On very few occasions have I ever seen or heard of a surfer getting injured. Although surfing is typically a pretty safe sport, you still need to be careful whenever you hit the water as surfing has its inherent dangers.
The most obvious risk in any water sport is drowning. There’s quite a number of ways where you can unintentionally raise the odds of drowning whenever you go surfing.
The first and best way to prevent drowning is by being prepared. Wiping out is a common part of surfing for even the most advanced. Know that you will be dealing with strong waves and if you get wiped out, you will need to swim. Just being capable of swimming is not enough as surfing will put you in a place where the waves are very strong, which means that you need to be physically fit in order for you to get yourself out of harm’s way.
Your training is the key to minimizing risks! After falling off the board or getting wiped out, the first thing that you need to do is locate your board. You have to keep in mind that your board is positively buoyant which means that you will be able to use your board as a floatation device. If your board drifts back to the shore or becomes lost in all the madness, swimming back will requires a great deal of stamina if there are strong currents.
So, before you surf, it’s a great idea to learn to swim well and work on your strength and endurance. As a strong swimmer, you will be able to pull yourself out of dangerous situations in case you are wiped out.
Another common mistake that some surfers make is not being alert. Although surfing appears to be a simple sport, there are quite a number of things that you need to be aware of whenever you’re surfing, for example, the wind. Closer to shore it can shift rapidly which can throw you off balance and push you off your board. Riptides and current eddies are also things that you should be aware of as it will prevent you from swimming ashore easily.
Never surf alone is an unwritten rule that anyone who surfs should follow. Your surf buddy is your backup and you are also theirs. If you do get in to trouble, your buddy will be able to assist you. For example, your surf buddy will be able to help you get out of the water safely if you unexpectedly experience getting cramps while swimming ashore. You should also do the same for them.
You should become aware of what lies beneath the waters surface. Underwater rocks, unseen underwater formations, and coral reefs can potentially damage your board as well as your body. Marine life, such as jellyfish and sharks, can also be a problem. Keeping an eye out for the presence of all these things will help you know whether it is safe to surf or not.
Checking to see if the waves are suitable for your skill level is another tip you should always consider. You wouldn’t want to surf a wave that you can’t handle, would you? Surfing a wave that is too dangerous for your skill level can have disastrous consequences.
Considering these few tips the next time you’re about to ride a wave, will help to ensure that you are able to have an enjoyable and safe time in the water. Remember that it is always better to be safe than to be sorry.