A Primer on Surf, Surfing and Surfers

A Primer on Surf, Surfing and Surfers

Why you should care

Because even if you don’t surf, you think it’s cool. 

The weather is warming up (at least here on the California coast). It’s officially spring. And beach-itch has arrived. It’s not quite time to pull out the bikinis and pack up the ice chest , but it is time to start getting amped up. The long days of sunshine and sharks await. Whether your thing is ocean photography, riding the waves or hovering above the curling waters, OZY has rounded up a collection of surf stories sure to whet your appetite — for salt water, that is.

Eugene Tan and His Aquabumps

Save for a handful of sick days, the birth of his two sons and when he’s off gallivanting to other exotic locations, Eugene Tan, one of Australia’s most famous surf photographers, has been shooting beaches in Sydney almost daily since 1999. Rain or shine, Tan (nicknamed “Uge”) is out there battling everything from waves to surfers to stingrays. He also prepares an email with a selection of pictures every day, which he sends out to more than 50,000 subscribers. “Putting an email in front of someone just after they go off to work every day — it’s a way of giving them escapism,” says Tan. Read more here.

How to Surf 16 Feet Above Water

And you thought hoverboards were only for cruising the streets of the future. With this water-propelled Hoverboard by ZR out of France, you can literally fly above the water at heights of up to 5 meters (16 feet). How it works: The Hoverboard attaches to a Jet Ski with an 18-meter hose. The propulsion produced by the Jet Ski is routed through the hose, giving the Hoverboard enough thrust to rise into the air and reach speeds up to 40 kilometers an hour (around 25 mph). Surfing at sea level is so last summer. Read more here.

Hey, Dude: Did You See That (Man-Made) Wave?

From hoverboards for the water to artificial surf reefs, the days of bodyboarding are long gone. The Rio de Janeiro government has approved a massive construction project for an artificial surf reef off a coastal area just north of the city. How massive? The town has earmarked $8 million to design the reef alone. And it promises the perfect wave, every balmy day of the year. Yet around the world folks have been experimenting with the concept for years, so what’s different about this project? Read more here.

Andrew ‘Cotty’ Cotton: Britain’s Big-Wave Daredevil

Andrew Cotton’s ankle was still throbbing from when he broke it surfing a few weeks earlier — but the big wave junkie inside him couldn’t resist when the man who had just set the world record for the tallest wave ever ridden called him up last winter. The following morning, Cotton was on a plane flying from England to Nazaré in Portugal. And a few hours after landing, he was hurtling down the edge of a colossal wave at roughly 40 mph. As it turns out, he broke his buddy’s record. Read more here.

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