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Whites Beach, Torquay

Life Like Surfing..

“While today the term “professional surfing” is widely accepted, 50 years ago it was truly nothing more than a fantasy in the minds of an imaginative few surfers.”

From the mid-1960s into the early ’70s, pro competitors with varying amounts of prizemoney from a variety of sponsors sprang up in California, Hawaii, South Africa and Australia with a small group of surfers travelling between the countries to compete. IPS or “International Professional Surfers” was formed by a bunch of Hawaiian promoters and leading surfers who came up with an initiative to start world rating points system based upon surfing contests. The Australia’s Peter townend was crowned surfing’s first world professional champion!

NATIONAL SURF MUSEUM, TORQUAY

Before surfing was accepted as a sport, it was merely a pastime for the weekend. Gradually, over time people of Australia got enthusiastic about it. Now it is a part of their culture.

Surfing has impacted the lives of Australians to a major extent. It has built togetherness among people. A sense of friendship and bond has been developed over the years.

A small glimpse of how surf culture evolved in Australia

Another aspect of surfing that most of tend to overlook is its health benefits. There is much more scope to surfing than it being referred to as a sport. It promotes cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength and balance within the mind.

Brighton Beach, VIC

An equilibrium attains between the mind and the physical aspect of the body. The constant paddling through the water, increasing arm and back strength whilst increasing heart rate. It provides an environment to think and relax the muscles.

Its human instinct to pine for the outdoors and surfing is an excellent factor of escapism. Surfing has helped people cope with issues like weight loss (an average person loses 400 calories when he/she surfs), Cardiovascular health improvement, toning of muscles, a stronger back core, shoulders and legs and finally, persistence and endurance. Surfing is also seen as a form of exercise.

The census has grown to a massive extent that surf events for all age groups, men and women occurs every now and then in Australia.

The narrative of surfing as a physical activity or considered widely as a sport now is ‘fundamentally positive and pure essence.’ Only a potential surfer knows the feeling. In a surfers position, there is uniqueness in the capacity for personal experience and creation in communication with nature.

St. Kilda Beach, VIC

During turning manoeuvres, the magnitude of the power is ascertained with the displacement of water underneath the surfboard. This so-called displacement is a result of the slight transmission of force through our lower part of the body while surfing, pressurised onto the surfboard declaring a change in the direction of the surfboard.

EVOLUTION OF SURFBOARDS
Latest kinds of surfboards

Dating back in time, to 1914s when Duke Kahanamoku, a champion Hawaiian swimmer, presented Australians the art of how to ride a wave at Sydney’s Freshwater Beach using a board he built using lumps of local timber. However, Australians weren’t new to the idea of riding the wave altogether. They began facing the waves using small paipo or belly boards.

The first kind of surfboards are relatively huge, heavy and completely finless. With time, there was a drastic shift. Fins began to appear and boards began getting smaller in size. People began seeing it as more than a pastime. It was approached as a sport.

Initial years of surf culture

Gradually, it became globally recognised and people began adopting it as a sport. There was enormous preference given to Surfing as it had a strong history. There was a superior skill that was associated with it. It was also called the ‘Sport of kings.’

Some of the most popular brands that came up in surfing DHD (Darren Handley Designs), JS Industries, Firewire etc. In Torquay, however, brands like Cottage industries, initiated by friends is massively known.