Surfing is a surface water sport in which the surfer rides a surfboard on the crest and face of a wave which is carrying the surfer towards the shore. Waves suitable for surfing are found primarily in the ocean, but are also sometimes found inlakes and rivers, and also in manmade wave pools.
Many variations of the sport exist and the definitions of what constitutes a suitable wave, what is a surfboard, and even what is a surfer, have been expanding and multiplying over the years. Bodysurfing involves riding the wave without a board, and is considered by some to be the purest form of surfing. Other variations that have existed for centuries include paipo boarding, stand up paddle surfing, and the use of boats or canoes to ride waves. More modern craft that are used include bodyboards, inflatable mats (surfmatting), and foils. As documented in various surfing documentaries (including “Fair Bits”) other objects have occasionally been used instead of surfboards, including water skiis, wakeboards, desks, guitars, and doors. When more than one person uses the same craft to ride a wave together, it is known as “tandem” surfing.
Two major subdivisions within stand-up surfing are longboarding and shortboarding, reflecting differences in board design, including surfboard length, riding style, and the kind of wave that is ridden.
In tow-in surfing (most often, but not exclusively, associated with big wave surfing), a motorized water vehicle, such as apersonal watercraft, tows the surfer into the wave front, helping the surfer match a large wave’s higher speed, which is generally a speed that a self-propelled surfer cannot match.
Surfing-related sports such as stand up paddle surfing, paddleboarding and sea kayaking do not require waves, and other derivative sports such as kitesurfing and windsurfing rely primarily on wind for power, yet all of these platforms may also be used to ride waves.
Reference: Wikipedia Surfing