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Surfing is an outdoor water sport that is predominantly conducted on the shores of oceans and seas. In this sport, the athlete, usually referred to as a surfer, starts off at a certain distance away from the shore, and moves towards the shore standing on a surfboard, using the waves for propulsion.

Though surfing dates back to couple centuries, modern surfing originated in the early twentieth century on the Hawaiian islands, and professional surfing competitions did not start until 1975. Earlier surfboards were made of wood which made it heavier and bulkier. But current surfboards are made of fiberglass materials that makes it lighter and easier to carry.

The sport of surfing is completely based on the types of maneuvers surfers make while riding the waves. Some of the common types of maneuvers are, cutbacks, carving, floater, tube ride, and top-turn.

surfing in Australia small wave surfing in Australia

To successfully ride a wave, the surfers need to accurately judge the shape of each wave, the strength and direction of the wind, height of the tide, the current and many other variables.

In professional surfing competitions, surfers are judged based on several factors: commitment, degree of difficulty, innovative and progressive maneuvers, combination of major maneuvers, variety of maneuvers, speed, power and flow of the ride. Each ride is adjudged by a panel of judges, and is awarded points between 5 to 10. The two highest scoring rides for each surfer is totaled to determine the winner of the competition.

Several professional surfing competitions are conducted around the world, for both men and women, throughout the year. The World Surf League, the highest governing body of the sport, conducts men's and women's championship tours; which are the most popular competitions in the sport, from February to December every year.

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