Surfing is probably one of the most extreme sport we ever know.
But do you know that between any others, surfing is the safest? Many people are thinking when they become interested to learn to surf in the first place: is surfing safe?
The short response is yes, off course! There are millions surfer all over the world with no problem save for the occasional drowning or ultra-rare shark attack.
How safe it is, it depends on several factors like location, weather, skills or surfer’s condition, equipment and education.
Well some things could be dangerous. Picture this; huge wave, choppy water, surfing alone at night in shark infested waters… don’t even think to try this.
There are range of surf spot, from beginner to pro. Same goes with hiking. You can hike through a small hill or choose to explore the Canyonlands. Option one won’t even break a sweat, while the other will cause an adrenaline pumping. Yet they are both hiking.
Serious injury like brain damage is something that you won’t hear about in surfing, at least. But snowboarding, skiing, motocross or BMX, there are quite much numbers of athletes being killed or losing their most vital functions. So, it is claimed that surfing is the safest games in any other extreme or adventure sports.
Many people said most surfers will get at least one injury at some point. However, the reality is you are the key factor that will determine where, when and how likely you are to be injured. Accidents can happen in any size surf, so how do you minimize your risk of getting hurt? If possible, do pre-surf workout to get the body in shape for knocks and sudden muscle and joint movement. This can help you avoid things like sprains, cervical damage, fractures or dislocated shoulders, knee and ankle injuries.
The most severe surf injuries are caused by the surfboard itself (67%). The fins, the tail, and the rail can hit your head, eyes, lips or ears. It will cause pain and bleeding for sure. So, think of a surfboard as a gun, and handle with care. What is the most common injuries in surfing?
Laceration is one of the most common injuries for surfers. You need to clean the wound and add a sterile compression while trying to keep the affected area above heart level to reduce the bleeding. If the bleeding repeatedly makes its way through the bandages, then stitches are likely to be needed. The best thing you can do is make your own way to the nearest medical centre or call for an ambulance to get a wound treatment as soon as possible. Lacerations can be avoided with the protection of a good wetsuit, and also by practicing risk-avoidance, especially when near a jetty or in a reef break. Always know that risk is manageable.
So, is surfing safe? Yes, it’s reasonably safe if you follow the guideline on ocean safety regarding waves, weather, landscape, etc. Do not forget to research the break, know your limits and tap all the local knowledge you can. Remember, stepping into red zone doesn’t make you dashing.
Have fun and surf safe!