Force majeure in surfing

What to do in emergencies while riding

I’ll start with common truths. Surfing is more complex than other board sports.

Unlike a snowboard or skateboard, a surfer doesn’t have a static surface to ride on because every wave rises and spreads right in front of his feet.

Firstly, it is necessary to catch it and then predict its development to process it to the maximum.

There are more variables than constant ones, and therefore abnormal situations in surfing happen pretty often.

And the worst thing that can happen to an unprepared person is panic because it clouds the mind, makes them act impulsively, and, often, incorrectly.

Today I want to tell you several behavior algorithms in force majeure that will help minimize the likelihood of injury and severe stress.

Suddenly: the leash broke, or the board failed

Even if you ride in small waves, this does not guarantee that nothing will happen to the equipment

The leash can be old and stretched, or, for example, with a worn-out Velcro that will unfasten.

If the board is rented, it could easily have been broken once, and now even a small wave can break it again.

An unfortunate coincidence of circumstances, the most unpleasant of which is that you find yourself in the ocean without a board or half board.

So, let’s start with the worst situation: your leash broke, and you were left in the zone of breaking waves without anything at all

You need to swim to the shore with the foam, beware of the channel, where the reverse current can pick you up and carry you far into the ocean.

It is not so easy to swim in the collapse zone; you will need to dive through the foam. On the one hand, it is easier to do this without aboard; it is enough to dive deeper.

On the other hand, it is more exhausting, since there is nothing to rely on.

Plus, when you have washed away with the board, with each wave of the set, you move lower, further from the place where the waves break, which means that the foam reaches you all the weaker.

You practically remain in place by piercing waves without a board, which means you receive the entire set at full power

I hope you can swim well enough. If not, sign up to the pool immediately and study, because surfing without basic swimming skills is a bad idea.

In general, you need to act in the same way as the board:

Be patient, dive through the waves until the end of the set, and then swim.

Look back on your way to the beach so you don’t get an unexpected slap in the face from the first wave of the next set

Breathe deeply.

When you find yourself far enough from the collapse zone, and the foam that is catching up with you is already tiny, use its pushing force to get to the shore quickly.

Of course, you can’t catch it without aboard, but it will speed up the process a little.

Small eddies of water and currents in the collapse zone pull into one point and do not release from it.

Surfers sometimes call such a place a “toilet” because in whatever direction you try to swim out of it, you are pulled back.

It is the most dangerous option, and here the main thing is to figure out what is happening in time

On-time – this is before I wasted all my strength trying to get out. If you feel that you are rowing in vain and remain in place – stop fighting and start calling for help.

Raise your hands and grab the attention of surfers on the line or people on the shore. The same would apply to the situation if it did get into the reverse course.

If you have a half of a broken board on your hands, in general, everything is the same but more accessible – you can catch the foam on it and go ashore.

Just be careful with the edges of the break, as the fiberglass protruding is very sharp and can cut you

Forget about the board (or half) for now. The most important thing is to get out yourself safe and sound.

If you are not riding on a deserted beach, then most likely, when your board is driven to the shore, some surfers will notice it and carefully pull it out.

In any case, you will be engaged in the search, catching your breath on the shore.

Suddenly: the swell has come

Sometimes ocean conditions can change dramatically, and it can get scary if you’re on a lineup at that moment

It happened several times: you ride yourself on regular waves, and suddenly giants begin to come, for which you are not ready.

The question immediately arises: how to get to the shore when it’s uncomfortable to sit even in the canal?

The algorithm is as follows: use sets, or rather, a pause between them.

It would help if you sat higher, away from the peak, waited for the extensive collection, and as soon as it ends, you have the strength to row towards the coast.

By the time the next set comes, you must move low enough not to get hit by the most potent collapse and get off, albeit not easy, but still foam.

By the way, the same algorithm works well if you are waiting for a wave below the peak and suddenly you see a hefty set that will close above you.

Then, instead of growing up and getting hit by the most potent collapse, you can, on the contrary, move lower to dive into the foam

Yes, it will wash into the inside, and then you will have to make a detour through the channel to return to the lineup, but it’s better than getting into a complex batch.

Suddenly: injured

As practice shows, during surfing at an amateur level, injuries are most often associated with boards: a collision with either your own or someone else’s threatens to bruise, broken muscles, cuts from fin, or cuts from a blow

First, I want to remind you of safety precautions: you need to jump off the board diagonally sideways and back into the wave and push the board forward from you.

Cover your head with your hands during the fall and kneading, stay underwater for a few seconds, and emerge the same way, with your head covered.

Maintain distance between yourself and other surfers. If someone flies directly at you, dive deeper. Learn and always follow the rules of surf etiquette


If a collision does occur, try to assess the situation as quickly as possible. If it’s just a bruise, promptly leave the area of ​​the collapse, swim to the canal, and there you sit, catch your breath and decide whether to ride further or go ashore.

If we are dealing with a calculation, we need to go ashore and treat the wound; perhaps it will be stitched up. Do not wait for a home wave; you need to leave immediately.

Start paddling towards the shore and catch some foam along the way. Again, never be afraid or hesitate to ask for help.

Surfers can be wave-hungry snobs as much as they want, but helping each other in trouble is a rule that is not violated in the community.

Suddenly: someone needs help

Counting on the help of the surfers around you, you need to be ready to come to the rescue yourself
Often, it is enough to swim up to the person and calm him down in the water.

For example, a person left without a board is quite able to swim to the shore on his own if a surfer on the board is supporting him nearby.

Saying support in time will prevent fear from escalating into a panic. If you know what to do in a given situation, let me know. If you don’t know, call someone for help.

The main thing is to stay human and not leave each other in trouble.



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