Surf’s Up: Staying Safe in the Water
Surfing continues to grow as a popular way for people of all ages and skill levels to enjoy the beautiful setting of Newport Beach. Unfortunately, as the number of surfers increase, so do the visits to the Newport Beach care clinic! Without the understanding of etiquette and safety rules that apply to surfing, surfers put themselves and others at risk of injury. According to Surf Camp, these are some of the rules of etiquette and safety that all surfers should abide by:
- Be Respectful – When each surfer respects the environment and each other, everyone can enjoy the fun of surfing and have a safe experience.
- Learn the Local Laws – There are different rules that apply to each beach. Make sure you know what they are before you get started.
- Keep Your Board on a Leash – For the majority of beaches, wearing a board leash is not an option; it’s a law! Make it into a habit to stay legal and to prevent your surfboard from getting in the way of other surfers.
- Stay Alert – You never know when another surfer is going to run into unexpected problems. Be prepared to offer your help whenever another surfer runs into trouble.
- Get Certified – Learn basic first aid and get CPR certification so you are prepared to help others in the event of an injury. Check availability of CPR and first aid courses at Orange County medical clinics. Certification only requires a few hours to complete, and could be the difference between life and death for another surfer.
- Protect Your Skin – Always wear waterproof sunscreen to protect your skin from burns and the harmful effects of UV light.
- Be Realistic about Your Level of Expertise – Know your capabilities and only surf under conditions for which you have the appropriate skills. Keep to yourself while learning to avoid putting other surfers at risk.
- While Paddling Out – Avoid paddling into the impact zone, to conserve your energy, and avoid any surfer who is riding the face of the wave. Give a surfer who is actively riding a way the right-of-way. If another surfer is paddling for the same wave as you, the one closest to the peak gets the right-of-way. Be aware of where any surfers or swimmers are within the area. Never “Snake” in front of another surfer. Call out the direction that you intend to turn as you drop in. Duck dive whenever possible; the only time you should abandon your surfboard is when there is no-one else around.