If you are a surfer, then having as much fun in the surf whilst remaining safe is always a priority. There's so much ocean to play in, more than enough waves, and always new surf spots to explore… So to ensure that you enjoy your time in the water during your next surf session or surf camp
, here are a few essential safety tips:
Even before you get to the surf, it's very important that you get yourself in shape with water training. Simply put: swim. Ask yourself ‘Would I be comfortable swimming to the shore if I lost my board?' Feeling confident in your ability in the water with your swimming is essential. So get to your local swimming pool regularly, and work on your front crawl technique often… it will make you feel more confident in the surf and a stronger surfer overall.
If surfing a new surf spot for the first time, or even in a different season to when you are used to, find out about the break. Which tides are safest, where are the rip currents, what is the swell report for later that day? The more information you have, the better prepared you will be, and you will also know where the best waves will form.
If there is one thing that all beginner surfers should do, is to look around them before they launch themselves on their board with the wave, as far too often they haven't seen that another surfer is in front of them. Collisions happen all too often, which are easily avoidable with some common sense. So look around you… who is there, who is paddling to the line-up, do you have enough space if you come off your board to not fall on anyone? Engage your common sense, if in doubt, don't go- there will always be more waves to catch.
We all need to respect the ocean's power and fellow surfers/bodyboards/swimmers in the water. The ocean is an incredibly volatile and powerful source of energy which can quickly change conditions. So respect it. If the conditions in the surf change, become too strong or dangerous for you, get out… you are not going to win against the ocean. Also, respect those surfers who have been surfing for longer than you, and who are simply better than you! Unless you are Kelly Slater, then there is always going to be a better surfer in the water than you, so respect them and they will respect you.
5- Know your limits
Feeling tired? Or maybe the waves are getting that little bit too big for your comfort? Know your limits and know when it's time to get out of the surf. You don't want to be that one person who crashes into another surfer, or even has to be rescued by the beach lifeguards. There's nothing wrong with getting out of the water, ready to surf another time injury free.