May 15, 2009, Newsletter Issue #306: Australian Sports: Surfing

Tip of the Week

Thousands of Australians regularly journey to the coastline to surf some of the world´s best-known breaks. Bell´s Beach in Victoria, the town of Margaret River in Western Australia and Sydney´s Bondi Beach all have cult status, but locals will tell you the lesser-known spots are home to the best waves.
Surfing originated in the Oceania region, and Australia was among the first countries to develop the sport. Originally, surfboards were long and cumbersome hardwood slabs weighing about 68 kilograms — nothing like the lightweight fibreglass boards favoured today. More manageable three-metre boards have been at the centre of an ongoing surfing boom since the 1960s, which has brought a corresponding leap in international surfing and body-boarding tours.
Australians long have been at the top of professional surfing. Mark Occhilupo and Shane Powell rank among the elite men, and Layne Beachley sits atop the women´s world rankings.
Nude surfing is a popular novelty event. At this year´s Sydney Fringe Festival Night Nude Surfing Contest, 40 men and four brave women hit the water at Bondi.

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