The Physics Behind Surfing

Marygail Muller & Erin Rafter

Why Surfing?

We chose the topic of surfing because it seems interesting to do further research on this. Additionally, we love to go to the beach and watch the waves crash. It reminded us of summer because we want to GRADUATE already. Also, we have always wanted to learn how to surf. We thought doing further research on this would help us learn how.   

What's surfing dude?

Surfing is a sport of pastime of riding a wave toward the shore while standing or laying on a surfboard and keeping balance.

Gnarly Physics Concepts

Gravity - This is the force that pulls down on the surfboard. The buoyant force pushes up and creates an equilibrium which allows the surfboard to float.

buoyancy-since gravity pushes down on the surfboard and the buoyancy force pushes up on the surfboard this causes a net force of zero, allowing the surfer to balance on to of the surfboard.

second concept

Centripetal Force - Centripetal force is the force that gives the surfboard power to turn right after the bottom turn. Torque is supplied to create the centripetal force. Additionally, torque is increased by the surfer's momentum as the surfer travels the wave.

third concept

Balance- When the upward buoyancy force and the downward gravity force are equal, the surfboard will be in equilibrium. Thus allowing the surfer to balance on top of the surfboard and stay afloat.


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