Anyone who is going to start surfing either with a guide or under a teacher should first understand that surfing is an extreme sport. There are many factors that may pose danger to you. Following a few safety tips and some surfing principles, you can escape from being in a dangerous situation. It could save you and others from injuries.
The weather can be very erratic in behavior at times. As a surfer, you are exposing yourself to the elements of nature like water and wind. It is advisable to keep a keen eye on the weather and its changes. Any carelessness in this aspect could put your life in danger.
Salt water is an excellent conductor of electricity. You should immediately come out of the water if there is a thunderstorm. Strong winds and storm can alter the direction and strength of the current. Heavy rains can blind you completely and you could lose any sense of direction. Sea behaves very strongly to weather conditions and could change very drastically. You should always keep your eyes open for any change in weather.
You should know what wave size you are comfortable with surfing. This is the basic thing in surfing safety. For beginners, they should always start with small waves. If you are a beginner, you should only surf on the wave of height 2 to 3 feet on reefs and 3 to 5 feet on sandy beaches. Waves on reefs have more strength than those on sandy beaches. Hence the size difference.
Never attempt to enter a barrel till you are an expert. This is not something for even the moderate surfer. This is only for experts and you should always remember this.
Know The Landscape
If you want to safely surf a reef you should know the shallow parts. Coral cuts can be deadly. Surfing near cliffs is very dangerous too as you can be thrown at a solid wall. Jetties are made to stop erosion and you can be brought to a sudden stop. Weaving in and out piers can be done only after you have become an ace at the sport.
High tides can hide boulders and rocks just under the surface of the water. Study the place both at low tide and high tide. That will make more sense. If you are going to be surfing in a new place it is better to gather information from the shop where you rent your board or enquire with the local surfers.
These tips will surely help you surf safely and if you want a last tips to be really secure: take a paddle 😉
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