» Safe Surfing
This guide to safe surfing is mainly common sense but contains a lot of useful information that all surfers should be aware of.
Make sure that you are a good swimmer and that you are aware of the sea so you can identify rips, wind changes and other hazards.
If you are unfamiliar with a break, check with the local surfers. Ensure the waves are suitable for your ability. You will get more enjoyment out of surfing small waves as a beginner. Only when you feel confident on small waves should you try bigger waves. Beginners should always surf with more experienced surfers for safety.
Make sure your equipment is in optimum condition, especially your leash. If you do happen to find yourself in difficulty in the water try not to panic. Remember that your surfboard and wet-suit will act as floatation devices.
If you get caught in a rip, don't try and paddle against it as this will only tire you out and get you nowhere. Paddle accross the rip and you will quickly get out of difficulty. Don't be afraid to ask for help. call to the nearest surfer to give you a hand.
When you wipe out, don't come to the surface too soon, allow your board time to land and come to the surface with your hands protecting your head. When paddling out, never obstruct a surfer who is up and riding a wave. Either paddle wide of the shoulder or into the whitewater.
You should never 'Drop In' on another surfer. 'Dropping In' is taking off on a wave in front of someone who has right of way. The surfer nearest to the peak has priority/right of way. if any 2 or more surfers catch the same wave the surfer(s) furthest from the peak should pull up off the wave and let the surfer closest to the peak ride the wave. (as shown in the picture above - the surfer in the left of the picture is pulling up to let the other surfer who is closest to the peak ride the wave)
You should be at all times aware of all other surfers and water users. Respect the line-up and the other people in the water.