Is Surfing Dangerous
Is surfing dangerous?
When looking at just about any sport out there, you need to think about the risks you take, the boundaries that you have to push to become great, and the courage that you need to improve.
Of course, the major difference between surfing and other sports is that the ocean is quite unpredictable. There are plenty of surfing dangers to look out for, which is why we want to educate you on surfing risks so you can be a better and safer surfer.
How Dangerous Is Surfing?
We're not here to sugarcoat things.
Surfing is dangerous.
From the ocean floor to rip currents to big waves to shark attacks, there are about a hundred things that you need to look out for.
Plus, many of these elements are completely out of your control.
To improve your skill level as a surfer, you must be able to commit to practice and persevere through any obstacles you might come into contact with along the way.
Surfing is less dangerous when you have a better understanding of the waves, know what surf spots you belong at with your current level of experience, and use your decision-making skills to decide whether or not the conditions are safe for you to paddle out in.
You should ALWAYS look around you before you go out surfing. Assess the physical environment.
Do you see a rip current?
Are there others beginners surfing?
Is the area prone to shark attacks?
These are questions that lifeguards have to ask themselves every time they hit the beach. If more surfers acted like lifeguards from a safety standpoint, the sport would be far less dangerous.
Another way that we can mitigate the dangers of surfing is by choosing the right surfboard. Many new surfers have trouble picking out the right board for their experience level, as well as picking out the right board for the condition, the particular surf spot, etc.
Here are some of our favorite surfboards that will make your surfing experience far safer.
The 2 Safest Surfboards
The Verve 8' was one of the very first surfboards that South Bay Board Co. put out on the market.
Even today, it is still one of the best boards out there for beginner surfers.
The shape is solid and very easy to hit the waves with. Beginners often have trouble picking waves up their first couple of times out.
The Verve 8' brings balance and stability into the equation to make the wave catching process much easier.
The board has a wide and thick profile, which makes it extremely easy to paddle out with and get into a wave as early as possible.
If you've ever attended a surf camp or had surf instruction of some kind, you've probably seen a Verve board before, as they are very popular among surf instructors.
Beyond the fact that it is a great board for beginners, the upgraded fins and fin boxes bring an entirely different level of performance to the game as well. With a three-fin thruster setup, you'll be able to maneuver in the waves more-so than other foam boards on the market.
By the way, the reason this board is so safe is the fact that it is made out of high-quality foam. We always recommend foam surfboards to beginner surfers as they aren't nearly as dangerous as hardtop boards, especially when you consider that you'll likely be bailing quite a bit when you start out.
The Ruccus 7' is another soft-top foam board from South Bay Board Co. Similar to the Verve 8', it is a great board for beginner surfers who are just getting their feet wet in the waves.
The beauty of the Ruccus 7' is that it has a funboard shape. Thanks to the smaller size and easy-to-handle shape, it is one of the best boards in the South Bay Board Co. lineup for young kids.
We also recommend the Ruccus 7' for when lineups are a bit crowded in the summer, as it can be quite dangerous having a large longboard in a crowded lineup.
The Ruccus 7' has a wider chest area, making it very easy to pop up in the waves (one of the most difficult things to achieve for beginner surfers). The squash tail is pulled in, though still provides tons of stability in the water, even with a looser feel.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Die From Surfing?
As of right now, we do not have any concrete data on the exact number of surfers who have died out in the water. However, many experts estimate that the number is no more than ten surfers per year. That number is quite low considering the fact that there are more than 23 million surfers in the world today.
In fact, more people die from driving cars and riding bicycles than surfing.
Is Surfing Difficult?
Yes. Surfing is easily one of the most difficult and complex sports in the world. No wave is the same as another. When you play football, the field is the same. When you play basketball, the court is the same. When you ride dirtbikes, the track is the same.
In surfing, the "field" is constantly changing. You might have to worry about a big wave coming out of nowhere or rip currents appearing in a spot that was fine 30 minutes before.
Beyond that, there are a thousand things you have to learn to master before you become a great surfer. You need to master your balance, your control, your pop-ups, your timing, and most of all, your mentality.
Great surfers have the courage and are willing to charge into the water knowing the risks ahead.
Of course, it is also worth noting that learning to surf is a very enjoyable process too. If you prepare yourself for the fact that you will wipe-out for many years and take a beating that will lead you to two or three-wave hold downs every now and then, you will enjoy being in the water more and more.
How To Escape A Rip Current
No matter who you are, if you've spent time in the ocean, you've probably come in contact with a rip. Yes, they can be quite scary. However, when you understand how they work and how to get out of one, it can make the process of being in the water a bit less frightening.
For starters, don't panic. Continue to breathe normally and keep your head above the water. You don't want to exhaust yourself by trying to fight the current.
If you can, try to swim parallel to the shoreline. Doing so will help get you out of the current and give you more time to be rescued if you need it.
How To Overcome Your Fear of Surfing
Whether you are getting into the waves for your very first time or you are paddling out to your first reef break, know that everyone has a healthy fear of surfing.
There are a few ways to cope with your fear of surfing and try to overcome it. For starters, laugh at it! You're out in the ocean. Life is good. Enjoy being in the moment and you'll be fine.
Next, take the process at your own pace. We recommend starting with a few lessons off the bat. Either that or have a friend teach you. Don't rush to get on a shortboard. Get a foamie, learn the fundamentals, and have fun!
Lastly, never back down. If you ever find yourself feeling scared when paddling out, know that you are only progressing. Of course, never over-reach completely and make sure you have support behind you (friends, lifeguards, instructors, etc.), though know that getting out there is the best thing that you can possibly do to overcome your fear.
So, How Safe Is Surfing?
The dangers of surfing depend on YOU. Great surfers understand when enough is enough. You must consider your progression as a surfer, have personal knowledge about your experience, and have a respect for the water.
Yes, the water can be your friend, but it can also be your worst enemy. Connecting with the water will eventually lead you to catch bigger and better waves. Just make sure to keep in mind the dangers of surfing so that you can progress faster and be a better, more responsible surfer in the long run.
OUR #1 PICK - Verve 8'