If you're a highway surfer - all mouth and no action - you will probably feel sea sick in this simulation of boards and breakers.
The package includes a plastic surf board, or paddle, which, you may say is the height of hype. You would be wrong, however, as the board is intrinsic to gameplay. Turn the Spectrum keyboard around 90 degrees and centre the board on the 'G' key. Just press down on the relevant part of the board and your computer counterpart will make the same move but in open sea, and hopefully on a breaker.
Spectrum Plus owners will find the paddle difficult to use as the studs under the board depress more than one key, producing inaccurate results.
Before you make your way out to sea in search of surf you must take note of weather conditions and water temperature. Once you've worked out the weather you can choose your equipment from two menus which come on a helpsheet. You must make reference to that before pressing any keys.
When you have entered all the data you can trip off to the beach with your board and attempt to make your way into the briny without getting drowned. The board is steered left and right with the keys on either side of the plastic paddle.
When you are far enough out to sea you can turn and stand, sit or lie on the board, waiting for a wave. As the crest of the breaker looms press the '2' key and prepare to surf. If you are at the right angle the display will change showing an incredible full frontal of a surfer riding a wave. Pull back on the board or you will wipe out or have to bomb out. The game is full of surf-speak.
The game is a true simulator - you can practise in fairly calm conditions or try for a high score on the ranking table. The only thing the package does not supply is 50 million tons of salt water.
Surfchamp won't do much for your style if you're a real surfer, but it gives the feel of the sport. I'm not sure that the plastic control paddle is as indispensable as New Concepts claims - I was able to surf quite happily without it - but it is an incentive which players are bound to appreciate.