7 Curiosities you didn’t know about surfing

We know that surfing is one of the most popular and widespread sports all over the world; from the first time someone on the shore decided to conquer and tame a wave, it became a sport that every day gains more and more fans and followers.

We also know that its origin dates back more than 500 years and that the first people who dedicated themselves to riding and conquering waves were the inhabitants of the Polynesian Islands.

Surfing has its own “language” and of course, it’s particular way of greeting, the popular and widespread Shaka.

There are many things we know about surfing, but there are many others that are unknown even to the most dedicated surfers.

Now we will tell you about some of these “curiosities” in surfing.

From our surf school famara beach we can offer you the best offers from all the Canary Islands where you can experience the best sensations that this sport has to offer:

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The first English surfer was Agatha Christie

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Agatha Christie surfing. Fountain: The Christie Archive

The famous British mystery writer was the first woman of British nationality to ride a wave. The most surprising thing is that this “daring” happened in the 1920s.

In 1924 she went to accompany her husband on a journey throughout the British Empire. They passed through countries such as New Zealand, South Africa and Hawaii.

He left testimony of his experience in his diary when he wrote: “It can do some damage when you fall headfirst into the sand, but overall, it is a simple and quite fun sport”.

The Beach Boys Couldn’t Surf

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The Beach Boys, in a 1962 photo. MICHAEL OCHS ARCHIVES (GETTY IMAGES). Way: El PAÍS

This famous musical group established their entire musical career in the sport of surfing; however, they never used a surfboard to practice or ride a wave on any beach in the world.

The Cutback

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This is one of the most popular moves for surfers. It consists of a turn or turn made in the opposite direction; this action allows the recovery of the breaker’s part of a wave when the surfer is very far ahead.

According to a survey conducted among surfers, this is the movement preferred by most of them.

Tsunamis cannot be surfed

Tsunami 1

Although the possibility of surfing in the waves caused by a tsunami may seem very appealing, this is impossible to do.

The waves that are formed as a result of tsunamis acquire a lot of speed, so it is impossible to try to ride them.

Furthermore, on many occasions, these more than waves as such, are foam formations that have little or no control or defined trajectory.

35 Million

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This impressive figure is an approximation of the number of surfers worldwide; 162 countries have surfers.

The number of surfers increases every year by 1,000,000 (one million).

The American continent leads the number of surfers with approximately 13.5 million and growing.

In Europe the number of surfers is about 4.5 million and rising.

The Biggest Wave Surfed

el impresionante espectaculo de las olas gigantes de nazare 1

The tallest wave, ridden and conquered so far, measured 24.38 metres; its conqueror was the Brazilian sportsman Rodrigo Koxa.

This event took place in Praia do Norte, Nazaré, Portugal, on 8 November 2017 and was considered a Guinness Record.

As for women, the biggest wave ridden by a female is in dispute between the one conquered by Justine Dupont, in 2019 and the one ridden by Maya Gabeira during the month of October 2018; both waves had the same height, 20.72 meters or 68 feet.

Paraffin wax

Parafina tabla de surf 1

The paraffin used to coat the surface of surfboards was discovered by Alfred Gallant, who noticed that when his mother waxed the floor with paraffin, it became anti-slip.

When he tested it on the surfboard, he noticed the same anti-slip effect and since then paraffin is used so that the boards do not slip.


Remember to visit all our famara surf courses, so you can enjoy and get to know the real concept of surfing first hand.

Beginner surf lessons 1 day