Credit: OLAIAN SURF SWIMSUIT WOMEN SS20
Surfing and bodyboarding are two of the most fun water sports, but they can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s important to have a good understanding of surf safety and surf etiquette before getting in the water. If you’re new to surfing, there are a few things to remember to help make your surfing experience as safe and pleasurable as possible.
There’s some important kit too which can help you stay safe in the water:
What is a rip current?
One thing you must watch out for when surfing are rip currents. A rip is a strong and narrow current of water which moves directly away from the shore, cutting through the lines of breaking waves like a river running out to sea. It is strongest and fastest nearest the surface of the water.
Surfers who are caught in a rip current and haven't experienced one before may panic, and could exhaust themselves by trying to swim directly against the flow of water. Rip currents are the main cause of rescues by lifeguards at beaches, so if you are unlucky enough to get caught up in one remember to stay calm, and do not swim against the current. Swim parallel to the beach until you feel free of the pull, then swim to shore using the waves as an extra push by bodyboarding in. If you have trouble breaking free, just tread water as the rip will only take you to the end of the break zone.
What is Surfing Etiquette?
This is a set of ‘unwritten rules’ which are based around being considerate to others, and which every surfer should follow.
Choose the right surf spot: Try not to pick a spot that is out of your ability range as you’ll get in the way of other surfers, or become a potential hazard. And always try and help another surfer in trouble. Surfing can be dangerous, so look after each other.