Beethoven: Conversation through Music

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When you go to the beach and you see people surfing all day long so you want to learn how to do it? Or even how people started to enjoy the sport. That includes the history. Then you see all the different kinds of surfboards. Then think if the surfboard has changed over the years. Also have you ever wanted to meet a famous surfer, and go see a surfing competition.

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Surfing was first observed by Europeans on a ship in Tahiti back in 1767. Back then whoever the top wave rider was, was the top man in his community. That’s how important surfing was to them. Ancient Hawaiian inhabitants looked as if surfing as a part of life, so some days students could get out of school to go learn and get better at doing what was super important to them. Something that they all needed was a surfboard.

In the late 19th century, surfers used boards made out of planks cut from Willi Willi, Ula, Koa and redwood trees, all native to the Pacific islands. Board maker Pete Peterson made the first fiberglass board in 1946, built around a redwood stringer, then covered and sealed with fiberglass tape. California builder Bob Simmons came up with the ‘sandwich’ surfboard a few years later: The board had a foam core, which was then encased in plywood, along with balsa wood outer rails and a coating of fiberglass for waterproofing. One thing they added was flexible fins, lightweight foam and fiberglass building materials, zippy shortboards remained the standard for surfboards. Developments have focused around the rail curve and what can be done with the board’s underside. Different rail curves are available for different surfing abilities. A straight-cut rail allows for a faster turn. A curved rail slows downturns and is better for beginners. As for the underside, shapes are cut to redirect water flow. A double-concave bottom surfboard shifts water through two small depressions, allowing for a smooth ride and easy control. A V-bottom offers a V-shape in the middle of the board, which helps mount vertical waves. Some people either don’t know or get confused about surfing competitions.

Heat consists of 2 to 4 surfers at the same time in a predetermined competition zone. Surfers have between 20 to 30 minutes (the duration of the heat depends on the type of competition) to catch the best waves possible. Every wave they catch is rated on a ten-point scale by a panel of judges and only the two best waves of each surfer is counted, giving them a score on 20. So if a surfer gets a 20/20 it would mean that he had two perfect waves.


29 April 2022

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