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Selecting The Right Location To Surf As A Beginner...

As a beginner surfer you need to stay with the waves that experts will ignore.  This will keep you safe, allow you to get all the waves you want, give you plenty of practice, and help you to advance quicker.

You should stick to beachbreaks, waves that break over sand and roll toward the shore, rather than waves that break over rock or coral or break violently on the beach. You must however always use good judgment before going out because the seas change rapidly and could quickly become potentially dangerous. 

You can always go to a surf shop and ask the experts for their opinion.  Remember to be honest with your abilities so that you get accurate information and keep yourself safe.

What Are The Dangers In the Water?

The most dangerous thing in the water is your very own surfboard.   The likelihood of you coming into contact with it is very high. So in the beginning concentrate on avoiding being hit by your own board.  You may even consider covering your head and face with your arms and hands, which will help to protect against injuries until you develop a sense of where your craft is during a wipe out.   

The next most dangerous thing in the water is other surfers and their surfboards Always try and stay out of the way of anyone actually riding a wave.  A surfer that is not willing to wait their turn to ride a wave to shore is one that could cause another surfer serious injury.  This is common courtesy, safer and improves the ride for the other surfer.  Always be aware of what is happening in the water around you to avoid danger. Often there are many surfers in a small section of water so always be aware of the number and the location of the surfers.

Although it is a possibility, the probability of you seeing any dangerous sea creatures is not very likely.  However, the probability of you surfing during bad weather is very likely so be sure to steer clear of the ocean if there is lightning and thunder.   Most cities will use lifeguards to alert swimmers and surfers to dangerous conditions. Surfers should always be aware of the emergency alert system that the lifeguard station uses for water hazards and storm warnings.

One of the biggest dangers that surfers face on any given day are the rip tides.  So be aware of  how to handle a rip tide current so that you will not panic.

In a bad wipe out you can come in contact with the sea floor.  Depending where you are surfing the sea floor can be sand, coral or rocks.  Sand is actually the ideal bottom for wipe outs because you will not get torn up, although it may not be the best when it comes to the shape of the wave. Sand bottom is found on many East Coast beaches.  Coral, can really hurt!!  Booties, wetsuits and headgear will help with protection if the weather permits.  If not be careful and follow the expert surfers. Coral is normally found in warm weather like Hawaii.  Rocks hidden beneath the surface of the water at high tide can be very dangerous.  If it is a rocky beach like be sure to check it out at low tide before going out to surf.