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Surfing - sports cultural aspects and a list of best online bookmakers

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History of Surfing

It is estimated that surfing was invented on the Hawaiian Islands at around 400 a.D.For the Hawaiians, surfing was more than just a sport or pastime, it was an integral part of their culture. The strict kapu system (a system of taboos) regulated surfing as well as any other aspect of the islanders lives. The time and place to surf was regulated for each social caste and different types of surfboards assigned according to rank. Surfing also had a great influence on the religion and mythology of the ancient Hawaiians. It constituted, for example, a significant ritual in the annual celebrations of the Makatiki festival in honour of the god Lono.

The first western source describing Hawaiian surfing is a log book entry by Lieutenant James King, first Lieutenant on board the Discovery of Captain James Cook. King was able to report the islanders surfing tradition at its peak. With more and more westerners arriving in Hawaii, surfing lost its unique position in society and religion and, like most of the island’s cultural heritage, slowly faded into near-oblivion (chill out with virtual betting and place virtually free bets, register over BonusBonusBonus at bwin or bet365 and claim your deposit bonus). It wasn’t until the early 20th century that surfing finally found its way into western culture. The successful writer Jack London helped promote the sport when he published his recollections of a holiday encounter with some of Hawaii’s most accomplished surfers in A Royal Sport. Surfing at Waikiki. The arguably most influential promoter of surfing was Duke Kahanamoku, a swimmer and several times gold medallist for the US Olympic team. He used his fame as an athlete to introduce his other passion, surfing – at which he also excelled – to the places his travels around the world took him to. When the 1959 Film Gidget was released, starring teenage idol Sandra Dee as a shy girl who impresses her secret love by learning to surf, the sport had already transformed from an underground to a mass phenomenon. Musicians such as Dick Dale and the Beach Boys wrote the soundtrack for surfing’s golden age in the sixties.

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The Origins of the Surfboard

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Traditional Hawaiian surfboards came in several different lengths. The olo or longboard, for example was reserved for the high social castes, while the shorter alaia was used by the general public. All of these boards however were constructed from the native timbers of the islands. A traditional Surfboard could weigh up to 90kg (200lbs).

Westerners initially used the traditional heavy longboards but soon started experimenting to make them lighter by reducing the length or perforating the wood to make a hollow board. The perforated model by Tom Blake, although ridiculed at first, became the first to be mass produced. Fins that could be attached to the bottom of the board were introduced to increase stability and manoeuvrability. The 1930s saw a lot of experimenting with new, lighter materials such as balsa wood or plywood, sometimes combined with the traditionally used redwood. The discovery of synthetic materials also affected surfboard construction. From the mid 1940s on, different synthetic materials, Styrofoam and fibreglass became indispensable components of boards.

In the 50s, constructors mainly aimed to meet demands for the increasingly popular big wave riding, resulting in the long, narrow gun boards. In the sixties the main objective was to make the boards faster and lighter, popularizing shortboards.

Modern surfboards

Most surfboards today are constructed from styrofoam or similar materials and coated with fibreglass. The most common models are

  • The Shortboard – a powerful, fast board, easy to manoeuvre; paddling slightly difficult
  • The Fish – slightly shorter and wider than the shortboard, split tail; good manoeuvrability; increases wave catching ability
  • The Gun – a long, narrow board with pointy nose and tail; easy to paddle and control, ideal for big wave surfing
  • The Longboard – minimum length 2,7m (9’), rounded nose; easy to paddle and balance, popular with beginners
  • The Malibu Board – a slightly shorter version of the longboard, sometimes called MiniMal
  • The Funboard – an ideal beginner’s board
  • Popout Boards – strong, heavy and stable boards, mass produced, sold at a cheaper price range
  • Foam Boards – safe, easy to handle; ideal for inexperienced surfers


Apart from the surfboard basic surfing equipment consists of a leash to connect surfer and board, surf wax applied to the deck of the board to make it less slippery, fins (kegs) attached to the bottom of the board for better stability and manoeuvrability (usually in a group of three, called Three Fin Thruster), a rash guard for sun protection and a wet suit for surfing in cold water.

ASP World Tour

The ASP World Tour (the former WCT, or World Championship Tour) is the most important competition in professional surfing. It is organized by the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), founded in 1979. It consists of several individual competitions (10 for the men’s, 8 for the women’s division) at surf spots all over the world, with the most successful surfers being eligible to compete for the title of world champion. The only way to qualify for the ASP World tour is by entering the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) which is basically open to anyone. The 45 male and 17 female competitors of the APS World Tour are made up by the best rated surfers of the previous year’s World Tour (27 men, 10 women), the best rated surfers of the Qualifying Series (15 men, 6 women) as well as a number of surfers entering the competition as holders of a wildcard (3 men, 1 woman). Winners of the ASP World Championship titles include Kelly Slater, Andy Irons, Layne Beachley and Lisa Anderson. Read our reviews of worlds best bookies and enjoy our outstanding bonus offers by openning a acount at William Hill. Be part of a ever groving gambling community, win money, fly to the beach and surf for real.

Shining surfing stars

  • Kelly Slater (*1972, USA) is 8-time winner of the ASP World Tour and the most successful professional surfer of all times. Establishing a reputation of one of the world’s best surfers as a teenager, he won his first world championship title in his first pro year, becoming the youngest ever ASP World Champion of surfing. Slater revolutionized modern surfing by incorporating skating manoeuvres into his rides, focussing more on aerials than the traditional carves.
  • Laird Hamilton (*1964, USA). Although Hamilton never entered formal competitions like the ASP World Tour, he is considered by many one of the most accomplished surfers of all times. He is particularly well known for his recklessness, performing a ride on one of the most dangerous waves in documented surf history at Tahiti’s Teahupo’o in 2000, a picture of which famously featured on the cover of Surfer magazine.
  • Layne Beachly (*1972, AUS) is 7-time ASP World Champion and the surfer with the greatest number of consecutive World Championship victories (6), beating even Kelly Slater (5). She also founded the highest paid surfing competition for women, the Hawaiana Beachley Classic in Sydney.
  • Margo Oberg (*1953, USA) is 3-time IPS World Champion and one of the first women in surfing to be widely respected. In 1968 she won her first title of World Champion at the age of only fifteen years. Margo Oberg is known as the first female big wave rider and was the first woman ever to attain a life membership for the ASP .
  • Eddie Aikau (1946-1978; legendary surfing hero),
  • Lisa Anderson (*1969; 4-time ASP World Champion),
  • Rochelle Ballard (*1971; among the world’s top 10 since 1994),
  • Tom Carroll (*1961; 2-time ASP World Champion, first surfing millionaire), T
  • om Curren (*1964; 3-time ASP World Champion),
  • Bernard “Midget” Farrelly (*1944; first ever ASP World Champion in 1964),
  • Chelsea Georgeson (*1983, ASP World Champion 2005), A
  • Andy Irons (* 1978; 3-time ASP World Champion, famous rivalry with Kelly Slater),
  • Duke Kahanamoku (1890-1968; great promoter of surfing),
  • Nat Young (*1947; World Champion in 1970, triggering the shortboard revolution) and
  • Freida Zamba (*1965; 4-time ASP World Champion)

Basic Surfing Manoeuvres


  • Aerial – small wave manoeuvre adapted from skating. Both surfer and board launch off the top of a wave, then drop back into it.
  • Bottom Turn – a set up for most other manoeuvres: a turn at the bottom of the wave, after coming down its face; helps accelerate, sets up general direction.
  • Cut Back – going ahead of the curl of the wave, then sharply turning back towards its breaking part.
  • Take Off – paddling out to catch a wave, getting upright on the board and dropping into the wave
  • Top Turn – surfing up the face of a wave to its top, then turning back down to accelerate
  • Trimming – surfing at the exact speed required to retain one’s position on the wave
  • Tube/Barrel – surfing in the pocket between the wave’s face and its lip; the manoeuvre is called a barrel ride if the surfer fails to leave the pocket.

Surfing Etiquette

The surfer closest to the breaking part of a wave has the right to ride that wave. Don’t endanger others. Don’t endanger yourself: leashes, seat belts and fins can help you stay in control. Don’t surf beyond your abilities. Don’t surf on your own: take a buddy out with you for safety. Don’t paddle through a break. This could put you in danger as well as spoil someone else’s ride. Go around it. Don’t hog waves: Don’t be greedy and ride every single wave in a crowded break. Respect locals. Be polite.


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