Surfing is another fun way to enjoy the water! Riding your first wave is something to celebrate especially after hours and hours of practice. However, it is important to know how to stay safe before paddling out onto the ocean.
Thousands of surfing injuries happen each year. Oftentimes, this is caused by wiping out or surfers being unaware of conditions. Open water swim safety and surfing safety go hand in hand. Surfing safety requires you to stay calm and know what to do if an accident does happen on the beach.
Beginners and experienced surfers need to know how to be safe. These tips are made for everyone. Check out our surfing safety tips before hitting the waves!
Surfing Tip #1: Have Surfing Experience
It’s important to know the basics of surfing before heading out on the water. Beginners should never go out on the water without any experience. Be sure to combine surfing with open water safety when you go out. Lessons can help both you and the other surfers around you stay safe on the water.
Knowing how to swim is a good idea when you start swimming. The two sports go hand and hand. So if you are inexperienced in both, you should take some lessons. Patience is key when it comes to getting the right training before hitting the waves.
Surfing Tip #2: Check The Weather & Your Equipment
The three main things to check are the weather, tides and wind before heading to the beach. Usually, beaches inform visitors about whether it’s safe to swim or go into the water. This is not the case everywhere. So you have to learn how to recognize rip tides and tide changes. You can use this knowledge to help other swimmers and surfers to avoid certain areas of the beach.
You should ensure all of your gear is in working order. This includes your wetsuit and leash. There should not be any rips or tears that make you uncomfortable. Wearing bright colours makes it easier for others to spot you if you are in an emergency.
Surfing Tip #3: Wipe Out Safely
Every surfer has “wiped out” at some point or another. However, there is a way to do so safely and you should know how to.
There are some tips to keep in mind such as protecting your head with your arms. This prevents you from getting with your board or other things floating around in the ocean. If you are unable to protect your head using your arms, bail feet first into the water.
Surfing Tip #4: Help Others & Be Aware
Always find the nearest lifeguard or call emergency services if you see another surfer in trouble. Rescuing someone yourself is not recommended. You could cause injury to the victim or yourself in the process. Let professionally trained lifeguards and coast guards handle an emergency.
Only help people when no lifeguards, coast guards or surf lifesavers if you do not put yourself at risk! Always call local emergency medical services when help is needed. Getting trained in First Aid/CPR is a key piece of maintaining surf life-saving skills. You should learn First Aid and CPR if you are a surfer in case you see someone in trouble.
Surfing Tip #5: Stay With Your Board
This is one of the most important things for surfers to remember. You should always avoid getting thrown underwater and drifting away. Holding onto your board can prevent this. Keep your board afloat to pull yourself to the surface if you end up underwater. Keep calm and use your leash to make your way back to your board and wait for help to arrive.