Surfing Culture Essay Examples

This article is about stand-up ocean surfing. For other uses, see Surfing (disambiguation).

"Surfer" redirects here. For other uses, see Surfer (disambiguation).

Surfing is a surface water sport in which the wave rider, referred to as a surfer, rides on the forward or deep face of a moving wave, which is usually carrying the surfer towards the shore. Waves suitable for surfing are primarily found in the ocean, but can also be found in lakes or in rivers in the form of a standing wave or tidal bore. However, surfers can also utilize artificial waves such as those from boat wakes and the waves created in artificial wave pools.

The term surfing refers to the act of riding a wave, regardless of whether the wave is ridden with a board or without a board, and regardless of the stance used. The native peoples of the Pacific, for instance, surfed waves on alaia, paipo, and other such craft, and did so on their belly and knees. The modern-day definition of surfing, however, most often refers to a surfer riding a wave standing up on a surfboard; this is also referred to as stand-up surfing.

Another prominent form of surfing is body boarding, when a surfer rides a wave on a bodyboard, either lying on their belly, drop knee, or sometimes even standing up on a body board. Other types of surfing include knee boarding, surf matting (riding inflatable mats), and using foils. Body surfing, where the wave is surfed without a board, using the surfer's own body to catch and ride the wave, is very common and is considered by some to be the purest form of surfing.

Three major subdivisions within standing-up surfing are stand-up paddling, long boarding and short boarding with several major differences including the board design and length, the riding style, and the kind of wave that is ridden.

In tow-in surfing (most often, but not exclusively, associated with big wave surfing), a motorized water vehicle, such as a personal watercraft, tows the surfer into the wave front, helping the surfer match a large wave's speed, which is generally a higher speed than a self-propelled surfer can produce. Surfing-related sports such as paddle boarding and sea kayaking do not require waves, and other derivative sports such as kite surfing and windsurfing rely primarily on wind for power, yet all of these platforms may also be used to ride waves. Recently with the use of V-drive boats, Wakesurfing, in which one surfs on the wake of a boat, has emerged. The Guinness Book of World Records recognized a 78 feet (23.8 m) wave ride by Garrett McNamara at Nazaré, Portugal as the largest wave ever surfed.[1]

Origins and history[edit]

Main article: History of surfing

See also: Surfing in the United States

For hundreds of years, surfing was a central part of ancient Polynesian culture. Surfing may have first been observed by British explorers at Tahiti in 1767. Samuel Wallis and the crew members of the Dolphin who were the first Britons to visit the island in June of that year. Another candidate is the botanist Joseph Banks[2] being part of the first voyage of James Cook on the HMS Endeavour, who arrived on Tahiti on 10 April 1769. Lieutenant James King was the first person to write about the art of surfing on Hawaii when he was completing the journals of Captain James Cook upon Cook's death in 1779.

When Mark Twain visited Hawaii in 1866 he wrote,

In one place we came upon a large company of naked natives, of both sexes and all ages, amusing themselves with the national pastime of surf-bathing.[3]

References to surf riding on planks and single canoe hulls are also verified for pre-contact Samoa, where surfing was called fa'ase'e or se'egalu (see Augustin Krämer, The Samoa Islands[4]), and Tonga, far pre-dating the practice of surfing by Hawaiians and eastern Polynesians by over a thousand years.

In July 1885, three teenage Hawaiian princes took a break from their boarding school, St. Mathew’s Hall in San Mateo, and came to cool off in Santa Cruz, California. There, David Kawānanakoa, Edward Keliʻiahonui and Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole surfed the mouth of the San Lorenzo River on custom-shaped redwood boards, according to surf historians Kim Stoner and Geoff Dunn.[5]

George Freeth (8 November 1883 – 7 April 1919) is often credited as being the "Father of Modern Surfing". He is thought to have been the first modern surfer.

In 1907, the eclectic interests of the land baronHenry E. Huntington brought the ancient art of surfing to the California coast. While on vacation, Huntington had seen Hawaiian boys surfing the island waves. Looking for a way to entice visitors to the area of Redondo Beach, where he had heavily invested in real estate, he hired a young Hawaiian to ride surfboards. George Freeth decided to revive the art of surfing, but had little success with the huge 16-foot hardwood boards that were popular at that time. When he cut them in half to make them more manageable, he created the original "Long board", which made him the talk of the islands. To the delight of visitors, Freeth exhibited his surfing skills twice a day in front of the Hotel Redondo.

In 1975, professional contests started.[6] That year Margo Oberg became the first female professional surfer.[6]

Surf waves[edit]

See also: Ocean surface wave

Swell is generated when wind blows consistently over a large area of open water, called the wind's fetch. The size of a swell is determined by the strength of the wind and the length of its fetch and duration. Because of this, surf tends to be larger and more prevalent on coastlines exposed to large expanses of ocean traversed by intense low pressure systems.

Local wind conditions affect wave quality, since the surface of a wave can become choppy in blustery conditions. Ideal conditions include a light to moderate "offshore" wind, because it blows into the front of the wave, making it a "barrel" or "tube" wave. Waves are Left handed and Right Handed depending upon the breaking formation of the wave.

Waves are generally recognized by the surfaces over which they break.[7] For example, there are Beach breaks, Reef breaks and Point breaks.

The most important influence on wave shape is the topography of the seabed directly behind and immediately beneath the breaking wave. The contours of the reef or bar front becomes stretched by diffraction. Each break is different, since each location's underwater topography is unique. At beach breaks, sandbanks change shape from week to week. Surf forecasting is aided by advances in information technology. Mathematical modeling graphically depicts the size and direction of swells around the globe.

Swell regularity varies across the globe and throughout the year. During winter, heavy swells are generated in the mid-latitudes, when the North and South polar fronts shift toward the Equator. The predominantly Westerly winds generate swells that advance Eastward, so waves tend to be largest on West coasts during winter months. However, an endless train of mid-latitude cyclones cause the isobars to become undulated, redirecting swells at regular intervals toward the tropics.

East coasts also receive heavy winter swells when low-pressure cells form in the sub-tropics, where slow moving highs inhibit their movement. These lows produce a shorter fetch than polar fronts, however they can still generate heavy swells, since their slower movement increases the duration of a particular wind direction. The variables of fetch and duration both influence how long wind acts over a wave as it travels, since a wave reaching the end of a fetch behaves as if the wind died.

During summer, heavy swells are generated when cyclones form in the tropics. Tropical cyclones form over warm seas, so their occurrence is influenced by El Niño & La Niña cycles. Their movements are unpredictable.

Surf travel and some surf camps offer surfers access to remote, tropical locations, where tradewinds ensure offshore conditions. Since winter swells are generated by mid-latitude cyclones, their regularity coincides with the passage of these lows. Swells arrive in pulses, each lasting for a couple of days, with a few days between each swell.

The availability of free model data from the NOAA has allowed the creation of several surf forecasting websites.

Wave intensity[edit]

Artificial reefs[edit]

The value of good surf in attracting surf tourism has prompted the construction of artificial reefs and sand bars. Artificial surfing reefs can be built with durable sandbags or concrete, and resemble a submerged breakwater. These artificial reefs not only provide a surfing location, but also dissipate wave energy and shelter the coastline from erosion. Ships such as Seli 1 that have accidentally stranded on sandy bottoms, can create sandbanks that give rise to good waves.[8]

An artificial reef known as Chevron Reef was constructed in El Segundo, California in hopes of creating a new surfing area. However, the reef failed to produce any quality waves and was removed in 2008. In Kovalam, South West India, an artificial reef has, however, successfully provided the local community with a quality lefthander, stabilized coastal soil erosion, and provided good habitat for marine life.[9] ASR Ltd., a New Zealand-based company, constructed the Kovalam reef and is working on another reef in Boscombe, England.

Artificial waves[edit]

Even with artificial reefs in place, a tourist's vacation time may coincide with a "flat spell", when no waves are available. Completely artificial Wave pools aim to solve that problem by controlling all the elements that go into creating perfect surf, however there are only a handful of wave pools that can simulate good surfing waves, owing primarily to construction and operation costs and potential liability. Most wave pools generate waves that are too small and lack the power necessary to surf. The Seagaia Ocean Dome, located in Miyazaki, Japan, was an example of a surfable wave pool. Able to generate waves with up to 10-foot faces, the specialized pump held water in 20 vertical tanks positioned along the back edge of the pool. This allowed the waves to be directed as they approach the artificial sea floor. Lefts, Rights, and A-frames could be directed from this pump design providing for rippable surf and barrel rides. The Ocean Dome cost about $2 billion to build and was expensive to maintain.[10] The Ocean Dome was closed in 2007. In England, construction is nearing completion on the Wave,[11] situated near Bristol, which will enable people unable to get to the coast to enjoy the waves in a controlled environment, set in the heart of nature.

There are two main types of artificial waves that exist today. One being artificial or stationary waves which simulate a moving, breaking wave by pumping a layer of water against a smooth structure mimicking the shape of a breaking wave. Because of the velocity of the rushing water the wave and the surfer can remain stationary while the water rushes by under the surfboard. Artificial waves of this kind provide the opportunity to try surfing and learn its basics in a moderately small and controlled environment near or far from locations with natural surf.

Another artificial wave can be made through use of a wave pool such as Kelly Slater's Wave Co. and NLand Surf Park in Austin, TX. These wave pools strive to make a wave that replicates a real ocean wave more than the stationary wave does.

Surfers and surf culture[edit]

Main article: Surf culture

Surfers represent a diverse culture based on riding the waves. Some people practice surfing as a recreational activity while others make it the central focus of their lives. Surfing culture is most dominant in Hawaii and California because these two states offer the best surfing conditions. However, waves can be found wherever there is coastline, and a tight-knit yet far-reaching subculture of surfers has emerged throughout America. Some historical markers of the culture included the woodie, the station wagon used to carry surfers' boards, as well as boardshorts, the long swim shorts typically worn while surfing. Surfers also wear wetsuits in colder regions.

The sport of surfing now represents a multibillion-dollar industry especially in clothing and fashion markets. The World Surf League (WSL) runs the championship tour, hosting top competitors in some of the best surf spots around the globe. A small number of people make a career out of surfing by receiving corporate sponsorships and performing for photographers and videographers in far-flung destinations; they are typically referred to as freesurfers.Sixty-six surfboarders on a 42-foot surfboard set a record in Huntington Beach, California for most people on a surfboard at one time.As for people who take it more seriously, such as Dale Webster, he consecutively surfed for 14,641 days, making it his main life focus.

When the waves were flat, surfers persevered with sidewalk surfing, which is now called skateboarding. Sidewalk surfing has a similar feel to surfing and requires only a paved road or sidewalk. To create the feel of the wave, surfers even sneak into empty backyard swimming pools to ride in, known as pool skating. Eventually, surfing made its way to the slopes with the invention of the Snurfer, later credited as the first snowboard. Many other board sports have been invented over the years, but all can trace their heritage back to surfing.

Many surfers claim to have a spiritual connection with the ocean, describing surfing, the surfing experience, both in and out of the water, as a type of spiritual experience or a religion.[12]

Maneuvers[edit]

Standup surfing begins when the surfer paddles toward shore in an attempt to match the speed of the wave (The same applies whether the surfer is standup paddling, bodysurfing, boogie-boarding or using some other type of watercraft, such as a waveski or kayak.). Once the wave begins to carry the surfer forward, the surfer stands up and proceeds to ride the wave. The basic idea is to position the surfboard so it is just ahead of the breaking part (whitewash) of the wave. A common problem for beginners is being able to catch the wave at all.

Surfers' skills are tested by their ability to control their board in difficult conditions, riding challenging waves, and executing maneuvers such as strong turns and cutbacks (turning board back to the breaking wave) and carving (a series of strong back-to-back maneuvers). More advanced skills include the floater (riding on top of the breaking curl of the wave), and off the lip (banking off the breaking wave). A newer addition to surfing is the progression of the air whereby a surfer propels off the wave entirely up into the air, and then successfully lands the board back on the wave.

The tube ride is considered to be the ultimate maneuver in surfing. As a wave breaks, if the conditions are ideal, the wave will break in an orderly line from the middle to the shoulder, enabling the experienced surfer to position themselves inside the wave as it is breaking. This is known as a tube ride. Viewed from the shore, the tube rider may disappear from view as the wave breaks over the rider's head. The longer the surfer remains in the tube, the more successful the ride. This is referred to as getting tubed, barreled, shacked or pitted. Some of the world's best known waves for tube riding include Pipeline on the North shore of Oahu, Teahupoo in Tahiti and G-Land in Java. Other names for the tube include "the barrel", and "the pit".

Hanging ten and hanging five are moves usually specific to long boarding. Hanging Ten refers to having both feet on the front end of the board with all of the surfer's toes off the edge, also known as nose-riding. Hanging Five is having just one foot near the front, with five toes off the edge.

Cutback: Generating speed down the line and then turning back to reverse direction.

Floater: Suspending the board atop the wave. Very popular on small waves.

Top-Turn: Turn off the top of the wave. Sometimes used to generate speed and sometimes to shoot spray.

Air / Aerial: Launching the board off the wave entirely, then re-entering the wave. Various airs include ollies, lien airs, method airs, and other skateboard-like maneuvers.

Terms[edit]

The Glossary of surfing includes some of the extensive vocabulary used to describe various aspects of the sport of surfing as described in literature on the subject.[13][14] In some cases terms have spread to a wider cultural use. These terms were originally coined by people who were directly involved in the sport of surfing.

Learning[edit]

Many popular surfing destinations have surf schools and surf camps that offer lessons. Surf camps for beginners and intermediates are multi-day lessons that focus on surfing fundamentals. They are designed to take new surfers and help them become proficient riders. All-inclusive surf camps offer overnight accommodations, meals, lessons and surfboards. Most surf lessons begin with instruction and a safety briefing on land, followed by instructors helping students into waves on longboards or "softboards". The softboard is considered the ideal surfboard for learning, due to the fact it is safer, and has more paddling speed and stability than shorter boards. Funboards are also a popular shape for beginners as they combine the volume and stability of the longboard with the manageable size of a smaller surfboard.[15] New and inexperienced surfers typically learn to catch waves on softboards around the 7–8 foot funboard size. Due to the softness of the surfboard the chance of getting injured is substantially minimized.

Typical surfing instruction is best performed one-on-one, but can also be done in a group setting. The most popular surf locations offer perfect surfing conditions for beginners, as well as challenging breaks for advanced students. The ideal conditions for learning would be small waves that crumble and break softly, as opposed to the steep, fast-peeling waves desired by more experienced surfers. When available, a sandy seabed is generally safer.

Surfing can be broken into several skills: Paddling strength, Positioning to catch the wave, timing, and balance. Paddling out requires strength, but also the mastery of techniques to break through oncoming waves (duck diving, eskimo roll). Take-off positioning requires experience at predicting the wave set and where they will break. The surfer must pop up quickly as soon as the wave starts pushing the board forward. Preferred positioning on the wave is determined by experience at reading wave features including where the wave is breaking.[16] Balance plays a crucial role in standing on a surfboard. Thus, balance training exercises are a good preparation. Practicing with a Balance board or swing boarding helps novices master the art.

Equipment[edit]

Surfing can be done on various equipment, including surfboards, longboards, Stand Up Paddle boards (SUP's), bodyboards, wave skis, skimboards, kneeboards, surf mats and macca's trays. Surfboards were originally made of solid wood and were large and heavy (often up to 12 ft or 3.7 m long and 150 lb or 68 kg). Lighter balsa wood surfboards (first made in the late 1940s and early 1950s) were a significant improvement, not only in portability, but also in increasing maneuverability.

Most modern surfboards are made of fiberglass foam (PU), with one or more wooden strips or "stringers", fiberglass cloth, and polyester resin (PE). An emerging board material is epoxy resin and Expanded Polystyrene foam (EPS) which is stronger and lighter than traditional PU/PE construction. Even newer designs incorporate materials such as carbon fiber and variable-flex composites in conjunction with fiberglass and epoxy or polyester resins. Since epoxy/EPS surfboards are generally lighter, they will float better than a traditional PU/PE board of similar size, shape and thickness. This makes them easier to paddle and faster in the water. However, a common complaint of EPS boards is that they do not provide as much feedback as a traditional PU/PE board. For this reason, many advanced surfers prefer that their surfboards be made from traditional materials.

Other equipment includes a leash (to stop the board from drifting away after a wipeout, and to prevent it from hitting other surfers), surf wax, traction pads (to keep a surfer's feet from slipping off the deck of the board), and fins (also known as skegs) which can either be permanently attached (glassed-on) or interchangeable. Sportswear designed or particularly suitable for surfing may be sold as boardwear (the term is also used in snowboarding). In warmer climates, swimsuits, surf trunks or boardshorts are worn, and occasionally rash guards; in cold water surfers can opt to wear wetsuits, boots, hoods, and gloves to protect them against lower water temperatures. A newer introduction is a rash vest with a thin layer of titanium to provide maximum warmth without compromising mobility. In recent years, there have been advancements in technology that have allowed surfers to pursue even bigger waves with added elements of safety. Big wave surfers are now experimenting with inflatable vests or colored dye packs to help decrease their odds of drowning.[17]

There are many different surfboard sizes, shapes, and designs in use today. Modern longboards, generally 9 to 10 feet (2.7 to 3.0 m) in length, are reminiscent of the earliest surfboards, but now benefit from modern innovations in surfboard shaping and fin design. Competitive longboard surfers need to be competent at traditional walking manoeuvres, as well as the short-radius turns normally associated with shortboard surfing. The modern shortboard began life in the late 1960s and has evolved into today's common thruster style, defined by its three fins, usually around 6 to 7 feet (1.8 to 2.1 m) in length. The thruster was invented by Australian shaperSimon Anderson.

Midsize boards, often called funboards, provide more maneuverability than a longboard, with more flotation than a shortboard. While many surfers find that funboards live up to their name, providing the best of both surfing modes, others are critical.

"It is the happy medium of mediocrity," writes Steven Kotler. "Funboard riders either have nothing left to prove or lack the skills to prove anything."[18]

There are also various niche styles, such as the Egg, a longboard-style short board targeted for people who want to ride a shortboard but need more paddle power. The Fish, a board which is typically shorter, flatter, and wider than a normal shortboard, often with a split tail (known as a swallow tail). The Fish often has two or four fins and is specifically designed for surfing smaller waves. For big waves there is the Gun, a long, thick board with a pointed nose and tail (known as a pin tail) specifically designed for big waves.

The physics of surfing[edit]

The physics of surfing involves the physical oceanographic properties of wave creation in the surf zone, the characteristics of the surfboard, and the surfer's interaction with the water and the board.

Wave formation[edit]

Ocean waves are defined as a collection of dislocated water parcels that undergo a cycle of being forced past their normal position and being restored back to their normal position.[19] Wind caused ripples and eddies form waves that gradually gain speed and distance (fetch). Waves increase in energy and speed, and then become longer and stronger.[20] The fully developed sea has the strongest wave action that experiences storms lasting 10-hours and creates 15 meter wave heights in the open ocean.[19]

The waves created in the open ocean are classified as deep-water waves. Deep-water waves have no bottom interaction and the orbits of these water molecules are circular; their wavelength is short relative to water depth and the velocity decays before the reaching the bottom of the water basin.[19] Deep waves have depths greater than ½ their wavelengths. Wind forces waves to break in the deep sea.

Deep-water waves travel to shore and become shallow water waves. Shallow water waves have depths less than ½ of their wavelength. Shallow wave's wavelengths are long relative to water depth and have elliptical orbitals. The wave velocity effects the entire water basin. The water interacts with the bottom as it approaches shore and has a drag interaction. The drag interaction pulls on the bottom of the wave, causes refraction, increases the height, decreases the celerity (or the speed of the wave form), and the top (crest) falls over. This phenomenon happens because the velocity of the top of the wave is greater than the velocity of the bottom of the wave.[19]

The surf zone is place of convergence of multiple waves types creating complex wave patterns. A wave suitable for surfing results from maximum speeds of 5 meters per second. This speed is relative because local onshore winds can cause waves to break.[20] In the surf zone, shallow water waves are carried by global winds to the beach and interact with local winds to make surfing waves.[20][21]

Different onshore and off shore wind patterns in the surf zone create different types of waves. Onshore winds cause random wave breaking patterns and are more suitable for experienced surfers.[20][21] Light offshore winds create smoother waves, while strong direct offshore winds cause plunging or large barrel waves.[20] Barrel waves are large because the water depth is small when the wave breaks. Thus, the breaker intensity (or force) increases, and the wave speed and height increase.[20] Off shore winds produce non-surfable conditions by flattening a weak swell. Weak swell is made from surface gravity forces and has long wavelengths.[20][22]

Wave conditions for surfing[edit]

Surfing waves can be analyzed using the following parameters: breaking wave height, wave peel angle (α), wave breaking intensity, and wave section length. The breaking wave height has two measurements, the relative heights estimated by surfers and the exact measurements done by physical oceanographers. Measurements done by surfers were 1.36 to 2.58 times higher than the measurements done by scientists. The scientifically concluded wave heights that are physically possible to surf are 1 to 20 meters.[20]

The wave peel angle is one of the main constituents of a potential surfing wave. Wave peel angle measures the distance between the peel-line and the line tangent to the breaking crest line. This angle controls the speed of the wave crest. The speed of the wave is an addition of the propagation velocity vector (Vw) and peel velocity vector (Vp), which results in the overall velocity of the wave (Vs).[20]

Wave breaking intensity measures the force of the wave as it breaks, spills, or plunges (a plunging wave is termed by surfers as a “barrel wave”). Wave section length is the distance between two breaking crests in a wave set. Wave section length can be hard to measure because local winds, non-linear wave interactions, island sheltering, and swell interactions can cause multifarious wave configurations in the surf zone.[20]

The parameters breaking wave height, wave peel angle (α), and wave breaking intensity, and wave section length are important because they are standardized by past oceanographers who researched surfing; these parameters have been used to create a guide that matches the type of wave formed and the skill level of surfer.[20]

Skill LevelPeel angle (degrees)Wave height (meters)Section speed (meters/second)Section Length (meters)General Locations of Waves
Beginner60-702.51025Low Gradient Breaks; Atlantic Beach, Florida
Intermediate552.52040Bells Beach, Australia; New Zealand
Competent40-5032040-60Kirra Point; Burleigh Heads, Australia
Top Amateur3032060Bingin; Padang Padang, Bali
Top World Surfer>2732060Pipeline, Hawaii; Shark Island, Australia; Pipes, Encinitas

Table 1 shows a relationship of smaller peel angles correlating with a higher skill level of surfer. Smaller wave peel angles increase the velocities of waves. A surfer must know how to react and paddle quickly to match the speed of the wave to catch it. Therefore, more experience is required to catch a low peel angle waves. Also, more experienced surfers can handle longer section lengths, increased velocities, and higher wave heights.[20] Different locations offer different types of surfing conditions for each skill level.

Surf breaks[edit]

A surf break is an area with an obstruction or an object that causes a wave to break. Surf breaks entail multiple scale phenomena. Wave section creation has microscale factors of peel angle and wave breaking intensity. The microscale components influence wave height and variations on wave crests. The mesoscale components of surf breaks are the ramp, platform, wedge, or ledge that may be present at a surf break. Macroscale processes are the global winds that initially produce offshore waves. Types of surf breaks are headlands (point break), beach break, river/estuary entrance bar, reef breaks, and ledge breaks.[20]

Headland (point break)[edit]

A headland or point break interacts with the water by causing refraction around the point or headland. The point absorbs the high frequency waves and long period waves persist, which are easier to surf. Examples of locations that have headland or point break induced surf breaks are Dunedin (New Zealand), Raglan, Malibu (California), Rincon (California), and Kirra (Australia).[20]

Beach break[edit]

A beach break happens where waves break from offshore waves, and onshore sandbars and rips. Wave breaks happen successively at beach breaks. Example locations are Tairua and Aramoana Beach (New Zealand) and the Gold Coast (Australia).[20]

River or estuary entrance bar[edit]

A river or estuary entrance bar creates waves from the ebb tidal delta, sediment outflow, and tidal currents. An ideal estuary entrance bar exists in Whangamata Bar, New Zealand.[20]

Reef break[edit]

A reef break is conducive to surfing because large waves consistently break over the reef. The reef is usually made of coral, and because of this, many injuries occur while surfing reef breaks. However, the waves that are produced by reef breaks are some of the best in the world. Famous reef breaks are present in Padang Padang (Indonesia), Pipeline (Hawaii), Uluwatu (Bali), and Teahupo'o (Tahiti).[20][23]

Ledge break[edit]

A ledge break is formed by steep rocks ledges that makes intense waves because the waves travel through deeper water then abruptly reach shallower water at the ledge. Shark Island, Australia is a location with a ledge break. Ledge breaks create difficult surfing conditions, sometimes only allowing body surfing as the only feasible way to confront the waves.[20]

Jetties and their impacts on wave formation in the surf zone[edit]

Jetties are added to bodies of water to regulate erosion, preserve navigation channels, and make harbors. Jetties are classified into four different types and have two main controlling variables: the type of delta and the size of the jetty.[24]

Type 1 jetty[edit]

The first classification is a type 1 jetty. This type of jetty is significantly longer than the surf zone width and the waves break at the shore end of the jetty. The effect of a Type 1 jetty is sediment accumulation in a wedge formation on the jetty. These waves are large and increase in size as they pass over the sediment wedge formation. An example of a Type 1 jetty is Mission Beach, San Diego, California. This 1000-meter jetty was installed in 1950 at the mouth of Mission Bay. The surf waves happen north of the jetty, are longer waves, and are powerful. The bathymetry of the sea bottom in Mission Bay has a wedge shape formation that causes the waves to refract as they become closer to the jetty.[24] The waves converge constructively after they refract and increase the sizes of the waves.

Type 2 jetty[edit]

A type 2 jetty occurs in an ebb tidal delta, a delta transitioning between high and low tide. This area has shallow water, refraction, and a distinctive seabed shapes that creates large wave heights.[24]

An example of a type 2 jetty is called "The Poles" in Atlantic Beach, Florida. Atlantic Beach is known to have flat waves, with exceptions during major storms. However, "The Poles" has larger than normal waves due to a 500-meter jetty that was installed on the south side of the St. Johns. This jetty was built to make a deep channel in the river. It formed a delta at "The Poles". This is special area because the jetty increases wave size for surfing, when comparing pre-conditions and post-conditions of the southern St. Johns River mouth area.[24]

The wave size at "The Poles" depends on the direction of the incoming water. When easterly waters (from 55°) interact with the jetty, they create waves larger than southern waters (from 100°). When southern waves (from 100°) move toward "The Poles", one of the waves breaks north of the southern jetty and the other breaks south of the jetty. This does not allow for merging to make larger waves. Easterly waves, from 55°, converge north of the jetty and unite to make bigger waves.[24]

Type 3 jetty[edit]

A type 3 jetty is in an ebb tidal area with an unchanging seabed that has naturally created waves. Examples of a Type 3 jetty occurs in “Southside” Tamarack, Carlsbad, California.[24]

Type 4 jetty[edit]

A type 4 jetty is one that no longer functions nor traps sediment. The waves are created from reefs in the surf zone. A type 4 jetty can be found in Tamarack, Carlsbad, California.[24]

Rip currents[edit]

Rip currents are fast, narrow currents that are caused by onshore transport within the surf zone and the successive return of the water seaward.[25][26] The wedge bathymetry makes a convenient and consistent rip current of 5–10 meters that brings the surfers to the “take off point” then out to the beach.[24]

Oceanographers have two theories on rip current formation. The wave interaction model assumes that two edges of waves interact, create differing wave heights, and cause longshore transport of nearshore currents. The Boundary Interaction Model assumes that the topography of the sea bottom causes nearshore circulation and longshore transport; the result of both models is a rip current.[25]

Rip currents can be extremely strong and narrow as they extend out of the surf zone into deeper water, reaching speeds of 1–2 feet per second to 8 feet per second.[26][27] The water in the jet is sediment rich, bubble rich, and moves rapidly.[26] The rip head of the rip current has long shore movement. Rip currents are common on beaches with mild slopes that experience sizable and frequent oceanic swell.[27]

The vorticity and inertia of rip currents have been studied. From a model of the vorticity of a rip current done at Scripps Institute of Oceanography, it was found that a fast rip current extends away from shallow water, the vorticity of the current increases, and the width of the current decreases.[27][28] This model also acknowledges that friction plays a role and waves are irregular in nature.[28] From data from Sector-Scanning Doppler Sonar at Scripps Institute of Oceanography, it was found that rip currents in La Jolla, CA lasted several minutes, reoccurred one to four times per hour, and created a wedge with a 45° arch and a radius 200–400 meters.[26]

On the surfboard[edit]

A long surfboard (10 feet) causes more friction with the water; therefore, it will be slower than a smaller lighter board (6 feet). Longer boards are good for beginners who need help balancing. Smaller boards are good for more experienced surfers who want to have more control and maneuverability.[22]

When practicing the sport of surfing, the surfer paddles out past the wave break to wait for a wave. When a surfable wave arrives, the surfer must paddle extremely fast to match the velocity of the wave so the wave can accelerate him or her.[22]

When the surfer is at wave speed, the surfer must quickly pop up, stay low, and stay toward the front of the wave to become stable and prevent falling as the wave steepens. The acceleration is less toward the front than toward the back. The physics behind the surfing of the wave involves the horizontal acceleration force (Fsinθ) and the vertical force (Fcosθ=mg). Therefore, the surfer should lean forward to gain more speed, and lean on back foot to brake. Also, to increase the length of the ride of the wave, the surfer should travel parallel to the wave crest.[22]

Notable locations[edit]

Dangers[edit]

Drowning[edit]

Surfing, like all water sports, carries the inherent danger of drowning.[29] Anyone at any age can learn to surf, but should have at least intermediate swimming skills. Although the board assists a surfer in staying buoyant, it can become separated from the user.[30] A leash, attached to the ankle or knee, can keep a board from being swept away, but does not keep a rider on the board or above water. In some cases, possibly including the drowning of professional surfer Mark Foo, a leash can even be a cause of drowning by snagging on a reef or other object and holding the surfer underwater.[31] By keeping the surfboard close to the surfer during a wipeout, a leash also increases the chances that the board may strike the rider, which could knock him or her unconscious and lead to drowning. A fallen rider's board can become trapped in larger waves, and if the rider is attached by a leash, he or she can be dragged for long distances underwater.[31] Surfers should be careful to remain in smaller surf until they have acquired the advanced skills and experience necessary to handle bigger waves and more challenging conditions. However, even world-class surfers have drowned in extremely challenging conditions.[32]

Collisions[edit]

Under the wrong set of conditions, anything that a surfer's body can come in contact with is potentially a danger, including sand bars, rocks, small ice, reefs, surfboards, and other surfers.[33] Collisions with these objects can sometimes cause injuries such as cuts and scrapes and in rare instances, death.

A large number of injuries, up to 66%,[34] are caused by collision with a surfboard (nose or fins). Fins can cause deep lacerations and cuts, as well as bruising. While these injuries can be minor, they can open the skin to infection from the sea; groups like Surfers Against Sewage campaign for cleaner waters to reduce the risk of infections. Local bugs and disease can be a dangerous factor when surfing around the globe.[35]

Falling off a surfboard or colliding with others is commonly referred to as a wipeout.

Marine life[edit]

Sea life can sometimes cause injuries and even fatalities. Animals such as sharks,[36]stingrays, Weever fish, seals and jellyfish can sometimes present a danger.[37] Warmer-water surfers often do the "stingray shuffle" as they walk out through the shallows, shuffling their feet in the sand to scare away stingrays that may be resting on the bottom.[38]

Rip currents[edit]

Rip currents are water channels that flow away from the shore. Under the wrong circumstances these currents can endanger both experienced and inexperienced surfers. Since a rip current appears to be an area of flat water, tired or inexperienced swimmers or surfers may enter one and be carried out beyond the breaking waves. Although many rip currents are much smaller, the largest rip currents have a width of forty or fifty feet. However, by paddling parallel to the shore, a surfer can easily exit a rip current. Alternatively, some surfers actually ride on a rip current because it is a fast and effortless way to get out beyond the zone of breaking waves.[39]

Seabed

Synchronised surfing, Manly Beach, New South Wales, 1938–46
A surfer inside the barrel of a wave
The geometry of tube shape can be represented as a ratio between length and width. A perfectly cylindrical vortex has a ratio of 1:1, while the* Tube shape defined by length to width ratio ** Square: <1:1 ** Round: 1-2:1 ** Almond: >2:1 * Tube speed defined by angle of peel line ** Fast: 30° ** Medium: 45° ** Slow: 60°
Surfing a stationary, artificial wave in Southern California
A surfer going for the tube
A Rip Current warning sign

Surf culture is the culture that includes the people, language, fashion, and lifestyle surrounding the sport of surfing. The history of surfing began with the ancient Polynesians. That initial culture directly influenced modern surfing, which began to flourish and evolve in the early 20th century, with its popularity spiking during the 1950s and 1960s (principally in Hawaii, Australia, and California). It has affected music, clothing fashion, literature, film, art, and youth jargon in popular culture' the number of surfers throughout the world continues to increase.

Surfers' desire for the best possible waves to ride make them dependent on conditions that may change rapidly, given the unpredictable nature of weather events and their effect on the surface of the ocean. Because surfing was limited by the geographical necessity of an ocean coastline with beaches, the culture of beach life often influenced surfers and vice versa. The staff of Surfer Magazine, founded in the 1960s when surfing had gained popularity with teenagers, used to say that if they were hard at work and someone yelled "Surf's up!" the office would suddenly empty. Localism or territorialism is a part of the development of surf culture in which individuals or groups of surfers claim certain key surfing spots as their own.[1]

Aspects of 1960s surf culture in Southern California, where it was first popularized, include the woodie,[2]bikinis[3] and other beach wear, such as boardshorts or baggies,[4] and surf music.[5] Surfers developed the skateboard to be able to "surf" on land;[6] and a number of other boardsports.[7]

Big Wave culture[edit]

A non-competitive adventure activity involving riding the biggest waves possible (known as "rhino hunting") is also popular with some surfers. A practice popularized in the 1990s has seen big wave surfing revolutionized, as surfers use personal watercraft to tow them out to a position where they can catch previously unrideable waves (see tow-in surfing). These waves were previously unrideable due to the speed at which they travel. Some waves reach speeds of over 60 km/h; personal watercraft enable surfers to catch up to the speed of the wave, thereby making them rideable. Personal watercraft also allow surfers to survive wipeouts. In many instances surfers would not survive the battering of the "sets" (groups of waves together). This spectacular activity is extremely popular with television crews, but because such waves rarely occur in heavily populated regions, and usually only a very long way out to sea on outer reefs, few spectators see such events directly.

Though surfers come from all walks of life, the basis of the beach bum stereotype comes from that great enthusiasm that surfers can have for their sport. Dedication and perfectionism are also qualities that surfers bring to what many have traditionally regarded as a commitment to a lifestyle as well as a sport.[8]

For specific surf spots, the state of the ocean tide can play a significant role in the quality of waves or hazards of surfing there. Tidal variations vary greatly among the various global surfing regions, and the effect the tide has on specific spots can vary greatly among the spots within each area. Locations such as Bali, Panama, and Ireland experience 2-3 meter tide fluctuations, whereas in Hawaii the difference between high and low tide is typically less than one meter.

Each surf break is different, since the underwater topography of one place is unlike any other. At beach breaks, the sandbanks can change shape from week to week, so it takes commitment to get good waves.

The saying "You should have been here yesterday," became a commonly used phrase for bad conditions.[9] Nowadays, however, surf forecasting is aided by advances in information technology, whereby mathematical modeling graphically depicts the size and direction of swells moving around the globe.

The quest for perfect surf has given rise to a field of tourism based on the surfing adventure. Yacht charters and surf camps offer surfers access to the high quality surf found in remote, tropical locations, where tradewinds ensure offshore conditions.

Along with the rarity of what surfers consider truly perfect surf conditions (due to changing weather and surf condition) and the inevitable hunt for great waves, surfers often become dedicated to their sport in a way that precludes a more traditional life. Surfing, instead, becomes their lifestyle.

The goals of those who practice the sport vary, but throughout its history, many have seen surfing as more than a sport, as an opportunity to harness the waves and to relax and forget about their daily routines. Surfers have veered from even this beaten path, and foregone the traditional goals of first world culture in the hunt for a continual 'stoke', harmony with life, their surfing, and the ocean. These "Soul Surfers" are a vibrant and long-standing sub-group.[8][10][11] Competitive surf culture, centered around surf contests and endorsement deals, and localism's disturbance of the peace, are often seen in opposition to this.[8]

Localism[edit]

Even though waves break everywhere along a coast, good surf spots are rare. A surf break that forms great surfable waves may easily become a coveted commodity, especially if the wave only breaks there rarely. If this break is near a large population center with many surfers, territorialism often arises. Regular surfers who live around a desirable surf break may often guard it jealously, hence the expression "locals only." The expression "locals only" is common among beach towns, especially those that are seasonally encroached upon by vacationers who live outside the area. Localism is expressed when surfers are involved in verbal or physical threats or abuse to deter people from surfing at certain surf spots. It is based in part on the belief that fewer people mean more waves per surfer.

Some locals have been known to form loose gangs that surf in a certain break or beach and fiercely protect their "territory" from outsiders.[1] These surfers are often referred to as "surf punks" or "surf nazis." The local surfer gangs in Malibu and on Hawaii, known as da hui, have been known to threaten tourists with physical violence for invading their territory. In Southern California, at the Venice and Santa Monica beaches, local surfers are especially hostile to the surfers from the San Fernando Valley whom they dub "vallies" or "valley kooks". The expression "Surf Nazi" arose in the 1960s to describe territorial, aggressive, and obsessive surfers, often involved in surf gangs or surf clubs. The term "Surf Nazi" was originally used simply to denote the strict territorialism, violence and hostility to outsiders and the absolute obsession with surfing that was characteristic in the so-called "surf nazis." However, some surfers reclaimed and accepted the term, and a few actually embraced Nazism or Nazi symbolism. Some surf clubs in the 1960s, particularly at Windansea in La Jolla, embraced the term by using the swastika symbol on their boards and identified with Nazism as a counterculture (though this may have just been an effort to keep out or scare non-locals and may have been a tongue-in-cheek embrace of the "surf nazi" label as a form of rebellion). The "locals only" attitude and protectionism of the Santa Monica surf spots in the early 1970s was depicted in the movie Lords of Dogtown, which was based on the documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys.

Localism often exists due to socioeconomic factors as well. Until relatively recently, surfers were looked down upon as lazy people on the fringe of society (hence the term "beach bum.") Many who surfed were locals of beach towns who lived there year-round, and were from a lower economic class. For that reason as much as any other, these groups were resentful of outsiders, particularly those who were well-to-do and came to their beaches to surf recreationally rather than as a way of life. Australia has its own history where surfers were openly treated with hostility from local governments in the sport's early days, and the tension never really went away, despite the sport's enormous increase in popularity. Maroubra Beach in Australia became infamous for localism and other violence chronicled in the documentary film Bra Boys about the eponymous group, although the surfers in the film maintain they are not a "gang."

Surf Gangs[edit]

Surf gangs often form to preserve cultural identity through the protection of beach towns and shorelines. If known territory is trespassed by members of another surf gang, violence usually occurs. Long Beach is home to one of the oldest and biggest surf gangs, called "Longos." Some surf gangs have been known to not only claim land territory, but also claim specific surfing waves as territory. Surf gangs have gained notoriety over the years, especially with the production of Bra Boys.

The Lunada Bay Boys (in Palos Verdes Estates, California) became the subject of a class action lawsuit in 2016.[12]

Wolfpak[edit]

The Wolfpak was originally composed of a few select surfers from Kauai, Hawaii who believed in respecting localism.[13] Kauai, according to a Wolfpak member, is a place where one is raised to honor the value of respect.[14] This value is what led to the group’s effort to manage the chaos associated with North Shore surfing. Some notable members have been pro surfers Andy Irons and Bruce Irons, as well as the reality show 808 star and Blue Crush actor, Kala Alexander.[15]

Wolfpak began in 2001 when leader Kala Alexander moved to North Shore in search for job opportunities, and found disorganization and lack of respect in the surf lineup at surf reef break, Pipeline. Alexander found it necessary to dictate organization in who would surf the Pipeline to both preserve the value, and also protect surfers from the reef’s potentially life-threatening waves.[15]

The waves at Pipeline can reach over 20 feet and its powerful disposition has taken the lives of professional surfers. If a visiting surfer collided with another surfer, this could result in serious harm or death. These observations led to the Wolfpak’s proactive enforcement on the North Shore.[16]

The Wolfpak’s territorial enforcement has drawn attention because of its violent means. In an incident where a tourist cut off a friend of Alexander’s in a dangerous six-foot swell, the Wolfpak leader assaulted the tourist.[16] Comments from anonymous locals show that the presence of Wolfpak is well perceived, if not intimidating. Some locals[who?] who hold similar values of cultural respect support what the members are trying to do.[15]

Alexander does not view Wolfpak as a gang, but says they look out for every local Hawaiian. They attempt to preserve their way of life and realize the implications that a lack of respect can have on Hawaiian culture.[16]

Bra Boys[edit]

The Bra Boys are a popular surf gang founded in Maroubra, a beachside suburb in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, Australia. They established international fame and attention in 2007 with the release of Bra Boys: Blood is Thicker than Water, a documentary about the bonds and struggles of the many gang members. The Bra Boys name originates both from the slang word for brother, and as a reference to the gang's home suburb, Maroubra.[17] Gang members tattoo "My Brothers Keeper" across the front of their chests and the Maroubra area code across their back.

Many of the Bra Boys came from impoverished homes and families torn apart by drug use. Brothers Sunny, Jai, Koby and Dakota Abberton, came from an especially difficult upbringing. To them the Bra Boys were much more than a gang, they were a group of friends, a family of their own that loved to surf and always stood up for each other.[18] The documentary, written and directed by the gang members themselves, showed the raw gritty side of a surf life previously glamorized by Hollywood.[19]

Surf terminology[edit]

Main article: Glossary of surfing

Surfing (particularly in Southern California) has its own sociolect, which has comingled with Valleyspeak. Words such as "dude", "tubular", "radical", and "gnarly" are associated with both and Northern California created its own unique surf terms as well that include "groovy", "hella", and "tight". One of the primary terms used by surfers around the world is the word "stoked". This refers to a mixed feeling of anxiety and happiness towards the waves breaking. Surfers have often been associated with being slackers or 'beach bums' (with women being known as 'beach bunnies').

Beach bunny[edit]

A beach bunny is general North American popular culture term for a young woman who spends her free time at the beach. In surf culture it may also refer to a female surfer. Beach bunnies are known for the amount of time they spend sun tanning and are usually represented wearing bikinis, see Muscle Beach Party and Gidget.[20]

Shaka sign[edit]

The shaka sign, associated with Hawaii, origins unknown,[22][23] is a common greeting in surfer culture.[21]

Issues affecting surfers[edit]

Environmental damage, and increasing riparian development may continue to increase pressure on the sport. Oil spills and toxic algae growth can threaten surfing regions.

Some of these stresses may be overcome by building of artificial reefs for surfing. Several have been built in recent years (one is at Cables in Western Australia), and there is widespread enthusiasm in the global surfing community for additional projects. However, environmental opposition and rigorous coastal permitting regulations is dampening prospects for building such reefs in some countries, such as the United States.

Surf Environmentalism[edit]

Surfing, as a sport, is heavily dependent on a healthy environment. As a result, interest groups have blossomed to influence the utilization of coastal properties relevant to surfing. There is conflict between surfers and other user groups over the allocation of coastal resources.[24] Common to most disputes are two issues, disposal of sewage and toxic waste into near shore waters and the formation of harbors, breakwaters and jetties. Sewage and toxic waste almost always affects mammals in a negative way. Coastal construction and engineering projects can have either good or bad effects on surf breaks. While some sources suspect the effectiveness of surfing environmentalist groups,[25] notable victories have been achieved by surfers championing their issues. Some examples of these victories include:

  • In 1991 the Surfrider Foundation and the EPA won, at the time, the second largest Clean Water Act lawsuit in history. A $5.4 million lawsuit against two paper mills, Louisiana-Pacific Corporation and the Simpson Paper Company resulted in the creation of the Humboldt Area Recreation Enhancement and Water Quality Fund and $50 million was spent by the mills to reduce ocean discharges at their facilities near Eureka, CA.[26]
  • In 2008 the U.S. Department of Commerce upheld a California Coastal Commission decision to deny the $1.3 Billion extension of California State Highway 241 that would have impacted the popular and world-renowned surf site Trestles near San Clemente, California. This decision was a victory for surf environmentalists who led a grassroots campaign to "Save Trestles, Stop the Toll Road." At the time federal officials received 35,000 written statements on the issue, most in support of upholding the decision of the CCC.[27]
  • A global example can be found in the case of the newly formed World Surfing Reserve at Ericeira Portugal that was dedicated in October 2011 and endorsed by Portuguese President Aníbal Cavaco Silva. President Silva "acknowledged the significance of preserving the surfing coastline ... for the vitality of Portugal's economy, the health of the coastal and marine environment, and maintaining a high quality of life for the residents."[28] The preservation of this pristine surf spot was accomplished by the Save the Waves Coalition and its World Surfing Reserves program whose goal is to, "proactively identifies, designates and preserves outstanding waves, surf zones and their surrounding environments, around the world...."[29]

Surf tourism[edit]

The surf industry is a billion dollar industry whose popularity as a recreational sport has gained momentum in many coastal areas around the world over the past decades.[30] With the publicizing of new surf destinations through television, movies, magazines, and the Internet, and other media, as well as greater access to traveling accommodations, surf tourism has created large impacts on local communities and environments in developing countries as well as in established areas around the world.[31] Tourism is not always the main reason for fast expansion in developing countries, but under those circumstances groups of activists and non-profits such as Surfrider Foundation, SurfAid, IJourneyGreen, Surf Resource Network, World Tourism Organization, NEF, and UNESCO have begun working with locals and their governments to minimize the negative impacts of tourism upon host communities’ environments and maximize and equitably distribute the positive impacts of tourism.[31] Some of the negative impacts of tourism relevant to surf dominant communities are:

  • Failure to create adequate levels of employment and income
  • Loss of local skills and failure to provide skilled jobs for local population
  • Labor exploitation
  • Inequitable distribution of the costs and benefits of tourism
  • Fast, unstable development of infrastructure which can cause beach erosion and safety and health problems
  • Improper waste disposal and pollution
  • Lack of political will to pursue sustainable tourism
  • Lack of resources both human and economic
  • Central and local government corruption
  • Short-term focus undermining long-term goals for development [32]

Some of the positive impacts of tourism relevant to surf dominant communities include:

  • The extent of linkages to the domestic economy
  • The creation of employment
  • Fostering of genuine appropriate technology transfer
  • Generation of jobs for skilled labor as well as local managers, technicians, and personnel
  • Equitable social, sectorial and regional distribution of costs and benefits
  • Coordination of government policies and programs for locals and foreign visitors
  • Infrastructure and incentives [32]

Spirituality[edit]

Many surfers combine their love of the sport with their own religious or spiritual beliefs. In Huntington Beach, California for example, a local Christiannon-denominationalchurch occasionally meets on the beach for Sunday early-morning services. After the closing prayer, the minister and congregation paddle out for a morning session. Many surfing communities organize and take part in memorial services for fallen surfers, sometimes on the anniversary of passing such as the Eddie Aikau memorial service held annually at Waimea Bay, Hawaii.

Participants in the memorial service paddle out to a suitable location with flower leis around their necks or with loose flowers (sometimes held between their teeth). The participants then get into a circular formation, hold hands, and silently pray. Sometimes they will raise their clasped hands skyward before tossing their flowers or leis into the center of the ring. Afterward, they paddle back toward the beach to begin their surf session. Often these services take place at sunrise or sunset. In locations with a pier, such as Huntington Beach, Orange County, California, the service can take place near the end of the pier so that any non-surfers, such as elderly relatives, can watch and participate. Often the participants on the pier will throw down bouquets of flowers into the center of the ring.

Surfing art[edit]

Surf music[edit]

Main article: Surf music

Surf culture is reflected in surf music, with subgenres such as surf rock and surf pop. This includes works from such artists as Jan and Dean, The Beach Boys, The Surfaris ("Wipe Out!"), Dick Dale, The Shadows, and The Ventures. The music inspired dance crazes such as The Stomp, The Frug, and The Watusi. While the category surf music helped popularize surfing, most surfers at the time, such as Miki Dora, preferred R&B and blues.[citation needed] A newer wave of surf music has started in the acoustic riffs of artists such as Jack Johnson and Donavon Frankenreiter, who are both former professional surfers.

Surf rock[edit]

  • "Surfin' Safari", The Beach Boys, 1962
  • "California Sun", The Rivieras, 1963
  • "Surfin' Bird", The Trashmen, 1963
  • Surf's Up! At Banzai Pipeline, 1963
  • Surfin' U.S.A., The Beach Boys, 1963
  • The Astronauts
  • Best Coast
  • The Delltones
  • Donavon Frankenreiter
  • GO!GO!7188
  • The New Electric Sound
  • Reef
  • Ronny & the Daytonas

Surf pop / California Sound / Vocal surf music[edit]

  • "Surfin'", The Beach Boys, 1961
  • "He's My Blonde Headed, Stompie Wompie, Real Gone Surfer Boy", Little Pattie, 1963
  • "Surf City", Jan and Dean, 1963
  • "Surfer Girl" (single), The Beach Boys, 1963
  • "Surfer Joe", The Surfaris, 1963
  • "Fun, Fun, Fun", The Beach Boys, 1964
  • "Surf Song", Fenix*TX, 1999
  • Surfpop (album), Drifting Sand, 1999
  • Bruce & Terry
  • California Music
  • The Charades
  • The Fantastic Baggys
  • The Honeys
  • Jack Johnson
  • La Luz
  • The Rip Chords

Instrumental Surf Rock[edit]

  • "Moon Dawg!", The Gamblers, 1959
  • Dick Dale, 1960s to present, including "Let's Go Trippin'" (1961) and "Miserlou" (1962)
  • "Apache", The Shadows, 1960
  • "Church Key", The Revels, 1960
  • "Walk Don't Run", The Ventures, 1960
  • "Bustin' Surfboards", The Tornadoes, 1962
  • "Pipeline", The Chantays, 1962
  • "Wipe Out", The Surfaris, 1962
  • "Baja", The Astronauts, 1963
  • "Bombora" (single), The Atlantics, 1963
  • "Out of Limits", The Marketts, 1963
  • "Toes On The Nose", Eddie & the Showmen, 1963
  • "Bullwinkle Part II", The Centurions, 1964
  • "Wedding Cake Island", Midnight Oil, 1975
  • Surf-n-Burn, The Blue Stingrays, 1997
  • "Needles on the Beach", Tin Machine
  • Monster Surf, Gary Hoey, 2005
  • Aqua Velvets
  • The Bambi Molesters
  • The Bel-Airs
  • The Blue Hawaiians
  • The Bomboras
  • The Break, supergroup featuring Rob Hirst, Martin Rotsey, Jim Moginie (ex Midnight Oil) and Brian Ritchie (ex Violent Femmes)
  • The Challengers
  • The Champs
  • The Fender IV
  • Ghastly Ones
  • Huevos Rancheros
  • Jon and the Nightriders
  • The Lively Ones
  • Los Straitjackets
  • Man or Astro-man?
  • The Mermen
  • Phono-Comb
  • The Pyramids
  • Raybeats
  • The Rebels
  • The Reigning Monarchs
  • The Routers
  • The Sandals
  • The Sentinals
  • Surf Trio
  • The Torquays
  • The Waikikis
  • Whirled Peas
  • Y Niwl

Surf punk[edit]

Surf visual art[edit]

Many people have incorporated the free spirited and hippie nature of many surfing lifestyles into their paintings and murals such as the Surfing Madonna mosaic in Encinitas.

Fashion[edit]

Surfwear is a popular style of casual clothing, inspired by surf culture. Many surf-related brand names originated as cottage industry, supplying local surfers with boardshorts, wetsuits, surfboards or leashes, as well as other hardware.

An early Australian surf fashion company was Kuta Lines, founded by Tony Brown after visiting Bali in 1973. Brown adapted Indonesian textiles and designs for his surfwear. From the 1980s, Kuta Lines used traditional ikat weaving and dyeing techniques, adapted to a heavier, fleecy fabric for cool climate surfing.[33]

Some other clothing brands include O'Neill, Rip Curl, Quiksilver, Town & Country, Ocean Pacific, Billabong, Oakley, DaKine, Reef, Roxy, Volcom, Element, Hurley, Von Zipper, Golden Breed and RVCA.

Events[edit]

International Surfing Day celebrates the sport and lifestyle on June 20.

Surfing contests[edit]

Competitive surfing is a comparison sport. Riders, competing in pairs or small groups, are allocated a certain amount of time to ride waves and display their prowess and mastery of the craft. Competitors are then judged according to how competently the wave is ridden, including the level of difficulty, as well as frequency of maneuvers. There is a professional surfing world surfing championship series held annually at surf breaks around the world.

Although competitive surfing has become an extremely popular and lucrative activity, both for its participants and its sponsors, the sport does not have its origins as a competitive pursuit. It is common to hear debate rage between purists of the sport, who still maintain the ideal of "soul surfing", and surfers who engage in the competitive and, consequently, commercial side of the activity.[34] An organisation called the Spirit of Surfing has chosen not to accept surf label sponsorship, since an association of that sort could detract from the sentiment they wish to promote.

Surfing organizations[edit]

Spin-offs & influences[edit]

Boardsports[edit]

Surfers developed the skateboard to be able to "surf" on land. Later came windsurfing (also known as sailboarding), bodyboarding, wakeboarding, wakesurfing, skimboarding, snowboarding, riverboarding, kiteboarding, sandboarding, mountainboarding, carveboarding all now competitive sports. Another fast growing boardsport is skurfing a mix of surfing and more conventional water sports in which the participant is towed behind the boat. Pineboarding and sandboarding are recreational boardsports.

Surfing in multimedia[edit]

Films about surfing[edit]

Main article: Surf film

The surf culture is reflected in film. Bruce Brown's classic movie The Endless Summer glorified surfing in a round-the-world search for the perfect wave. John Milius's homage to the Malibu of his youth in Big Wednesday remains a poignant metaphor for the similarities between the changing surf and life. The 1980s cult classics North Shore and Fast Times at Ridgemont High serve as mainstream introductions to teenage, light-hearted, superficial surf life (from the "heyday"). Beach movies such as the Gidget series, and Beach Party films such as Beach Blanket Bingo are less reverential depictions of the culture. Liquid Time (2002) is an avant-garde surf film that focuses solely on the fluid forms of tubing waves. Blue Crush (2002) is a film about surfer girls on Hawaii's North Shore. The sequel, Blue Crush 2 (2011) is a film about a California rich girl who travels to South Africa to find out more about her mother and herself. The 1991 film Point Break involves a group of bank robbers who are also surfers. The 1987 comedy film Surf Nazis Must Die features surfer gangs in the wake of an earthquake that destroys the California coastline. Soul Surfer is a biopic about real-life surfer Bethany Hamilton in Hawaii.

Some film events include the Sydney Fringe Festival, Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia.[35] the Surf Film Festival,[36][37]Saint Jean de Luz Surf Film Festival,[38]Wavescape Surf Film Festival in South Africa,[39] and the New York Surfing Film Festival.

Television shows[edit]

TV documentary series[edit]

TV episodes featuring surfing[edit]

Fictional surfers in TV[edit]

Duke: "Man, five days on that board and I'm nothing but skin and bones." • Ginger: "What skin." • Mary Ann: "And what bones."

Television advertising[edit]

Major advertisers appeal to the surfing market (and to would-be surfers)[40] with commercials featuring, in some cases famed surfing athletes, such as the Coca-Cola commercial featuring Kalani Robb and Maila Jones,[41] and a Kashi food commercial featuring Kashi nutritionist and surfer Jeff Johnson, 2006

Print media[edit]

Surfing magazines[edit]

Video games about surfing[edit]

Surfing in non-fiction[edit]

Conceptual metaphor[edit]

The word "surf" is polysemous; having multiple, related meanings. "Surfing" the World Wide Web is the act of following hyperlinks. The phrase "surfing the Internet" was first popularized in print by Jean Armour Polly, a librarian, in an article called "Surfing the INTERNET", published in the Wilson Library Bulletin in June 1992.

Popular[edit]

A surfer memorial service, Huntington Beach Pier, Orange County, California.
Wedding Cake Island, in Coogee Bay, Sydney, Australia
A surfer waits as a wave crashes

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