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The Science of Surfing

Surfing is way more than a modern fad - it was invented hundreds of years ago by the Pacific islanders of Polynesia. Kidzworld takes a look at the science behind the wettest sport the summer has to offer.

How Waves are Formed

When wind blows over the vast expanses of the open water, it creates waves. Three factors influence how big those waves are - the speed of the wind, distance the wind travels over the water (also known as "fetch") and the length of time it travels for. The biggest waves are created by storms far out at sea. They start out as huge, choppy waves and gradually decline into strong, smooth peaks (swell). The swell drags against the ocean floor as it gets nearer to the beach. That dragging causes friction, which causes the wave to grow taller, slow down and eventually break.

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

The shape of the ocean floor and the direction of the wind are the two main factors that cause a wave to break (crash). The best surfing waves are usually caused by underwater features like sand banks, rocky points or reefs. To get the hollow tubes that surfers love, the ocean floor has to slope steeply. Waves tend to break more gently and farther out if the slope of the ocean floor is gradual. Surfers also prefer it when the wind blows from the beach out to the sea, which is called offshore because it helps to maintain clean waves, which are better to surf. If the wind blows from the ocean to the beach (onshore) or across the beach (cross-shore), it will cause the waves to be messy and choppy.

Riding the Wave

Balance is the key to surfing. The center of gravity is towards the tail of the surfboard. To ride a wave, the surfer has to straddle the center of gravity. If the surfer's weight is too far toward the nose of the board, the board will tip forward and the nose will sink. If the surfer's weight is too far towards the tail, the board will tip and the tail will sink. The surfer wants to catch the wave just as it is breaking, which is when it has maximum velocity (speed). In order to catch the wave, the surfers' momentum must be equal to the wave's momentum. When this happens, the surfer will feel the board being carried along by the wave. The rider stands and uses balance and the shifting of his body weight to control his direction.

Did U Know?

  • Some Australian universities offer degrees in "Surf Science and Technology".
  • Olympic medalist Duke Kahanamoku is often credited as having introduced surfing to the world.
  • Surfboards were originally made of wood but most are now made from polyurethane foam and then wrapped in fiberglass.

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What's Your Fave Water Sport?

  • I'm a total surf lover!
  • I like SCUBA diving.
  • I'm in to skimboarding.
  • I love plain old swimming.

General In The Forums

CRCardinal
Fear: The Emotion of Death   You can't see me, But I'm there. I'm in your tears, I'm everywhere. I stalk you in your shadow, So stealthy and no slack. I'm made of dark matter, You better watch your back. You can hear me, I'm your beating heart. Inside is emptiness, Tearing you apart. You shiver and shake, At the sound of my name. I engulf you, drown you, Surround you with shame.   I've seen destruction, More than anyone. I'm darker than, The world with no sun. The agony arises, There's so much red. Most of it coming, From the dead. I become your shadow, I'm a terrible sight. And when you see me, You're frozen with fright. I'll grab you by your neck, You'll be thrashing around. You're crying, shrieking, Until there's no sound.   I feel so sad, So empty, so. . . Alone. So you'll feel the same, You'll be on your own. And as long as you are with me, At the point of no return. You will go crazy. You'll crash and burn.   Then you understand, With your slowing of breath. That I am Fear, The Emotion of Death.
reply about 1 hour
XxRuby_PhoenixxX
[Warning: Boring]     It all started on one night where I was doing a quiz on Playbuzz. They were fun, but my mom thought they were inappropriate. Searching the web, she found this site and saw it had quizzes on it. They weren't that fun, honestly. And this site? It was kidzworld. I forced her to let me make an account, and we did. No status. No bio. No mood. No picture. I swore to not go in chatroom or chat with people, because apparently they could be an old man in a basement. I nodded in agreement, saying that she could trust me. Of course, I did some quizzes and went off. That night, we went to bed of course. Now major time skip.    It's, let's say, three nights later. About midnight, and my iPod is next to me. I decided to go and check out "kids world". Clicking into "login", I guessed my password since I really forgot it. Score! Got it right. Anyways, I look around. Forums. Quizzes. Games. And then something spotted my eye.  Chatroom.  Clicking on it, I typed in these exact words.  "Hello?" And that's how my journey started. A few days later, maybe a week, I was introduced to the "boards". Clicking on it, I immediately saw the Roleplay section. Unknowing what it was, I created "Lemini The Witch" and got into an argument with someone who I will not name((*Cough* Gpc78 )). Anyways, I deleted the post. My first Roleplay I made was Crystal Heights. Noobish, stupid, horrible. But surprisingly, people joined. This is where my soon-to-be-best- friend, Ivy, entered my virtual life. And my other best friends. first message: "Are you going to post? We're waiting for you two lovebirds! ;)". Conversation continued. And continued. Our bond grew and grew, until we had reached 100 pages of private messages. 100. Pages. I couldn't believe it at first. 100 pages of messages with my soon-to-be-best-friend. As most of you know, a few months ago, I created several hundred opportunities for advanced roleplayers who were not acknowledged to go through the gates of Roleplaying Heaven. Including me. I helped them by creating the Top Ten Roleplayers, and "accidently" tagging every single advanced Roleplayer. Even Musicgenius showed up. This is a process in the soon to be made   "Roleplaying Council", which I am a part of. During this, me and Ivy were nearing 300 pages of private messages. Crystal Heights was over, but my life was going uphill, closer to opportunity. Even in real life, my hopes were flying closer to the clouds. A few months after this, my faith in the Lord started to fade. I am 10, I started to realize the true meaning of the Bible and what it's message was. I was stuck in the middle of what seemed like a tornado, being swept over to one side, but then jerked back to the other, while being hurt in the progress. I was tearing myself apart. That's went the tornado stopped. It was just rain. I was closer to finding out my true religion. And that was atheism. I felt like I had to have a religion, like something had to have created the universe. My heart was leaning towards Christianity, but my mind was going to atheism. Go with your mind, not your heart, was my instinct. Me and Ivy were nearing 500 pages of private messages. Little did we know that I would be deleting my account and coming back as Ruby Phoenix. As the days passed, my hatred for my user grew. I finally decided to message Jordan that "Please delete my account". I don't know if it was a good thing or bad mistake I did that, but it's too late now. After this,  I felt like my roleplaying creativity was fading away. My titles weren't original like my old ones. I had changed a lot.  And I mean a lot.  On Animal Jam, I was afraid of deleting a buddy. Now I do it without hesitation. I don't cry as much. Like a shell has grown around my emotions. Thanks to the internet, I've grown tougher.  A few months later, my days were, and are, gloomier. I was, and still am, always stressed about tomorrow. If I have too much work. If I can't do things right. If I mess up. If I do anything wrong. I am confused. Why am I here? Where do we go after we die? Why didn't I just continue to not exist? What is my purpose? What's my religion? So many questions for a 10 year old in my fizzing, overloading mind.    I just wanted to share this, just to. 
reply about 2 hours
ScoobysFriend
Listen closely.
reply about 3 hours
ScoobysFriend
ScoobysFriend posted in Debating:
"Nisya-" wrote:Because most of singers are following the era.Look at Taylor Swift,she was producing country album but she realized producing that (her favorite genre since like forever) would not make people 'look' at her album anymore so she started to produce pop album on 2014 called 1989 (but I didn't say that her pop music are trash now they sounds awesome actually) Taylor Swift is a key example, she wont follow her dream because of peoples opinions and money. She is just ran by money just like all of the others. Taylor is extremely talented and she is just letting it go to waste.
reply about 3 hours
ScoobysFriend
@AlhaT "If people can except you for who you are, than thats their problem. You aren't any different from everyone else just because you wear kilts. Or whatever, dont let them get to you, really. " I couldnt of said it better, but this is bigger then kilts, this is a problem with several clothes, men dressing as females, and vise versa, but people will always have there opinion no matter what. And actually the problem is you caring about what people thing do what you want, be a leader not a follower.
reply about 3 hours