The rules of surfing
Surfing is for those who love excitement and a good adrenaline rush. It’s a sport that requires a lot of instinct and some basic knowledge. If you want to learn more about it, below you have a comprehensive list to help you out.
- The Wave
The most important part of surfing is the wave. Wind generates the swell, and its power will determine how big the wave is. That’s why surfing usually takes place on coastlines that are traversed by intense winds.
The topography of the bottom of the ocean influences the grandeur of the wave. Reefs give it momentum, making it bigger and better to ride on. There were even attempts to create artificial reefs, which ultimately failed.
Artificial wave pools exist, but those fail in being as exciting as the real ones and rarely have the same wave quality. Usually, competitions don’t take place in such controlled environments.
- The equipment
Surfing mostly is done on various equipment that includes surfboards, longboards, bodyboards, soft mats, etc. Surfboards are made of fiberglass foam with wooden strips and polyester for increased maneuverability.
Another piece of equipment is the leash that helps stop the board from drifting away, the traction pads to keep feet from slipping off the deck and fins, which can be worn or not.
The wear designed for surfing could be sold as boardwear. If the weather is hot, trunks or shorts are suited. In cold water, surfers can opt for boots, hoods or wetsuits to protect them against the cold.
- The moves
Standup surfing is the most popular style. Once the wave begins to push the surfer forward, he stands up and rides it. But sometimes it’s hard for beginners even to catch the wave.
One maneuver that all experts try to conquer is the tube ride. When the wave breaks, it will do so in an orderly fashion from the middle to the extremities. That will allow the surfer to get inside the weave as it breaks.
For the longboard, we have the hanging ten and five moves which are both related to the positions of the feet. There’s also the cutback, the floater, the top-turn and the aerial that can be entertaining.
All surfing destinations have their surf schools. They usually begin with multi-day lessons to build the foundations. The experience typically begins with safety instructions, since this can be a dangerous sport.
A trainee has to know the difference between boards. A softboard is ideal when it comes to learning because it is safer and more stable. Funboards can make an excellent choice for beginners too.
Training takes place on smaller waves, and as the study progresses, you can take on bigger ones. To avoid injury, a sandy seabed is preferred. The skills can too be put in categories such as: positioning to catch the wave, paddling strength and balance.
- Line up rules
The code is a must-know before any surfing competition. It’s critical to keep you safe and to show respect. One of the first line up rules of surfing is to wait your turn and not to ride a wave that someone else already does.
Another rule is to paddle wide when you’re going away, so you don’t get caught in the wave, especially if you are not experienced. And you should also communicate the direction you are going when taking off a wave.
Surfing to your ability is imperative. If the waves are too powerful for you, wait for one that suits you better. And also, never let go of your board since it is an expansion of yourself in the water.
- Judging and points
Every surfing competition is comprised of rounds in which two to four surfers compete to score the highest wave. Five judges make up a panel to grade the waves from one to ten.
There is no imposed limit on how many waves can be scored, but they add up the two best scoring waves to generate a user’s total. That can be of maximum 20 points.
Judges usually look at how different the maneuvers are and how well the contestants combine them, at the speed and the power of a surfer and how committed and how intricate the moves are.
Some rules and regulations of surfing exist so you have an uneventful competition. One is the priority, which states that the surfer with priority has the unconditional right to catch any wave he wants. Other participants have to wait for him to start.
Another regulation says that a surfer who prevents one with priority from scoring a maximum number of points will have an interference penalty. And if it causes two, they will be disqualified.
Also, if no one manages to catch a wave within ten minutes since the start of the heat, then the head of the jury can restart the whole thing.