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Body surfing, where the wave is surfed without a board, using the surfer's own body to catch and ride the wave, is very common and is considered by some to be the purest form of surfing.Three major subdivisions within standing-up surfing are stand-up paddling, long boarding and short boarding with several major differences including the board design and length, the riding style, and the kind of wave that is ridden.Looking for a way to entice visitors to the area of Redondo Beach, where he had heavily invested in real estate, he hired a young Hawaiian to ride surfboards.George Freeth decided to revive the art of surfing, but had little success with the huge 16-foot hardwood boards that were popular at that time.When he cut them in half to make them more manageable, he created the original "Long board", which made him the talk of the islands.To the delight of visitors, Freeth exhibited his surfing skills twice a day in front of the Hotel Redondo. Swell is generated when wind blows consistently over a large area of open water, called the wind's fetch.Waves are Left handed and Right Handed depending upon the breaking formation of the wave.

Surfing-related sports such as paddle boarding and sea kayaking do not require waves, and other derivative sports such as kite surfing and windsurfing rely primarily on wind for power, yet all of these platforms may also be used to ride waves.

In July 1885, three teenage Hawaiian princes took a break from their boarding school, St.

Mathew’s Hall in San Mateo, and came to cool off in Santa Cruz, California.

Recently with the use of V-drive boats, Wakesurfing, in which one surfs on the wake of a boat, has emerged.

The Guinness Book of World Records recognized a 78 feet (23.8 m) wave ride by Garrett Mc Namara at Nazaré, Portugal as the largest wave ever surfed.

Local wind conditions affect wave quality, since the surface of a wave can become choppy in blustery conditions.