Winter

While skateboarding is widely considered to be the most popular boardsport, surfing is quickly gaining momentum across the country. About 1,736,000 Americans say that they surf at least once per year, and that number continues to grow by the day.

Surfing is so popular because the whole family can get in on the fun. From the advanced surfers who shred huge waves to beginners just learning to stand up on their board, there’s no better way to enhance your next trip to the beach than by bringing along a surfboard. There are endless ways that you can customize your experience with different kinds of surfboards, as well as some sister sports to surfing that are just as fun. Here are just three of the many reasons that surfing is more popular today than ever before:

    Healthy fun for the whole family. America seems to be facing a bit of an obesity epidemic in the past decade, and families are always on the lookout for new ways to stay active and have fun. Surfing is one of the this country’s oldest and most enduring pastimes, and more families are beginning to realize that you don’t need to be world champion surfer Kelly Slater to hit the waves and have fun. Surfing is the perfect combination of exercise and excitement, and your kids will be clamoring to know when they can get back to the beach.

    Awesome custom surfboards. Each year, approximately 400,000 surfboards are manufactured, and you can bet that no two boards are the same. Much like skateboarding, surfing offers an infinite number of ways to personalize your experience, and it all starts with your surfboard. Boards come in all types of colors, lengths, and varieties, and some surf shops will even let you give them a custom design to embed on your board. Teenagers love being able to express themselves through art, and a durable surfboard with their choice of design on it will be something they cherish for a lifetime.

    Other fun water boardsports. If you’re worried about being able to stand up on a surfboard, don’t fret. Surfing has two distinct sister sports that are just as fun as and well-equipped to introduce beginners to water boardsports. Stand up paddle boarding is one of the most relaxing things you could ever do at the beach, allowing you to really enjoy the serenity of the water. Up to 2 million Americans participated in stand up paddle boarding in 2013 alone. There’s also bodyboarding, which is done closer to the shore on a smaller version of a surfboard. You simply take a running start, plop onto the board, and you’re flying across the crest of the water like a dart through the air.

Make sure to try surfing, stand up paddle boarding, and/or bodyboarding the next time your family takes a trip to the beach. It’s a great way to bond with your loved ones and get a great workout without even realizing it.