Surf speed: turns are fast

The best surfers in the world have already checked their best speed records, in the 2011 Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, in Australia. The GPS tracking device has delivered data for the first waves of the season.

In Snapper Rocks, Mick Fanning is currently the fastest surfer. The Australian champion recorded a maximum speed of 39,1 km/h. In second place, Joel Parkinson stands with 34,6 km/h. Bede Durbidge is third (33,6 km/h) and 10-time world champion Kelly Slater places in fourth (32 km/h).

The benchmark can be set in the 45 km/h mark, in the near future, experts say. Also, it's interesting to check the overall distance, too. Parkinson leads the way with 3996 metres of waves already ridden.

So, it seems like speed is going to drive surfing in the next years. That's why surfboard manufacturers are investing in technologies to be embedded in the boards, so that coaches and surfers may analyze performance and correct body postures.

For example, it's been proved that the fastest moment in a wave is generally when surfers turn, by cutting back quickly. This proves that speed in surfing does not necessarily mean a straight line.

Check out the speed surfing video analysis of the 2011 Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, here.