10 Tips to Ensure a Safe Surf Session
Surfing is a time-honored tradition and can be one of the most enjoyable, peaceful experiences for people of all ages. As with any water activity, though, there are dangers that lurk if you are unfamiliar with the proper surf etiquette or fail to take the necessary precautions.
At Mase Mebane Seitz, our trial attorneys represent individuals who have been injured or killed in water-related accidents in Miami and throughout South Florida. If you are involved in a surfing accident, contact our office for a free consultation. Call (305) 487-8863 to discuss whether you have a valid claim for damages.
Safety Tips for Paddling Out in South Florida
During north and northeast swell conditions, South Beach becomes a prime location for great surfing with areas all along the South Florida coastline drawing surfers from across the country.
If you are considering checking out one of the local surf spots, be sure that you are prepared with the proper equipment, know what you are doing, and do your research.
Before you paddle out, consider these safety tips:
- Try a surf lesson. Surfing is an incredible activity, but it can be dangerous. Consider taking a surf lesson from a pro before paddling out on your own.
- Bring a buddy. Never go alone. Bringing a friend to watch you from dry land or to partake in the fun can help ensure that you receive assistance if something goes wrong.
- Check for inclement weather. Before heading out on the water, check your local weather station for wind speeds, swell conditions, and tide information. While a seasoned surfer may give the impression they know what the weather may be like at any given time, conditions can turn dangerous without much notice or time to react.
- Know your capabilities. Do not try to push yourself beyond your limits. Surfing can become hazardous if you do not know what you are doing. When in doubt, talk to the lifeguard.
- Surf near a lifeguard. Surfing near a lifeguard tower not only gives you an onshore visual, but it can also save your life.
- Understand the dangers of rip currents. Rip currents can take down even a strong swimmer. Surfers should know how to spot a rip current and what to do if they get caught in one.
- Check your equipment. Make sure that your equipment, especially your leash, is in working order. If you rent a surfboard, inspect it before taking it in the water. Many people are injured by their own surfboards becoming detached or another surfer’s board. Make sure your leash is securely fastened.
- Be sure you can swim. It may seem obvious, but surfers, first and foremost, must be strong swimmers.
- Protect your head and neck. One of the most common injuries to surfers is from diving headfirst. Protect your head and neck by trying to fall flat. According to Sports Medicine Australia, head and facial trauma account for 26% of all surfing injuries, second only to leg injuries (46%).
- Look for flags (and learn what they mean). Beach flags posted on lifeguard towers can give you an indication of whether the conditions are safe for surfing. You should surf between black and white checkered flags.
Injured in a Surfing Accident? Contact Mase Mebane Seitz!
Before your next session, be sure you follow these simple safety tips and know surf etiquette. Understanding and respecting the potential dangers on the water can help you have a safe and smooth time.
However, if you are involved in a surfing accident, contact Mase Mebane Seitz for a free case evaluation. Our seasoned trial attorneys can help determine if you are entitled to compensation from a liable party. Call (305) 487-8863 to get started.