Surfing is a surface water sport in which the surfer rides on the forward or deep face of a moving wave toward 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. However, surfers can also utilize artificial waves such as those from boat wakes and the waves created in artificial wave pools.
The term surfing refers to riding a wave with or without a board, and regardless of the stance used (goofy or regular stance).
The native peoples of the Pacific surfed waves on alaia, paipo, and other such craft, on their belly and knees. Modern-day surfers mostly ride a wave standing up on a surfboard.
The Guinness Book of World Records recognized a 78 feet (23.8 m) wave ride by Garrett McNamara at Nazaré, Portugal as the largest wave ever surfed, although this remains an issue of much contention amongst many surfers, given the difficulty of measuring a constantly changing mound of water.
In tow-in surfing (most often, but not exclusively, associated with big wave surfing),
a motorized water vehicle, such as a personal watercraft, tows the surfer into the wave front,
helping the surfer match a large wave's speed,
which is generally a higher speed than a self-propelled surfer can produce.
The surfing lifestyle has added a whole new fashion genre and made more varied swimwear widely available. Rash vest evolved into swim shirts that look cool in the pool. Swimming in tee shirt, beach pants and hoodies is no longer seen as weird, but a freedom fashion statement.