Catch a Wave: Understanding Surfing Safety

Catch a Wave: Understanding Surfing Safety
A surf session can be exhilarating for adventure-seekers, but only if you truly know how to stay safe in the ocean.  After all, powerful tides, fellow surfers and roaming sea creatures can all create obstacles and pose dangers while you’re trying to catch some waves. With that in mind, let's talk surfing safety!

At Pool Fence DIY, we want to make sure you’re armed with the information you need to have fun and stay safe during all water activities.  Here are some helpful pointers for surfing safety:

Surfing Safety Tips 

Before You Go

When it comes to surfing, knowledge is power… and safety. There are a few steps you’ll want to take before even heading off to the beach.

  • Take a Lesson or Two: Don’t just go out there and wing it. Surfing and navigating the ocean can be trickier than it seems.  First, make sure you have some swim lessons under your belt. Then, get an introduction to surfing from an instructor before venturing out on your own.
  • Be Prepared For Trouble: It’s important to be trained in first aid and certified in CPR in case you or another surfer is in need of help.
  • Tell Someone Where You’re Going: Always be sure that someone is aware of where you are. Check back in with them when you return so they know you’ve arrived safely.
  • Plan For the Sun: Even though you’ll be in the water, don’t forget to wear plenty of sunscreen and reapply it throughout the day. In addition, be sure to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.

Know the Waves

Note the weather before you head into the water. Check the forecast, and also observe the water. As you become more experienced, you’ll get to know how to recognize rip currents, dangerous tides and other telltale signs of potential incoming danger. For instance, a tall wave that forms a tube shape is only recommended for advanced surfers.  Novice surfers may instead look for waves that don’t form as high.  As for ripe tides, if you get caught it is best to swim parallel to the beach, get to shore when possible, and then walk your way back to your original location.

Obey Beach Flags

When it comes to beach safety, always take note of any warning flags. These will help you to determine if it’s safe to surf. If you see a red flag, this is a warning not to enter the water. A red and yellow flag indicates an area that is designated for swimmers, so you should avoid that space as well.

Avoid Marine Life

Know how to spot common sea creatures like sharks, jellyfish and stingrays and avoid them at all costs.  For instance, stingrays can be found by the ocean floor, so it’s best to drag your feet along the ocean floor. Kicking up the sand will scare the rays away. Meanwhile, jellyfish are usually on the surface of the water, so you can be on the lookout for them.

Know Your Limits

Above all, know your own body and skills.  If you are a beginner, don’t tackle the huge waves.  Not only is it dangerous for you, it can also be harmful to other surfers if you get in their way.  You never know when you will get into trouble in the water, and if you don’t have your full strength, it could be a recipe for disaster.

As long as you keep these surfing safety tips in mind, you can likely bet on catching some great waves this summer!