfing spots in and around Orange County , California . One of the best places is Encinitas . If the conditions are good, the entire Pacific coast can be used for surfing in America , as good waves almost always hit here. A well-known, very big breaking wave is Mavericks . There are also numerous surf spots in the Atlantic Ocean on the east coast of the United States , but most of them only have surfable waves in the winter months. For example, the 6th competition of the ASP World Tour 2011 took place in Long Beach, New York.
In Hawaii , especially on the north and east coast of Oahu , you will find good conditions all year round. Here you will find legendary spots such as the Banzai Pipeline, Sunset and the first real big wave spot Waimea. The international Triple Crown of Surfing competition takes place every year at the well-known spots on the North Shore . The spot “ Jaws ”, which has become very well known through tow-in surfing, is located off the island of Maui .
About five kilometers west of the windsurfing and kitesurfing paradise Cabarete on the north coast of Hispaniola is a surfing area at Playa Encuentro . The “Master of the Ocean” is determined here every year in a kind of “triathlon” competition, which includes surfing, windsurfing and kite surfing .
Costa Rica in particular has now become an insider tip. There are good surfing conditions here on the Pacific coast in every season. Especially in the (very Californian-looking) city of Jacó , many semi-professional and professional surfers meet to benefit from the surf on the neighboring "Hermosa Beach". The waves here are not very high, but they are all the faster and suitable for advanced surfers. The Caribbean coast also has its “secret spots” such as the Salsa Brava in Puerto Viejo or the reef around Isla Uvita, around 700 m from Limon.
South Africa is considered a surfer's paradise. World-famous surfers like the Australian Taj Burrow are always drawn to South Africa's coasts to show their skills.
A favorable southeast wind blows from September to May, bringing surfers six to ten Beaufort sideshore and providing exceptionally good conditions. In winter, from June to August, the high pressure belt moves towards the equator and the low pressure channel reaches the cape. Waves with a size of less than two meters are then rather rare.
The following coastal towns in South Africa have become world-famous:
- Cape St. Francis
- Jeffreys Bay
For beginners or inexperienced surfers, the areas around Algoa Bay and Silvic Bay (near Port Elizabeth) are particularly suitable.
- 1966: In The Endless Summer Bruce Brown documents the journey of the two surfers Michael Hynson and Robert August around the world in search of the perfect "spot".
- 1994: Endless Summer II by Bruce Brown takes up the story again, but with two new actors and an update of the surfing story since the first part.
- 2000: Thicker than Water is the musician Jack Johnson's first work as a filmmaker.
- 2001: Laird by Laird Hamilton is a kind of promotional film for himself
- 2003: September Sessions by Jack Johnson
- 2003: Step into Liquid is a documentary by Dana Brown (son of Bruce Brown) about the passion and motivation of surfers.
- 2004: Blue Horizon shows the rivalry between surfers Andy Irons and Kelly Slater for the world title and the free "soul" surfing of Dave "Rasta" Rastovich.
- 2004: A Brokedown Melody by Jack Johnson
- 2004: Riding Giants by Stacy Peralta with Laird Hamilton is considered one of the best films on the subject of big wave surfing and tow-in surfing.
- 2007: Bra Boys revolves around the life of the so-called "Bra Boys" in Australia. This is a group of young men who spend their time surfing and partying, and who also started an underground movement on the side.
- 2009: Keep Surfing by Bjoern Richie Lob is a multiple award-winning German documentary about river surfing on the Eisbach in Munich.
- 2015: View from a Blue Moon accompanies the globally successful surfer John John Florence and his closest friends around the world.
- 2018: Andy Irons: Kissed by God is a film about bipolar disorder and opioid addiction by the three-time world champion in surfing Andy Irons .
- 1959: April discovers the men ( Gidget )
- 1961: Gidget goes Hawaiian
- 1963: Beach Party
- 1964: Ride the Wild Surf
- 1964: Surf Party
- 1965: Beach Blanket Bingo
- 1966: The Endless Summer
- 1971: Morning of the Earth by Albert Falzon
- 1978: Big Wednesday
- 1984: Top Secret! Intro as a parody in connection with clay pigeon shooting (skeet surfing)
- 1987: North Shore
- 1988: Aloha Summer
- 1991: Dangerous surf
- 1995: Against the surf
- 1997: Ocean Tribe - The Last Wave
- 1998: In God's hands by Zalman King
- 2000: Surfer Girls
- 2002: Blue Crush
- 2006: Tan Lines by Ed Aldridge
- 2007: Kings of the waves
- 2007: Shelter
- 2008: Surfer, Dude
- 2011: Soul Surfer
- 2011: Blue Crush 2 - No Limits
- 2012: Mavericks - Live your dream
- 2004-2005: Blue Water High
- 2004-2005 (USA) / 2006 (D): Summerland Beach
- 2006-2007: Curl Girls
- 2012: The surf camp
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