We are all interested in surfing. However, do you know what types of surfing exist? Let’s see all the details.
By the way, you can come to our surf school in Lanzarote and we will teach you how to surf, as we have been doing for more than 20 years. So if you are interested, do not hesitate to write us, now…. Let’s get down to business. 🤙
The different types of surfing
It is worth noting that after years of prohibition by the European colonizers, surfing was reborn in Hawaii during the 20th century, as we have already seen. This revitalization of the sport brought with it a great diversity of styles and maneuvers, which were created by the fans of each modality, being Duke Kahanamoku the pioneer in reviving this practice, expanding it to some important regions, such as Australia, Europe and the United States.
Today, it is a global industry that opens up a range of entertainment and products that are aimed at the performance of this sport. Therefore, it is useful to know which are the classifications and modalities so that you can practice it.
This is the legendary base surf from which the other classifications were derived. Basically, it consists of paddling, standing up and maneuvering, while the board glides in harmony with the waves until it is extinguished. In terms of classification, there are three categories in relation to the table:
In this case, we have the athletes who decide to perform various pirouettes on the 1.5 to 2m long boards. Their size allows them to have greater maneuverability in and out of the waves, although you should not expect a very high speed.
These surfboards are recommended for beginners, as they have the perfect measurements for beginners, ranging from 1.8 to 2.4m in length. It is the intermediate of Shortboard Board and Longboard, so, thanks to it, you will be able to learn to chase the waves, maneuver on them, get a good speed and maintain stability.
We are talking about boards with a length of 2.4 to 3.6 m, being thicker and more stable in the water. Thanks to them, you will be able to perform different maneuvers, as well as change positions and walk on them, while gliding over the waves at high speed.
Here a rig or sail is combined with a board very similar to a surfboard. The sail will be articulated at the foot of the mast, due to which the rotation and direction implies an important malleability. These are ideal for you to perform pirouettes, although it is not advisable for beginners, as you will need an important skill in terms of knowing the wind changes and the handling of the environment.
This is a unique type of surfing that harnesses the forces of the wind by means of a traction kite, which is attached to the body of the individual by means of a harness that will be useful to move him on the board on the water, even without waves. All this allows different types of jumps, spins and other pirouettes to be performed in the air.
Paddle surf or stand up paddle
It is a specific discipline that became known by the Hawaiians as Ho e’he Nalu, being one of the new surfing styles. The particular feature is to stand on a special board, moving on it with the support of a paddle, which has the ability to propel and maneuver through a water surface, as is the case of beaches or lakes, for example.
Here we have a really fun type of surfing, because you don’t need a lot of skill to do it, although you will have a constant activity in the water, so your physical condition must be top notch. It is about sliding the body directly on the sea, without the support of the board, but with a handboard and fins.
It is one of the most recent varieties of surfing. It was born with the idea of being able to move the kayak to the sea and take advantage of the force of the waves, together with the paddle, so that you can go at high speeds and perform all kinds of maneuvers just like with a board.
Did you know that skateboarding also appears in the sea? The idea is to mix both sports by using a small board to jump, maneuver and play on the waves, right where they break. It consists of being able to wait on the shore for the right moment, so that you can then dive without fear.
Here we have the type of surfing that uses a small synthetic foam board without fins, which will be useful for you to move on the walls of the waves. It is similar to bodysurfing in the use of fins, in addition to the specific movements and body position, although within this classification you will also have other modalities:
This is a modern surfing style in which speed prevails as a result of the hydrofoils that were adapted to the board. It consists of floating on the waves while lying down, so that the energy of the water flows between the wings with greater force, with a surprising responsiveness.
This is a mode for those who love to surf on their knees on the bodyboard. You can ride up to the waves lying on the board and, as soon as you take hold of them, you will be able to move your knees until they are under your body, bending your leg forward with your foot.
Stand – up
Here, agility prevails so that you can perform this modality due to the similarity between the two. In the stand-up version, you will only need to place both feet on the bodyboard, all while riding the waves at maximum speed.
Are you interested in extreme surfing? In this version, the surfer needs the support of jet skis as a means of access to huge waves, so you can catch them quickly at the right time. It was invented by athletes who needed adrenaline to break waves over 30 feet high.
What is surfing?
If we had to describe it in a few words, we would have to say that surfing consists of sliding standing up on a board over the waves. However, it is not so basic, because from there a wide range of possibilities opens up on the board, which give rise to creative geniuses of the athletes. Take a look at our Lanzarote surf lessons and learn how to surf, we also offer accommodation on the beach of Famara.
The first thing you will have to do is stand up and hold straight to the shore. When you have mastered the technique, you will be able to ride the waves by making walls, both frontside (facing the wave) and backside (with your back to the wave). You will also be able to give speed to the board, which will help you to perform other surfing maneuvers.
Although we will go into more detail later, a priori we will be able to distinguish two main modalities. The first is the longboard, which is the most classic and in which very long boards are used (minimum 9 feet), as well as wider and thicker boards, which imply the practice of the sport much more smoothly. The other version is shortboard surfing, which is practiced on smaller, narrower and thinner boards, ideal for much more ostentatious maneuvers.
As for its history, we are talking about a very old sport whose origin is not known with certainty, that is, historians do not agree on how it came about. Some people claim that around 500 years ago it was already practiced in the Polynesian Islands, although there are not many historical records to support this.
What is known is that the first contact of European man with surfing occurred during the eighteenth century, when James Cook arrived in the Hawaiian Islands and banned its practice among the natives. The intention was to force them to acquire European customs that were not typical of the place.
With the massive arrival of North American tourists, surfing was revitalized again and began to become popular in California, Australia and many other areas of the planet. This allowed us today to consider surfing as a water sport that consists of an individual, known as a surfer, riding a board on the front or deep side of a wave, which usually takes him or her to the shore.
Another important point is that surfing is a sport with a learning process that is organized in phases. You will not learn everything “all at once”, but the first objective will be to sit on the board, so that little by little you will be able to stand up and hold your balance for a period of time.
As you practice and get better at it, you will start trying other techniques, such as walls (skirting the wave). Once you have learned this stage, the next one is to learn how to print speed to the board, which will be useful to start the rest of the maneuvers that can be done surfing, among which you can find the reentry, floater, roundhouse, cut-back, snap, aerials, tubes, etcetera.
Fans of surfing consider it a sport that has the ability to merge the movements of our body with the environment, achieving a sense of control and freedom at the same time. At the same time, it is a discipline without a specific age limit, although it is always necessary to take into account the physical conditions and limitations of each individual, since physical condition is important to avoid injuries.
As for children, they can start with this practice from an early age, always with supervision and professional advice, avoiding any type of injury. At later ages, it is advisable that you first have to visit a physician to learn about the possible risks and limitations. There is also surfing adapted for the disabled.
At the same time, all this means that surfing is considered an excellent generator of sensations and emotions, among which stand out that of freedom and competition with ourselves, aspiring to self-improvement. In addition, we will be in a natural environment that helps relaxation and stress reduction, motivating and motivating us to constantly improve and achieve self-confidence.
If what you want is to practice surfing, you can check the necessary elements for its practice:
- Surfboard. This is the most important and main aspect of the surfer. Their choice depends on the level of the practitioner. Generally, beginners will start out using long, wide and thick boards because they have greater buoyancy and stability. On the other hand, the most experienced surfers use small, narrow and thin boards, because they have the ability to perform all kinds of maneuvers. The choice should be made according to the size of the waves, since the bigger the waves, the longer the board should be.
- Neoprene wetsuit. This is the element to cover you. There is a wide variety of wetsuits that will prevent you from getting cold in the sea. Their choice is based primarily on water temperature. The value will be different depending on the quality and thickness.
- The invention. We are talking about a kind of rope, which is made of elastic plastic, which keeps the board attached to the foot through a Velcro fastening. It must be in good condition, since it is very important that it is not broken by a wave.
- Keels. These are the rudders of the board, which allow the board to turn and remain stable.
- Kerosene wax. Here we have a type of wax that can be placed on the upper part of the board, which is ideal to prevent you from slipping at any time.
- Grip. This is a rubber-like equipment that sticks to the board so you don’t slip. It can replace kerosene or be combined with it, as is the case with kerosene for the front foot and grip for the back foot.
Practicing this sport implies a cost that usually varies between medium and high, depending on the price of the equipmentyou use at first. At the same time, surfing has a variety of benefits and risks.
The first thing to know is that surfing combines aerobic work with toning. This means you have the ability to improve cardiorespiratory function and burn calories at the same time, all while working arm and back muscles, strengthening your figure.
Another important point is that you will also be working the legs, buttocks and our mid-body area, where most of the postural muscles are located. All of these are used to stand on the board while riding waves in the sea.
At the same time, you will gain endurance, muscle tone and improve coordination and balance. All this, of course, without counting the feeling of freedom that helps us to get away from stress and disconnect from the present we are living, as nature, skill and harmony make it very relaxing.
Risks are caused by different factors. The first of these is with the environment itself. Waves can be dangerous, so while you will learn to anticipate them, the reality is that sometimes the terrain is unpredictable. At the same time, you should pay attention to your posture to avoid injuries.
The most frequent “hits” may be:
- Blows and cuts. These are injuries that can occur without us realizing it, given that we are living the frenetic pace of the waves.
- Skin burns. Sunscreen should always be used, even on less sunny or cloudy days.
- Heat stroke or heat stroke. If we are constantly exposed, we may get one. For this reason, it is necessary to take short breaks in the shade.
Therefore, we have already known the different variants of surfing, a really complex sport with multiple variants that has a long history and trajectory. You must always remember that, although it is very pleasant, relaxing and adrenalin-pumping, you also need to learn to have “respect” for the water, which can often be your friend, but at other times an unpredictable factor that could endanger your stability.