Surfing is my favorite sport. Duck diving waves, cutbacks, barrels and more. There are a few cornerstone rules I maintain while surfing. These are the best ways to be safe while surfing!
- Surf with a Buddy – Anything can happen while surfing: currents, wildlife, even your own board could hit you during a wipe out. It is super important to surf with a partner at least; keep an eye on each other periodically and stick to a similar session time.
- Never turn your back on the ocean. – One humble surf instructor explained this one to me. Always be at least parallel to the beach but always face the surf. Waves (swells) can come up at anytime and easily overtake you. Always be ready – and watching the waves roll in. Even upon your return to shore, you should be constantly checking the surf behind you.
- Spend Time Watching the Surf. – Before you paddle out, scan the entire beach for up to 10 minutes. Do you see rocks? Which direction are the waves breaking (left or right) and where? How fast are the sets coming in? Pick a time when the water is calm to paddle out quickly! Go for the channel where the waves aren’t breaking as much to take advantage of the the rip current. Get to know the waves you are about to take by sitting quietly and studying the surf before you paddle out.
- Warm up! Roll your shoulders, ankles and get your blood flowing before hitting the water. Touch your chin to each shoulder because you’ll check the waves/shore (looking left & right) often.
- Pick a Focus Point on Shore. – Pick a reference point on shore before you go in the water. Periodically check where you are at during your paddle out and after taking waves.
- Look left & right. As you are paddling into the wave take a look left and right to make sure you aren’t dropping in on someone else’s wave.
- Take Lessons Often! I still get lessons from my husband from time to time. He is a pro surfer and native surf instructor at Casa Verde Surf Retreat in Costa Rica. Book a week long vacation in paradise in semi-inclusive digs minutes away from the best year round surf in Costa Rica. It’s easy to reserve your week at Casa Verde, DM and enquire about availability. All payments are finalized only upon arrival. See you in Costa Rica soon!