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International Surfing Day © Darren Tierney/Getty ImagesJoin Our GIFs Group
Of all the tricks humans have taught themselves, few delight and impress more than surfing. A sport, a pastime, an art, a philosophy of life, surfing is as close to magic as a person can perform on the untamed ocean. Today, the sport of wave riding gets its well-earned due with International Surfing Day, a time each year to honor the sport, the lifestyle of surfing, and the ocean itself, whose good health is vital to the sport and so much else. Surfers have a special connection to the ocean and the waves it produces. A surfable wave is shaped by countless variables: The winds hundreds or thousands of miles away that produced the energy to set the swells in motion, and then the reef or point of land or underwater boulder upon which a swell will break into a perfectly shaped wave. Wind and timing are everything, and devoted surfers know the weather and the shore intimately.