Surfing is the only type of sport where the person relies on the wave to pick them up and for them to do tricks. Unlike body boarding and kite surfing you have to stand up fast before the wave breaks on you so you can get down the line and do your tricks on the wave.
Surfing first had started way back in Hawaii when Captain James cook was on the island. The boards they used back then were made from heavy thick wood so it made them hard to even paddle out. They were later made from other materials but not till way later when the modern short board came into play. After the short board came into the picture it changed surfing forever. Surfers could then use smaller boards but they would still float the same way as the others. Except now they could catch waves fast and do tricks that they had never done before. The boards allowed them to get down the line faster then ever so they could do new aerial tricks. The airs first started in California and places like that then other surfers started to do the same tricks so they changed surfing like never before. If you were to look at surf videos today and look at surfing videos from back in the day like the 60s and 70s you will see the difference.
Swells and waves are created from wind blowing over a long distance. That's what makes the swells travel until they hit the beaches in which we surf today. Like when you were to have a hurricane the wind would be blowing hard and fast out at sea but 50 to 100 miles inshore the waves would be pounding the shores. Hurricane surf is good because you are like guaranteed good clean offshore surf sometime or another when the hurricane gets close. Other types of swells are ground swells which just pop up over night from a low pressure or something like that. Other than that waves are made from wind.
You will see the difference between a surfer who can ride the wave and one who just can't catch the wave before it breaks. The one who can catch the wave before it breaks on them and gets in front of the barrel of the wave will be the one to show you how to surf. Like me I would drop into the face at an angle so I would gain better speed so then when I stood up I would already have a good amount of speed then I would do a few little pumps down the line then do a huge lip slide or off the lip. You are not limited to what you can do on a wave when its chest to head high surf and walling up down the beach. All you do is catch it then speed down the line and perform some sick trick that gets everyone hooting and then paddle back out.
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