Risk assessment before going into the water
- Before getting into the water, let someone know! Ideally, you should always go surfing with a partner, especially if you are not a very experienced surfer. But this isn’t always possible, in which case make sure you tell someone that you’re going surfing, including the location and the time you expect to be back.
- When choosing a surf spot, make sure to inform yourself about the local weather and surf forecast and before paddling out, give yourself some time while standing on the shore to observe the current conditions. Be honest with yourself regarding the suitability of the conditions for your skill level.
- Factors you should consider include, but are not limited to: familiarity with the surf spot, especially with regards to possible local hazards (e.g. potentially dangerous rock formations, shallow reef, occurring rips), suitability of your equipment (board, leash and wetsuit) for sea and weather conditions, compatibility of your surfing skill level AND fitness for the wave conditions, time of day (how much daylight is left), UV exposure and sufficiency of current UV protection, etc.
- Also, when surfing at an unfamiliar spot, asking locals about surfing conditions and potential hazards can give you a big heads up and make your surf experience safer and a lot more fun.
- These simple steps may seem trivial, but constitute basic measures of precaution you can take before going surfing.