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Sofia Mulanovich earns gold at 2019 ISA World Surfing Games in Japan

Posted by Sue Steward on
Sofia Mulanovich earns gold at 2019 ISA World Surfing Games in Japan

Sofia Mulanovich has earned the gold medal in the women’s division at the 2019 ISA World Surfing Games in Japan.

The 36-year-old female surfer defeated Silvana Lima, Carissa Moore, and Bianca Buitendag, in an extremely tight final that was held in Miyazaki, Japan.

The Peruvian surfer secured her career’s second gold medal in the World Surfing Games, a surfing event held by the International Surfing Association (ISA).

Sofia Mulanovich earns gold at 2019 ISA World Surfing Games in Japan

Sofia Mulanovich expressed, “I think that I’m in a dream. This isn’t happening. It’s unbelievable for me to win this event with all the best surfers of the world.”  The veteran won her first gold medal in Salinas, Ecuador, in 2004, when she was only 22 years old. That year was a golden year for Mulanovich. Besides the World Surfing Games title, she also earned the ASP World Tour trophy.

Past, Present, and Future

The Peruvian still is the only South American female athlete to be crowned world surfing champion.

Sofia Mulanovich concluded, “Two Peruvians won gold medals at the Pan American Games in Lima and my winning here adds to that. Surfing is fast growing in Latin America, and Peru is here to stay.”

Fernando Aguerre, the president of the ISA, believes that the women’s final was a “validation of the universal competitive landscape” of surfing.

“Sofia Mulanovich had a long career as a professional surfing athlete. Earning gold after 15 years and against this stars is incredible for her. I’m sure she is going to think about her chances for 2020.”

Meanwhile, four female surfers have secured spots in Tokyo 2020.

Shino Matsuda (Japan), Bianca Buitendag (South Africa), Anat Lelior (Israel), and Ella Williams (New Zealand) will only confirm their tickets for the Summer Olympics as the 2020 ISA World Surfing Games wrap up in May 2020.

These four female surfers will only lose their spots if there are two fellow countrywomen of the same gender qualifying ahead of them at the upcoming World Surfing Games.

Surfing News

Surfing in Japan during the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics

Posted by Sue Steward on
Surfing in Japan during the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics

The 2020 Summer Olympics will take place in the capital of Japan, Tokyo. Interestingly, the world’s largest metropolitan area is also widely known for hosting world-class surf spots.

While tourists and sports fans from all around the world are in the city for the Summer Olympic Games, local surfers will be riding their daily waves. In fact, the Chiba region, which is near Tokyo, is considered as the birthplace and capital of the Japanese surfing culture.

Onjuku, Choshi, and Ichinomiya, which are located 40 kilometers away from Tokyo, are some of the best surfing spots in Chiba. Pollution and fishing harbors are the greatest threat to wave and surfing here.

Niijima, Oshima, and Hachijojima are three islands that are located off the coast of the capital, which often offer great surfing experiences for the local board riding community. So expect a laid back lifestyle and stunning sight-seeing.

Shonan and Shichirigahama – in the Kanagawa prefecture – are two famous wave peaks that face southern swells coming from the Pacific Ocean.

Shikoku, the fourth largest island in Japan, also offers impressive river mouth waves. Ikumihama, Uchizuma, Shishikui, and Niyodo are the best choices; however, they are not free of local wave warriors.

The province of Fukushima was once famous for its top right-handers ridden in front of the nuclear station. Nowadays, it is a radioactive surfing cemetery, where surfers won’t surf and human beings won’t live.

If you are planning a surfing trip to Japan – the Land of the Rising Sun, you should do it during spring, between April and May. Remember that local surf shops are so expensive and trains are the best way of traveling from spot to spot there.

The 2020 Summer Olympics will take place between 24th July and 9th August, in Tokyo. Because surfing is very popular in the country, so it would be nice to have surfing as an Olympic sport, in a high-tech artificial wave pool of Japan.

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The most influential surfers of all time (part 2)

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The most influential surfers of all time (part 2)

3. Tom Blake

Born in Milwaukee in 1902, Tom Blake became famous and eventually change the face of surfing. Being a lifeguard in 1924, Blake began surfing after proving himself as a talented swimmer, even competing against The Duke. He took seasonal trips to Hawaii as surfing was injected into his blood.

In addition to his contributions through surfing performance, it was surfboard design which cemented his place in the history of the sport. During Blake’s time, the solid redwood surfboards were extremely cumbersome, but he experimented with hollow boards which might lighten the surfing load. In 1926, he created the first hollow board that lightened the standard board a whopping 60 pounds, leading to a spike in surfing performance and helping the surfboard become basic equipment for lifeguards.

In 1928, Blake won the initial Pacific Coast Surfriding Championships in California and in 1930, he took part in creating the first waterproof camera. Moreover, he then became the first to attach a fin to a surfboard.

4. Tom Curren

On his road to his first 2 world championships, Tom Curren‘s clashes with Mark Occhilupo became legendary. Any surfer from the ‘80s will remember these shattering moments which were immortalized in videos and plastered across magazine pages.

Competitive greatness was not Tom Curren’s swan song but he fashioned a path which would lay the groundwork for many of the present’s pro careers. He embarked on boat trips to wonderlands that had never been surfed, let Sonny Miller film them and packaged them as “The Search” series, a beautifully filmed journey that was spiced with jazz and rock tunes, some of which were performed by Curren himself.

In 1990, he roared back to competition, which laid claim to the first event of that year at the Coldwater Classic in order to make a red hot Gary Elkerton look shaky in comparison. He convincingly won a third world title after having surfed through the trials of every event that year.

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The most influential surfers of all time (part 1)

Posted by Sue Steward on
The most influential surfers of all time (part 1)

Defining greatness in most sports is a pretty hard task. But surfing is a different matter ad it is a sport known as much for its cultural, daredevil, or iconic elements as who racks up the most victories in competitive circuits. Here we’ve tried to enlist five of the most influential surfers of all time.

1. The Duke

Duke Kahanamoku is considered the undisputed father of modern surfing. Kahanamoku himself exposed the sport to the rest of the world, despite the fact that Hawaiians had started riding waves before the arrival of Captain Cook. After attending the Stockholm Olympics and winning a gold and silver medal in swimming, he traveled around the world, demonstrated his talent and subsequently introduced surfing to Australia, New Zealand, and the East Coast, spreading Aloha to scores of enthralled spectators.

Kahanamoku continued to win another Olympic gold and silver medal. After rescuing 8 fishermen at Newport Harbor, riding one of the longest waves in history in Waikiki, he solidified his waterman status and was inducted into the Surfing Hall of Fame and Swimming Hall of Fame.

Kahanamoku fraternized with royalty, dignitaries, movie stars, and certainly, some of the greatest athletes in early surfing. Surfer magazine called him Surfer of the Century.

2. Kelly Slater

It’s amazing how an athlete can redefine the boundaries of a sport. Jordan, Tiger, and Tony Hawk have set standards that others can only dream of reaching. And Kelly Slater is a typical example, closing the book on the old school and writing a new chapter only he could conceive. Before annihilating the status quo, he snaked and won at Trestles with such speed and precision that the world was aghast. Then on the professional tour, he rose through the ranks and easily disposed of the veterans. Some realized the inevitable was upon them while others responded with anger and fear.

Building on Curren and Potter, Slater combined supernatural talent, contest strategy, and fitness to inspire 3 successive generations and garner 11 world titles.

Slater has redefined the limits of career, performance, and age, and has influenced style, maneuvers, and design.

Surfing Places

The best surfing spots in the world

Posted by Sue Steward on
The best surfing spots in the world

Many people think that the best trips to the beach involve ideal surfing conditions. Some cities in the world are better for surfing than others thanks to their tide schedule, wind patterns, and terrain, which together create the perfect waves for surfing. There are many great surfing spots along the coast of every continent.

Bondi Beach, Australia

Bondi Beach is an iconic surfing destination that is synonymous with the surf-side good life. The name Bondi is aboriginal, translated as “water breaking over rocks”, and it has long attracted a laid-back surfer crowd. The first surf lifesaving club of the world was founded here in 1907 and thrill-seekers have flocked ever since.

Bells Beach, Australia

With a cliff-flanked sandy beach and large ocean swells, Bells Beach is recognized as one of Australia’s best stretches of surfing coastline and a top destination for experienced surfers. Bells beach features in the cult classic movie Point Break which stars Patrick Swayze as a die-hard surfer with the ultimate ambition of surfing Bells Beach.

Kuta Beach, Bali

With perfect white sands and palm-fringed beaches, Kuta Beach is the most surfed beach of Bali. It can get crowded although it is still regarded as an epic spot. Kuta Beach is the place where surfing began in Bali.

Santa Cruz, California

The breaks of Santa Cruz are known for their difficulty and tricky locals. Choose your beach with care because many local surfers don’t take kindly to newcomers cutting into their waves. It was home to the O’Neill brothers, who created the first surf shop in the 1950s, selling boards and vests to make a wetsuit.

North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii

Hawaii is undisputedly the home of surfing and hosts numerous world class competitions every year. North Shore of Oahu is frequented by dedicated surfers who want to surf the world’s most famous waves.

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Six Helpful Tips for Beginner Surfers

Posted by Sue Steward on
Six Helpful Tips for Beginner Surfers

Here are the most helpful tips for beginner surfers to help you attempt to start the adventure. However, always remember that there is nobody that can snag a barreling overhead wave just after jumping on a surfboard for the first time. Like any other sport, you need to put in your effort and time to learning and getting better at it.

1. Don’t Learn by Yourself

Although you may think surfing looks easy to learn, never approach surfing by yourself. You should get an experienced friend or a good teacher to teach you in order to avoid injuring yourself or even putting your life in danger.

2. Use a Big Surfboard

Using a big surfboard is one of the most useful beginner surfing tips that you could follow. A big surfboard can help you develop better fundamental mechanics and catch more waves in the early stages.

3. Surf a Beginners Wave

Surfing on a beach that is appropriate for beginner surfers is necessary for your surfing success. Tackle small waves before attempting larger ones. Remember that you’ll be able to upgrade your surf spot with the right amount of dedication.

4. Spend Some Time on Dry Land First

Instead of rushing in the water once you’re at the beach, spend some time on the beach doing your stretching. Check your surfing equipment and watch the waves for a time as well as learn from the other surfers.

5. Pace Yourself

You will need to pace yourself to avoid risking injury once you get into the water. Remember, you can have all the time in the world to enjoy surfing.

6. Have Fun

Whatever you do and wherever you are, if you are not having fun while surfing, it’s not worth doing it. Always remember that there is an amazing quote by Phil Edwards: “The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun.”

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Benefits of Surfing

Posted by Sue Steward on
Benefits of Surfing

Not everyone has the advantage of living near a beach and being able to go surfing daily, but for those who do, it is a great opportunity to help you live healthily. It’s also a recreational activity and offers a number of health and fitness benefits.

1. Cardiovascular and heart health: Surfing is a great cardiovascular exercise, that uses leg muscles to guide the board once you’re up and riding, and mostly upper body muscles to do the paddling work. Involving more time paddling, surfing provides an intense upper body and core workout.

2. Mental health: Like other physical exercise, surfing helps to offset the negative effects of stress.

3. Vitamin D: The vitamin D from the sun that you can get while doing outside activities like surfing is essential for strong bones and the growth of skin cellsby regulating the amount of calcium and phosphorus in the blood.

4. Better sleep: Many studies show that regular exercise, including surfing, increases the positive benefits of sleeping. Sleep is important as it allows time for your muscles to repair themselves and helps you feel refreshed in the morning.

5. Workout: Surfing develops your body and strengthens the core and legs through the constantly changing movement.

6. Muscle strengthening: Paddling helps strengthen your back and shoulder muscles, and you can get toned legs by surfing due to the balance required while you’re up on the board.

7. Improved balance: One of the best exercise benefits of surfing is the improvement that it creates in your balance. To stay firm on the surfboard, you must have the ability to maintain your balance and this skill carries over into everyday life.

8. Self gratification: Surfing is not the easiest sport to learn because it takes time, commitment, and perseverance to progress. But once you can overcome this barrier, the rewards are huge. Besides the physical and mental benefits that surfing has to offer, it also helps you have prove to yourself that you can achieve goals that even seem unattainable.

Surfing Equipment

Surfing Equipment List for Beginners (part 3)

Posted by Sue Steward on
Surfing Equipment List for Beginners (part 3)

Board Shorts

Board shorts are popular among surfers who prefer more coverage. Some male surfers like to go shirtless and choose boardshorts with swim trunks underneath. They are usually made of stitchless, quick-dry, and stretchy fabrics. However, they can cause drag because of having a lot of loose fabric around the thighs.

Wetsuit

If you surf in cold waters, you will need a good wetsuit. This multi-purpose underwater garment, typically made of neoprene, offers more warmth to help you surf during the winter months with low temperatures.

There are three common types of wetsuits: the shorty with short arm sleeves and covering the thighs; the spring suit with full-length sleeves and short legs or vice versa; and the full suit (or steamer) with long sleeves, full legs, and sometimes even a hoodie.

Surf Poncho/Jacket

When surfing during colder months, another thing you may need is a surf poncho or jacket. They help keep you warm when you are out of the water, riding by boat to your surf destination, or  doing cold morning surf checks. In addition, surf poncho can help dry you up like a towel would.

Hoods, Boots, and Gloves

To prepare for surfing in cold waters or during colder months, besides a thick wetsuit that cover your arms and legs, don’t forget to shop for other clothing items which can cover the rest of your exposed body parts. You’ll need a hoodie that can cover everything from your neck to the top of your head except for your face. You’ll also need snug aqua gloves to provide enough warmth for your hands but not make it difficult for you to get a good grip of your board. Moreover, a good pair of surf boots is necessary to give you plenty of traction on your board.

Sunscreen

Whether it is summer or winter, you have to cover any exposed skin with sunscreen. To avoid having to reapply many times, choose a high SPF sunscreen that is quick-absorbing and waterproof.

Surfing Equipment

Surfing Equipment List for Beginners (part 2)

Posted by Sue Steward on
Surfing Equipment List for Beginners (part 2)

Leash

A board leash (leg rope) is an important safety equipment which helps you beginners surf safely by keeping you connected to the surf board via the ankle or calf. A leash  not only makes it easier for you to retrieve your board every time you wipe out but also keeps you safe above water by functioning as a flotation device when you are tired, lost, or too far from the shore. Therefire, it’s a general rule for beginners as well as even more advanced ones to use a leash for any water sport which requires the use of a board.

Proper Surf Wear

Like stand up paddle boarding, you can wear anything you want when surfing. However, if you want to have a good time out there, remember to choose the proper surf wear. And you surely don’t want to lose any piece of clothing while trying to ride a wave.

Swimsuit

Many surfers wear Speedos or bikinis during the summer and only cover up in the colder months. But when you’re a beginner who’s going to be falling off the board repeatedly and hitting waves, we suggest ladies to wear one-piece swimsuits and men to wear snug swim briefs.

Rash Guard

A popular swimwear option for any kind of water activity is rash guards. They are typically designed to protect your skin against irritation and harmful exposure to the sun. They are  made of quick-dry, lightweight material that helps shield the skin from the UV rays of sun.

Popular rash guards for summer surfing are those with short sleeves. For extra layer of warmth, you can wear them underneath a wetsuit or with a pair of boardshorts. Another option is long sleeved ones which you can wear for colder days, if you want something thinner than a wetsuit.

Surfing Equipment

Surfing Equipment List for Beginners (part 1)

Posted by Sue Steward on
Surfing Equipment List for Beginners (part 1)

Besides learning the basics of surfing, beginner surfers also need to get their own surf gear. You can opt to rent these items, but if you are planning to take up surfing as a regular hobby, you should invest in your own equipment.

As a beginner, you only really need a few items such as surfboard. However, when you progress into a more advanced surfer, you will need some other gadgets and protective items which will help you surf more comfortably for extended periods of time in varying water temperatures. There is a list of surfing equipment that you will need to have before starting hitting those tasty waves.

Surfboard

The most important equipment you need is the surfboard that you will ride waves with. However, it is a little challenging to shop for because there are some different types of surfboards for different wave conditions and experience levels.

The best way is to head to your local surf shop or the nearest one to your surf camp and ask about the right type for you. Don’t forget to include surf fins because they will further improve the performance of your board. You can have more than one installed at the same time. Try different fin configurations to find the one which gives you your desired level of drive and stability.

Note: If you’re just beginning to learn to surf, consider the 2+1 (one main fin and two side fins) configuration in order to achieve optimum stability.

In addition, remember to get a surfboard bag to wrap and protect your board when you’re not using it.

Surf Wax/Traction Pad

If you have never surfed, you may not know about the surf wax, which helps surfers maintain a good grip on their surfboard while riding waves. The surf wax has jagged edges to create textured grooves, helping ensure good traction. It is rubbed on a dry board before each session and can be removed with a wax comb.

Instead of surf wax, traction pad is a good alternative. However, traction pad is commonly more expensive than surf wax.