Studies & Degrees in Surf

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Surfing, in simplest terms, is the act of catching and riding a wave. It was discovered in the islands of Hawaii in the late 1700s but is believed to have deep-rooted into the Hawaiian culture much earlier. It is said that the chief demonstrated his superiority through his surfing abilities. Likewise, his authority is confirmed through his skills in the surf.

Today, Surfing has evolved into a worldwide competitive sport and has turned into a multimillion dollar business venture. Millions of dollars of revenues are generated through sales of equipment, clothing, gear, and accessories. Brand names, such as Billabong, Quicksilver, Reef, and O’Neill, to name a few, have become globally recognized trademarks. Surfing has also carved its niche in Hollywood, where several surfing oriented movies have reached blockbuster status in the recent years. Moreover, surfing champs have also become celebrities and millionaires through sponsorships.

The sport of Surfing has spread from the Hawaiian Islands to the shores of California, Sydney, Japan, South Africa, Spain, and many other cities cutting through language and cultural barriers. Major surfing competitions, like the World Qualifying Series (WQS) which serves as an elimination round for more prestigious competitions, such as the ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals) World Tour. The ASP World Tour competition is conducted in various locations across the globe, where top rated male and female surfers compete in their respective divisions for prestige and money. Another major competition is the British Surfing Association Championship which is open only to British and European surfers and the Triple Crown of Surfing Competition in Hawaii, where surfers compete in four events – with each event offering a chance to win prize money. Cash prices or purse in top level competitions range from about a hundred thousand dollars to as much as a quarter million dollars. Tournament winners also get product endorsement opportunities and sponsorships from the companies mentioned earlier, which could sometimes be even more lucrative than the prize money, and to the really lucky ones, a stint in the movie industry.

To thousands of surfing enthusiasts across the globe, it is just a sport and a hobby - a weekend getaway to escape the humdrum of life. Surfing is a lifestyle and could be a promising career opportunity to those who love the sea and are willing to take on the physical challenges the sport demand, to those who thrive on adrenaline, and to those who could look fear in the eye and ride 20-foot waves at astonishing speeds. The sport requires commitment, discipline, and patience practicing for hundreds of hours out in the open sea in order to excel. It also requires the perseverance to try again every time a wave is missed or falls off the board while inside the barrel.

Surfing is a nature-powered sport, harnessing the power of the waves in generating speed and executing different moves or maneuvers. The tournament winner is determined by the judges’ scoring given a set of criteria, like the surfer’s control, degree of difficulty, and grace of executing certain maneuvers. The numerical scoring system the judges use is a scale of 1 to 10 points - 0 to 2 points means poor execution and 8 to 10 points means excellent execution. Like every other sport and everything else in life, surfing is not without risk and dangers. These could be rocks, reef, and sandbars that the surfer might slam onto and drown, so it is important to wear the proper clothing and gear.

Lastly, watch out for those men in grey suits - that means sharks in surf talk!