Before surfing it is important to consider the potential dangers that come with it. The first to think about is the marine life. Sharks are probably the first thing that comes to mind, but jellyfish and sting rays are other potential threats in the water. Chances are you won’t be coming face to face with a great white shark, but you should still be cautious, if you see a shark or a fin you should paddle the opposite way- ideally towards shore- and warn anyone else in the water with you. Dolphins, seals, and sea lions are some other animals that you could potentially come in contact with; though they aren’t threats it’s still good to keep an eye out for them when in the water.
The ocean itself presents some dangers to take note of before you go surfing. The severity and prevalence of these conditions depend on where you surf. Riptides, strong currents and high surf advisories are three common examples of conditions that can potentially be very dangerous. Riptides are strong currents, they usually occur in more confined areas like inlets. If you find yourself stuck in one you should let it take you, don’t fight it, it won’t take you very far and once you are out of it you can swim back to shore. The other strategy to try is to swim parallel to the shore line and once you’ve escaped it you can make your way back to shore. Strong currents can be determined from shore or the lack of people in the water- swim or surf at your own risk. When a high surf advisory is put out it means that there are dangerous wave conditions that could result in injury, death, or property damage to those living near the cost.