Here are some tips for surfing safely:
- Apply sunscreen before getting into the water.
- If you're surfing in cold water, wear a properly-fitting wetsuit - a wetsuit that's too big won't keep you warm. Surfing in cold water without a good wetsuit could lead to hypothermia, especially in the event of becoming stranded without a board.
- Make sure your surfboard is undamaged and has a good, bumpy coat of wax on its deck before getting into the water.
- Attach your board leash securely to the leg that is farthest back when you are on the board.
- Never paddle farther out than you can swim back if you lose your board.
- Never surf alone.
- Check the surf forecast before leaving home and obey all posted surf and swim warnings.
- If you're a beginner, practice popping up and surfing in areas that aren't crowded with surfers and swimmers. Consider taking a class from an experienced instructor.
- Familiarize yourself with the surf and shore of the beach before you start surfing.
To learn more about surfing, waves and related topics, check out the links on the next page.