Water Sports – Swimming, Surfing

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Water sports have been enjoyed for centuries, providing both enjoyment and thrill. Humans have always had a fascination with conquering water – exploring its depths, gliding across its surface with vehicles, and using its resistance to improve physical fitness. Water serves as the backdrop for remarkable yet ordinary events worldwide. With water covering 75% of the Earth’s surface and making up over 90% of our bodies, it is no surprise that it plays a significant role in our personal and professional lives. So let’s dive in and explore all that water has to offer!

Swimming is the most popular water sport because it is accessible and affordable, symbolizing heroism and religious significance in classical literature. In 1538, Nicolas Wynman’s Dialogue Concerning the Art of Swimming documented the earliest known swimming techniques, although historians are unsure about his conversation partner. Modern swimming pools have since emerged as a safer and more convenient way for individuals from diverse backgrounds to master swimming.

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Swimming was added to the Olympic Games in 1896. Notable swimming achievements include crossing the English Channel, which requires physical strength, endurance for enduring long distances and cold waters, as well as immense determination and bravery. In 1875, an Englishman named Matthew Webb became the first person to accomplish this feat. Later, in 1926, Gertrude Ederle from the United States became the first woman to successfully cross the channel.

The various forms of swimming, including speed, endurance, and technique, are continually developing. Snorkeling offers an exciting opportunity to observe diverse marine life and fish species in their natural habitat. It provides a unique experience akin to immersing oneself in a living artwork that ranges from tranquil serenity to thrilling intensity. As land-dwelling creatures, humans employ snorkeling as a means to explore an aquatic realm not originally intended for us. In ancient times, people used hollow reeds as snorkels. After swimming, snorkeling is the second oldest water sport.

Pliny the Elder mentioned it in ancient Rome. At the request of the Venetian senate, Leonardo Da Vinci designed a snorkel that was more advanced. Da Vinci’s snorkel was a tube connected to divers’ leather helmets. Most people agreed that his invention was superior to using a reed. Today, snorkels are J-shaped tubes made of rubber that have an opening on one end and a mouthpiece on the other end. The average length of the tube is 2 ft (61cm).

Contrary to popular belief, the origins of surfing were not in Hawaii. According to archaeological evidence, Peruvians engaged in the sport as early as 200B.C.E. They employed reed boats, and even today, fishermen in Peru can be seen riding their own adaptations called “little reed horses.” Surfing started gaining popularity in America, particularly California, during the 1920s. By the 1960s, it became a beloved activity among youth. At first, skilled surfers relied on long wooden boards they crafted by hand.

Modern surfboards are made of lighter synthetic materials and have aerodynamic shapes that allow for more maneuverability on the waves. International Surfing Championships take place worldwide, including in Australia, California, and Hawaii.

Water polo, a water sport originating in England in the 1870s, started as a variation of rugby played in rivers and lakes.

The sport known as water polo gets its name from the English pronunciation of the Balti word for ball, pulu. It was introduced to Americans in the early twentieth century, and today there are college teams and clubs dedicated to this sport. Initially, Americans attempted their own version of water polo called softball water polo, which used a soft rubber ball and a larger pool. However, this variation was eventually abandoned due to frequent displays of violent behavior and rough play. Men’s water polo was included as an Olympic event in 1900, followed by women’s water polo in 2000.

Water sports provide a wide range of exciting activities, including white water rafting, water skiing, underwater hockey, and diving. Whether you are participating or watching, these sports bring immense enjoyment. If you want a change from traditional sports like football and basketball, consider trying the invigorating experience of water sports. This article explores the origins of Swimming, Snorkeling, Surfing, and Water Polo – popular forms of water sports that have excited people throughout history.

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Water Sports – Swimming, Surfing. (2017, Mar 28). Retrieved from


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