Hi-tech surfing, the innovation of water sports

Surfing has a great charm and has never lost its magic and there are many people around the world who approach this sport.
Fans of this water sport, made famous thanks to numerous films - from Big Wednesday to Point Break, are constantly increasing, and over time, especially among the new generations, the idea of considering (and, above all, "living") surfing. Moreover, in 2020 it will become an Olympic discipline that has increasingly matured as a real innovative sport, able to reinvent itself even through methods that were unthinkable in the past. Today, surfing, one of the water sports par excellence and, for many enthusiasts, a true philosophy of life, puts the traditional surfboards in the attic - yes - gliding (it must be said) on hi-tech surfboards. Not only that.
The future of this fascinating practice, to be faced with the right dose of humility ("We are all equal before a wave", the motto of the U.S. champion Laird Hamilton) already passes through electric surfboards, the landing place of companies in the industry that test technologies for the creation of engines for water vehicles powered by battery. And again, the 3D printed board, the dronesurfing - or surfing pulled by a drone, even without waves - the environments created "ad hoc" to practice this sport all year round. And why not, go surfing with your smartphone and download the best surf apps to your device.

The different ways of surfing

Surf at a height of about one metre above the water, almost as if to fly, even in the absence of wind. It is not science fiction, but the new Eldorado of hi-tech surfing, jugging a board designed and built with the aim of "flying" a metre from the waves. Distinguished by a carbon wing profile and strong electric jet engine - which creates a sort of alisurf - this board releases its power thanks to the technology for e-foil, already used in water sports such as sailing, kitesurfing and windsurfing.
The foil can be identified as an appendix, usually in the shape of an inverted "T", which is connected to the lower part of the hull and can determine a vertical thrust, making the board lift from the water. In particular, the foil allows a reduction in the way the surface makes contact with water, and consequently the hydrodynamic resistance makes an inevitable increase in speed even in low wind conditions. To guarantee high evolutions.
From the high-performance e-foil board with jet propulsion to the 3D-printed surfboard to (really) challenge the waves of the sea. For its realisation (ten separate parts and three-dimensional printing) have been put in place digital manufacturing techniques reserved, in practice, for aerospace applications. The whole process? It took four full days of work. Developments in 3D printing in water sports. Not to mention the hi-tech surfboard characterised by sensors mounted on the bottom face, therefore in contact with the surface of the sea, and a waterproof computer with wireless transmitter. So the smart surfboard connects to a netbook, which - placed on the shore - acquires the appropriate telemetric data.

Surfing with a drone, it's already reality

The drones have actually entered the sports universe. No exception is made for water sports, where drone-surfing is a curiosity for enthusiasts and professionals. It is a practice reminiscent of kitesurfing, in which the enthusiast is pulled by a cable drone (helped by a bar that holds in his hands). And here's the drone rising into the air, sliding the table over the water - whether it's sea, lake or river it doesn't matter - even when there's no wind. This is without prejudice to the distances to be maintained from the shore and the care not to harm swimmers and boats. Drones for surfing video shooting?
Thanks to new technology this novelty is somehow outdated. Or rather, integrated into the practice of the sport. Which, for its part, can leverage on increasingly captivating news to whet the imagination of those who want to approach the world of surfing. Like artificial waves for surfing, a decidedly innovative approach that is explicit in offering the enthusiast an "ad hoc" structure where different types of waves are recreated, each of which varies in terms of difficulty, size, length. Surfing with artificial waves, in short, where beginners and pro-surfers can try their hand at it without distinction.

Surfing: the perfect wave is found with your smartphone

The most evocative beaches, the best conditions, the characteristics of the seabed: from the beach break (sandy) to the point break (rocky, which also gives the title to the film of the same name), from the reef break (coral reef) to the so-called artificial break, determined by artificial barriers built in an artificial way (a pier or a port, for example), where the waves form less predictably. There are many considerations that a surfer (not only among professionals) must make before going down into the water.

And here is the technology to help them, thanks to apps for surfers that, in addition to orienting the enthusiast about the type of seabed, can help them to record the progress made and improve the technique.

Hi-tech surfing with the best apps for Android and iOS, such as the app that provides detailed information on currents and tides, as well as forecasts on the "swell" - the energy generated by strong winds that produces wave sequences - for the entire week (up to ten days for premium users). The app that helps you choose your surfboard based on your physical condition, height, weight and experience is also recommended. Buy the model that best suits your needs.
Not to mention the importance of the spots - stretches of coastline where the waves are able to break at best to be surfed - equipped with webcams, which show 24 hours a day the images. To make sure that it's worth the effort to get into the water. If you prefer to stay at home? No problem. You can also surf while sitting on the couch, downloading the app that allows you to challenge the most fearsome waves, from Hawaii to the Fiji Islands, playing alone or facing other fans in various evolutions.

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