The Best Time of Day to Surf
The best time of day to surf is usually before dawn or after sunset, but some points are best during specific times of the day. Surfing is most popular at these times because winds from the land help create the perfect conditions for surfers. In addition, temperatures are generally more balanced at these times, and you can also expect to see more waves and undulating waters at this time.
Injuries caused by Collisions with Surfboards
Collisions with surfboards can cause many different injuries, from cuts and bruises to shoulder dislocations and even fractures. Most of these injuries are to the head or neck, which is the most common site of collisions. Approximately one-fifth of these injuries are concussions, which often occur when the surfer's head strikes his or her own surfboard. These injuries are particularly common among older and more experienced surfers.
Research on Surfing Injuries
Although the literature on surfing injuries provides information about injury rates in various countries, the current data do not present detailed information about the mechanisms of these injuries. To address this problem, further research is needed to collect data from medical records and estimate the population at risk. It would also be helpful to have a worldwide registry of surfing injuries.
Lacerations and their Consequences
Collisions with surfboards are an unfortunate but common part of surfing, and many people suffer lacerations as a result of these accidents. Typically, these injuries are not serious enough to cause permanent damage, but they should be attended to as soon as possible. In some cases, however, the lacerations may be more serious and even result in permanent damage to the eye.
Injuries and Common Health Problems
While the incidence of surfing-related injuries is relatively low - about twenty-two injuries per thousand days of surfing - the majority of injuries are minor and do not require treatment. Lacerations and sprains account for over half of all injuries, and fractures, dislocations, and swimmer's ear are among the other common health problems. However, most injuries occur as a result of collisions with another surfer or their board.
Hazards of Reef Breaks
Reef breaks are very dangerous places to surf. They are often surrounded by coral, which creates a sharp underwater surface. As a result, when you fall off your surfboard, you can hit the reef and drown. Because reef breaks are much deeper than beach breaks, the risk of drowning is much higher.
Turning Early and Avoiding Wipeouts
The most important thing when surfing on a reef is to turn early and avoid wiping out. If you're not sure where to turn, just watch out for ripples in the water. These may be coral or rocks underneath. If you fall off your board, you can't afford to dive deep into the water.
Risks of Large Waves and Local Surfers
Another risk to watch out for is the large waves. Some waves are very powerful and could break bones. Wipeouts on these waves are a common cause of surfing injuries. Also, there are often local surfers, who can be aggressive and unfriendly. You should respect these surfers by not being a nuisance, and you should also be aware of local laws and etiquette.
Dangers of Wildlife
Another danger is wildlife. While shark attacks are relatively rare, sharks often live near popular surf spots and can mistake you for food. There are also jellyfish, rays, and other sea creatures that can bite you.
Safety Precautions for Noncompetitive Surfers
Noncompetitive surfers should adhere to the same safety precautions as competitive surfers. This is because the risks of serious injury are higher when advanced surfers attempt to ride bigger waves in extreme conditions. While these precautions may not be as important as those for competitive surfers, they should still be practiced.
Being Aware of Your Surroundings
The first safety precaution is to always be aware of your surroundings. Observe the other surfers and try to keep a distance. If you see a wave coming, try not to paddle out until you have paddled through it. The surfers on the inside have the right of way. This right of way is meant to protect them and prevent others from dropping in. If you are on the outside of the break, you can also assert your position.
Surfing is an increasingly popular sport around the world, with an estimated thirty million people worldwide participating each year. The inclusion of the sport in the 2020 Olympics will no doubt increase participation even further. While surfing has a low incidence of injury, the sport is still at risk of drowning and other adverse events in the water.
If you are a noncompetitive surfer, you should try to surf in well-established breaks. You should avoid reefs and rocks and look for waves that are small and midsized. If you have never surfed before, make sure you get certified in CPR and Basic First Aid before going out on the water. Also, wear sunscreen when surfing. Exposure to UV rays is harmful to your skin and may even lead to cancer.