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TOW IN SURFING

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Tow-in surfing is a surfing technique pioneered by Laird Hamilton, Buzzy Kerbox, Dave Kalama, and others in the mid 1990s where a surfer is towed into a breaking wave by a partner driving a personal watercraft or a helicopter with an attached tow-line. This method has a demonstrated advantage in situations where the wave is too large and moving too quickly for the surfer to catch it by paddling with his hands (such as Peahi off the north side of Maui), or where position on the wave is extremely critical (Teahupoo off southeast Tahiti).

The use of a helicopter for tow-in surfing started to appear in the mid 2000s, and has several advantages over the use of a personal watercraft. The pilot, positioned high above the surfer, is able to spot large waves from further away and position the surfer accordingly. Additionally, a helicopter can go faster, and is not affected by the ocean surface like a watercraft.


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