If you’re learning to surf we strongly recommend getting lessons from a qualified surf school. The club organises beginners trips and we can recommend reputable surf schools all over the country.
When you’re ready to start surfing with friends remember the following points for your own safety:
- Never surf alone.
- All surfers should be able to swim at least 50 metres in open water.
- Keep control of your board at all times.
- Always consider other water users.
- Seriously, keep control of your board at all times.
- Always wear a leash as your board can be a danger to other water users and can save you from drowning.
- (This should not be an issue because you WILL be keeping control of your board at all times.)
- Never surf under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Always wear a wetsuit – it acts as a flotation device and prevents cold.
- Always check the condition of your surfing equipment, especially your leash.
- Check conditions with the lifeguards and never surf between the red and yellow flags.
- Find two reference points to check your location in the water. Then ask yourself “is my board under control?”.
- Watch the surf for at least 10 minutes to check where to paddle out, catch waves and avoid rips.
- Know your entrance and exit points before entering the water.
- Always return to the beach before dark.
- The board thing. You know, control and stuff. Always.
- When paddling out avoid other surfers who are riding waves.
- If another surfer is paddling for a wave or up and riding and there is a risk collision then stop paddling and give the rider time to avoid you. There is no excuse for running someone over.
- If a wall of whitewater is about to mow you down do not be tempted to push your board away. If you are ever going to snap your leash that will be the time. Instead, keep a tight hold, roll yourself over and let the wave pass over you.
Catching a Wave
- Make sure there are no other surfers in front of you while catching the wave and don’t drop in on another surfer riding the wave.
- Always communicate by calling the direction you intend to surf, ‘left’ or ‘right’.