Windsurfing vs. Surfing (Compare/Contrast)
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While surfing is still the most popular sport, windsurfing is becoming the new hit on the shores. Windsurfing is easier than surfing, faster than surfing, and more versatile than surfing. It can be enjoyed on flat water or in waves, on lakes or the sea, and modern equipment means it’s cheaper and easier to get into than ever before.
Not only can windsurfing be done on the ocean, but it can also be done in many other creative places. For example, windsurfing can be done on lakes, ponds, and even rivers. And if that isn’t good enough, even indoor windsurfing has been done. The first competition of indoor windsurfing was done in 1991 in Bercy Stadium, Paris, in a 70 meter pool with 25 large fans set up on the side. Many have been held since. Windsurfing also has many different types of boards for different types of windsurfing, which is not nearly as common in regular surfing.
Regular surfing is old. It is believed that surfing has been around since before the 15th century, originating from the Hawaiians. With the new age of technology and knowledge, surfing has become outdated and new technology has brought greater advancements (windsurfing). Also, regular surfing (or wave surfing) is much more dangerous, racking up deaths way higher than windsurfing. People have been dying from wave surfing for at least 600 years!
Windsurfing was pretty much invented in the USA in the 1960s by Hoyle Schweitzer and Jim Drake. They attached a sail to a surfboard using a universal joint, patented the idea, and spent a large amount of the next 15 years taking legal action against anyone who tried to sell anything similar or even use a word like ‘Windsurf’ to sell a magazine. The patent was never granted in the UK because a man named Peter Chilvers built something fairly similar in 1958. Windsurfing’s boom years were the 1980s, when it became a fashionable sport for young professionals. Boards in 1980 were huge, heavy, plastic or even wooden objects with large fixed dagger boards (the windsurfer’s keel), small fins and massive sails made of woven nylon which were no competition for the racing sailboats of the day. By the end of the decade advances in construction techniques meant even beginner boards were smaller, lighter and stiffer than ever before, sails were transparent monofilament constructions and the top riders were propelling them to speeds of over 50 miles per hour.
Windsurfing is now slowly becoming the more popular way to have fun on the water, be it an ocean, a lake, a pond, a river, even a swimming pool. It is great fun and attracts crowds of all ages. It’s now cheaper to get into and easier to learn with the new various equipment and technology advancements. Windsurfing is the new and growing sport that everyone is getting into.