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Surfing is among the fastest-growing sports today. According to data from the International Surfing Association (ISA), there are over 50 million surfers globally. The reason for the exponential growth can be attributed to the 2016 announcement that surfing would feature in the 2020 and 2024 Summer Olympics.
Surfing is a sport that involves riding breaking waves on a surfboard towards the shore. From archaeological evidence in the ancient Peru region, surfing can be traced back to three to four thousand years ago.
Surfing involves four main skills; paddling strength, positioning, timing, and balance.
While the primary surfing equipment is the surfboard, some surfing involves longboards, bodyboards, kneeboards, skimboards, or stand up paddleboards (SUPs). Besides the board, surfers need to tag along with a leash, fins, wax, wetsuit and surf sunglasses. If you want a hobby that doesn't involve so much equipment, you should try trading instead.
In the past, surfing took place on naturally-occurring waves, but today, there are artificial waves. For beginners, it's important to start with low-intensity waves for safety reasons.
When it comes to surfing hotspots, some of the top locations include, Pipeline, Oahu (Hawaii), Supertubes, Jeffrey's Bay (South Africa), and Teahupo'o, Tahiti (French Polynesia).
Most of these top surfing spots have surf schools and surf boot camps where beginners can learn the art.
While modern surfing started as a pastime, today, it is contested at professional levels. The sport is governed by the World Surf League (WSL), and International Surfing Association (ISA). Surfing will make its debut in the Olympics in the 2021 Summer Olympics.