Surfing can be an exhilarating experience, but without the right protection and discipline, it can suddenly become very dangerous. However, large risks can be easily reduced, or even completely prevented, regarding that you take the appropriate precautions. Basic fitness does help, but there are other factors that all contribute to ensuring that you surf safely, protecting yourself and others from serious harm. So, if your greatest ambition is to hit the biggest wave, but you’re slightly overwhelmed and concerned about your safety, here’s how you can ensure that you stay safe when surfing out at sea.

  1. Wear A Wetsuit

We cannot stress this factor enough. Wearing a simple swim suit is not going to protect you from the harsh temperatures of the sea, so ensuring that you’re equipped with an appropriately sized wetsuit is paramount. When shopping for a wetsuit, it’s crucial that you purchase that’s high quality, ensuring that it will keep your body temperature warm regardless of how cold the sea is. Without a wetsuit, you’re dramatically increasing the risk of catching hypothermia, which can be a very severe condition. So, by simply wearing a wetsuit, you can keep yourself healthy while surfing.

  1. Have Sufficient Swimming Skills

Yes, surfing and swimming are reasonably different, but who actually stays on the surfboard throughout the entire activity? I’d bet nobody. Therefore, ensuring that you have polished and developed swimming skills will prevent you from struggling in the ocean when falling off of your surfboard. You can invest in a leash (we’ll move onto this shortly), but even then, you might have a fair way to swim before you can retrieve your surf board, so eliminate the risk of drowning and double check that your swimming skills are sufficient enough for the conditions.

  1. Use A Leash

No matter what surfing destination you use, the ocean is a continuous expanse of water, and you could find yourself surfing further out than you anticipated. It is essential, therefore, that no matter what size the waves are, that you invest in a leash and keep your surfboard grounded while using it. Imagine there is an enormous wave that keeps you underwater, and thus you’re unable to identify which way is back to the surface – how would you find your way back quickly? A leash will ensure that you can pull yourself back to the surface, minimalizing the distance that the surfboard can travel once you fall off.

  1. Be Aware Of Rip Currents

Those of you who are fairly new to the surfing hobby, a rip current is formed when waves break, as water is then pushed up the slope of the shore, which is then pushed back towards the sea. From this description alone, you can see why these could be dangerous while surfing as they can catch you completely unaware, so you’ll want to ensure that you’re aware an equipped should a rip current occur. Naturally, the best way to avoid them is identifying areas that are prone to them and simply avoid them, but should you get caught in a rip current, it’s vital to stay calm and swim parallel to the beach, as a rip current can have a strong pull that will make swimming a lot more difficult.

  1. Know Your Limits

For some people, this can be easier said than done, but it’s imperative that you only tackle waves that you’re confident with. Sure, it can be tempting to try that epic wave out at sea, but are you really capable of doing so? It’s important to remember that those who surf on giant waves have been surfing for years on end, and have an extensive history of the hobby under their belts. Build up your confidence gradually, and stay safe with smaller waves that you know you can surf safely.

By following the above tips, you’ll be able to put your surfing anxiety to bed and enjoy some time outside surfing some incredible waves. Big or small, any wave can be mastered as long as you keep yourself safe – happy surfing!

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