Surf safety fundamentals for total beginners
Surfing is an extreme sport, and surfers need to be aware about many factors: the waves, rocks and currents at the spot, other people, dangerous animals, tides...
Let's get familiar with some fundamentals about safety, so that you can enjoy your first waves more relaxed.
Tip 1: Take classes instead of figuring it out all by yourself
As a first time surfer, some of the dangers in the water are simply not visible, because they are unknown.
Taking classes with a professional instructor will not only help you learn faster, but also ensure that you do so in safe conditions (and covered by an insurance).
Tip 2: Hold your board with two hands
Surfboards are a frequent cause of injuries. To avoid this, hold your board firmly with two hands whenever you're not on it and a broken wave approaches.
Never pull your board from the leash or fins, as this can injure your fingers super easily.
Tip 3: Protect your head with your arms when falling down
After falling down, you might be hit by a surfboard or another surfer. Wrap both your arms around your head until get back above the water surface and see what is around you.
Tip 4: Stay aware of your environment
During the surf session, your position constantly changes, affected by the waves and currents. Make sure to keep a safety distance from other surfers as well as from potential obstacles (like rocks).
Use elements at the beach (a tree, parked car, parasol...) as reference point to know your position and whether the currents are pushing you.
Tip 5: Fall out of your surfboard safely
Water is likely to be shallow at the end of your ride. Do not jump out of the board head first, also avoid going feet first, as sprained ankles are a common injury for beginner surfers.
A safer solution is to let yourself fall from the back.
Tip 6: Save your energy
Surfing is very intense on the body, and tends to quickly get exhausting. Don't fight the white water whenever you get pushed under it. Just remain stable and quiet until you get back up to the surface.
Get out of the water and take a break whenever you need. Take your time, recover your breath. Stay hydrated and energized.
Let's close the topic with a touch of humor, with even more tips from "The Raglan Surf Report" youtube channel:
The photos illustrating the tips have been provided by talented photographs via pexels.com website:
- Tip 1 photo: Group of people carrying surfboards by Elle Hughes
- Tip 2 photo: Aerial View of a Woman Swimming to Her Surfboard in Foamy Water by Jess Loiterton
- Tip 3 photo: Surfer Wiping Out by Guy Kawasaki
- Tip 4 photo: People on Beach by Jess Loiterton
- Tip 5 photo: A Man Surfing on Sea Waves by Bert Christiaens
- Tip 6 photo: A Man on a Surfboard by Bert Christiaens
* Gonna.surf is affiliated to Barefoot surf, meaning that we get a commission in case you decide to make a purchase throught the link, at no cost to you. The linked article is totally free.
Last update: 15 Apr 2023.