Surfing Mutation Part 2 – All Weather Tech
In the second part of my dig into “the way we change” for surfing (which started here) I’ve had a look at the different versions of surfing technology created by the conditions we have to face.
Surfing the conditions
There are surfers all over the world. Some are lucky to be in a place where the conditions are ripe every day, others are lucky to see one surfable week in a year, but there’s something in a surfer that makes her/him determined to surf wherever and whenever s/he can. As a result of this die-hard attitude to wave riding there are reams of different technologies available for different weather conditions. A very simple example of this is wax – in warmer water certain types of wax will soften and create a slick on your board – different types for different temperatures. From here on up it gets a little more complicated.
Wetsuits. As soon as you start looking into wetsuits on any serious level you’ll find yourself faced with numbers and different manufacturing techniques.
Like anything in the surfing world you’ll learn with experience just how much difference a feature might make. Do you need Toastex Lining (a feature name for Animal wetsuits) ? Who can tell you for sure until you’ve given it a go? There are thousands of variations on the same theme, so make sure you read up before you splash that first big figure on a wetsuit. There’s some useful info here.
There are extra thickness suits that allow us to surf in places never even considered before the turn of the century. The Scots are heavy on the surfing scene since the introduction of self heating wetsuits.
Electronics. There’s been a wave of new tech coming through recently that – similarly to the electronically heated wetsuit – allow pace setters to break new boundaries. Websites like MagicSeaweed can be accessed remotely for a quick breakdown of the forecast as mentioned in the “App” section of this post.
Cameras are among the front line in the technology movement, and the Go Pro is comfortably the family favourite. No doubt you’ve seen loads of footage from the surfers point of view. On-board cameras allow wannabe pros to check their stance and movement across the board, not to mention documenting their success stories and emergency situations. Take a look at this video about a surfer rescue mission, but be warned… it’s a tad unnerving.