Spend a weekend at East Coast Park and chances are you’ll come across youths zipping by on their snazzy new wave boards. A relatively new entrant to the world of roller sports, street surfing is making waves here in Singapore.
What is street surfing?
Introduced only a few years ago, street surfing features techniques similar to skateboarding and snowboarding, but uses a totally different board. Street surfers ride on a wave board, a specially designed board that combines the fluidity of surfing with the easy manoeuvrability of snowboarding and skating.
Consisting of two independently pivoting platforms with wheels that rotate 360 degrees, the wave board gives its rider the flexibility normally reserved for surfers and snowboarders. In addition, street surfing offers the adrenalin rush riders get from these extreme sports, all from the comfort of your own driveway or local park.
While street surfing is considered a new sport, it draws inspiration from the snakeboard, which was invented in 1989. An evolution from the original skateboard, the snakeboard also combined elements of snowboards and surfboards and although production of the snakeboard stopped in the late 1990s, the spirit of the sport lives on in the form of street surfing.
I want to be a street surfer
Street surfing is a free sport without any rules so the main idea is to enjoy the sport and have fun. Unlike skateboarding where the rider faces forward, street surfers mount their boards from the side and stand sideways.
Once securely on the board, street surfers move their hips back and forth, creating a transverse wave motion or an 'S' motion. The core movements of the body propel the board forward, making for an excellent workout in addition to being tons of fun.
What skills do I need?
Though the idea of skating on a board with only two wheels can be pretty intimidating, the payoff for mastering the sport is incredible. Learning to street surf is relatively easy and does not require prior skills in skating, surfing or snowboarding.
“If you have any experience with surfing or skateboarding, street surfing will be a cinch!” says Barry Hanson, group director at SkateSports.
“If not, don’t worry. There are 4-year-olds and 54-year-olds enjoying the sport too,” he added.
Where do I sign up?
If you wish to try your hand at street surfing, there are various schools offering classes in the sport.
SkateSports is the only registered and Certified Skate School teaching Wave Boarding and provides free use of all equipment including boards and safety gear during lessons.