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The size of a swell is determined by the strength of the wind and the length of its fetch and duration.

Because of this, surf tends to be larger and more prevalent on coastlines exposed to large expanses of ocean traversed by intense low pressure systems.

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Another prominent form of surfing is body boarding, when a surfer rides a wave on a bodyboard, either lying on their belly, drop knee, or sometimes even standing up on a body board.

Other types of surfing include knee boarding, surf matting (riding inflatable mats), and using foils.

Surfing is a surface water sport in which the wave rider, referred to as a surfer, rides on the forward or deep face of a moving wave, which is usually carrying the surfer towards the shore.

Waves suitable for surfing are primarily found in the ocean, but can also be found in lakes or in rivers in the form of a standing wave or tidal bore.

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.

Lieutenant James King was the first person to write about the art of surfing on Hawaii when he was completing the journals of Captain James Cook upon Cook's death in 1779.

When Mark Twain visited Hawaii in 1866 he wrote, ), and Tonga, far pre-dating the practice of surfing by Hawaiians and eastern Polynesians by over a thousand years.

Waves are Left handed and Right Handed depending upon the breaking formation of the wave.

Waves are generally recognized by the surfaces over which they break.

Huntington brought the ancient art of surfing to the California coast.

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