Do you surf? Like to watch surfing? Even if you don’t surf, there is something about the daring and strength it takes to glide over the might waves that is fascinating to watch. Those of us on the Gulf Coast many not be part of the worldwide surfing mainstream, but there are still plenty of days to surf — or to be a surfing spectator. Here are a few facts that you might not know about surfing.
Surfing’s history of surfing is very deep. There are many facts on the growth of wave riding, some strange, some bizarre. All the way from the high-tech surf equipment to marine science, the sport/art of surfing has been about gathering narratives, recording gains and fails, and documenting successes. Bet you didn’t know that:
- Polyurethane foam was created during the World War II to act as insulation for airplanes and refrigerators.
- A trained surfer can hold his breath for four minutes.
- Tsunami waves can’t be surfed; they’re too fast and made of whitewater only.
- Archimedes discovered the law of buoyancy, and this applies to the surfboard size charts.
- Surfing is considered the 20th most dangerous sport in the world!
- “Hawaiian Holiday” is the first animated short surf movie, made in 1937 by Walt Disney.
- The Hawaiian Islands are the most isolated archipelago on planet earth.
- Cymophobia means the fear of waves.
- Agatha Christie, the famous British crime writer, surfed waves in 1924!
- Surf wax was first applied to a surfboard by Alfred Gallant Jr., a surfer from Los Angeles, in 1935. He got the idea form seeing the effect of liquid wax on the floors at his home.
- Edward, Prince of Wales, surfed waves in Hawaii, back in 1920!
- Surfers spend only 8% of the time riding waves. The rest is …poetry…
Surf culture is surely as much as part of Gulf Coast culture in general as the sea air itself. But for Florida surfers living on the Gulf of Mexico, a real surf scene to call their own has been a lacking. Not only has the mainstream surf industry overlooked the West side of the Sunshine State, but local surfers have been stuck to an underground smattering of local tribes. While surf culture may not be as easy to tap in to here, there is a body of loyal surfers who want to make you a part of their scene. Or you can just admire from a distance.