Surfing is a recreational and competitive sport where individuals use a surfboard to ride atop moving waves without falling. Surfing began as a pivotal point to Polynesian culture, and has since garnered both fame and infamy with the surfing culture throughout the world. The surfboard itself is typically designed as a long board with a rounded nose and tail, and created with Expanded polystyrene, fiberglass, and epoxy resin to keep the board light and buoyant. Most competitions are scored by the size of the wave ridden, the variety of maneuvers or tricks, and the degree of difficulty showcased.

How do you catch a wave in surfing?

The process of catching a wave needs practice. Knowing when the wave is “catchable” is important because that will allow you to surf it. You start by positioning yourself 4 meters (13 feet) away from the way, paddling to match the speed of the wave, then you stand up to start surfing.

Who invented surfing?

In 1777, just a year before James Cook came to Honolulu, he saw this happening and showed others how to do the sport. Although he may not have invented it, he is the first person known to take surfing knowledge to the people and to grow the sport.

How dangerous is surfing?

Strong currents and water action can slam a surfer into a reef or ocean floor, leading to severe injuries or death. One of the biggest dangers is the risk of two or more consecutive waves being held underwater. Knowing this, surfers often have friends or other surfers around them incase anything were to happen.

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Duke Kahanamoku
Scaled height comparison illustration of Duke Kahanamoku in relation to other surfers

Duke Kahanamoku was a Native Hawaiian professional swimmer and surfer, considered the father of modern surfing and the most influential surfer of all time. Duke Kahanamoku was also a 5-time Olympic champion in swimming. He travelled around the world and gave swimming and surfing exhibitions that helped popularize surfing as a sport. Duke Kahanamoku was considered the greatest freestyle swimmer in the world for a period of time. He was also an actor and appeared in various films. Unfortunately, he passed away on August 24, 1890 at the age of 77. Duke Kahanamoku has various statues and monuments made after him and his legacy.

Duke Kahanamoku had a height of 6’1” (1.85 m).

Group of drawings of Duke Kahanamoku in a range of surfing positions labeled with overall height
Duke Kahanamoku was a Native Hawaiian professional swimmer and surfer, considered the father of modern surfing and the most influential surfer of all time. Duke Kahanamoku was also a 5-time Olympic champion in swimming. He travelled around the world and gave swimming and surfing exhibitions.

Duke Kahanamoku had a height of 6’1” (1.85 m).

Group of drawings of Duke Kahanamoku in a range of surfing positions labeled with overall height
Duke Kahanamoku
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6’1” | 1.85 m
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Nationality: United States

Years Active: 1912-1924 (Swimming)

Death: January 22, 1968

Birthday
August 24, 1890

Drawings include:
Duke Kahanamoku standing, surfing (various)

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Kelly Slater
Series of scaled illustrations comparing the height of Kelly Slater with other related surfers

Kelly Slater, is an American professional surfer, known for his 11 world surfing championship wins. He is considered the best professional surfer of all time. Kelly Slater began surfing at the age of 5, and turned professional in 1990 at the age of 18. He ranked 1st on the World Surf League various years and dominated surfing in the mid-1990s. Kelly Slater was both the youngest and oldest surfer to win the WSL Men’s title – winning it at age 20 and 39. Him and his team produced a Wave Pool technology in 2015. This project created the perfect inland wave in Lemoore, California.

Kelly Slater has a height of 5’8.5” (1.74 m).

Drawings of Kelly Slater in a range of surfing positions labeled with overall height
Kelly Slater, is an American professional surfer, known for his 11 world surfing championship wins. He is considered the best professional surfer of all time. Kelly Slater began surfing at the age of 5, and turned professional in 1990 at the age of 18. He ranked 1st on the World Surf League.

Kelly Slater has a height of 5’8.5” (1.74 m).

Drawings of Kelly Slater in a range of surfing positions labeled with overall height
Kelly Slater
Height:
5’8.5” | 1.74 m
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Nationality: United States

Years Active: 1989—

Birthday
February 11, 1972

Drawings include:
Kelly Slater standing, surfing (various)

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Laird Hamilton
Height comparison diagram of Laird Hamilton compared to other surfers

Laird Hamilton is an American surfer, known for his physical and mental toughness. Laird Hamilton started surfing at the age of 3, after moving to Hawaii with his mom. He is regarded as a pioneer of action water sports as he is the innovator behind tow-in surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, and hydrofoil boarding. In tow-in surfing, the surfer catches big waves too big under paddle by using inflatable boats to tow one another into the waves. Apart from being a surfer Laird Hamilton has many different interests and is an inventor, author, stunt man, model, producer, TV Host, and fitness expert.

Laird Hamilton has a height of 6’3” (1.91 m).

Set of illustrations of Laird Hamilton in various surfing poses dimensioned with overall height
Laird Hamilton is an American surfer, known for his physical and mental toughness. Laird started surfing at 3, after moving to Hawaii with his mom. He is regarded as a pioneer of action water sports as he is the innovator behind tow-in surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, and hydrofoil boarding.

Laird Hamilton has a height of 6’3” (1.91 m).

Set of illustrations of Laird Hamilton in various surfing poses dimensioned with overall height
Laird Hamilton
Height:
6’3” | 1.91 m
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Nationality: United States

Years Active: 1970—

Birthday
March 2, 1964

Drawings include:
Laird Hamilton standing, surfing (various)

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Stephanie Gilmore
Scaled height comparison illustration of Stephanie Gilmore in relation to other surfers

Stephanie Gilmore is an Australian professional surfer known for winning the Women’s ASP World tour 7 times. Stephanie Gilmore started surfing at the age of 10 and is seen as the greatest female surfer of all time. Stephanie Gilmore won the first of her 7 World Titles during her 2007 rookie season. Her surfing style is recognized by its artistry, precision, and technical knowledge. Stephanie Gilmore was given the nickname ‘Happy Gilmore’ for her kindness and positive personality. She is currently one of the most dominant surfers in the sport and will be representing Australia at the 2021 Olympics, where surfing will make its first appearance.

Stephanie Gilmore has a height of 5’10” (1.78 m).

Group of drawings of Stephanie Gilmore in a range of surfing positions labeled with overall height
Stephanie Gilmore is an Australian professional surfer known for winning the Women’s ASP World tour 7 times. Stephanie Gilmore started surfing at the age of 10 and is seen as the greatest female surfer of all time. Stephanie Gilmore won the first of her 7 World Titles during her 2007 rookie season.

Stephanie Gilmore has a height of 5’10” (1.78 m).

Group of drawings of Stephanie Gilmore in a range of surfing positions labeled with overall height
Stephanie Gilmore
Height:
5’10” | 1.78 m
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Nationality: Australia

Years Active: 2005—

Birthday
January 29, 1988

Drawings include:
Stephanie Gilmore standing, surfing (various)

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