Surfing has become a very popular water sport in the UK, and there’s no place like North Devon for sampling some of the best waves. Of course, as with all water sports, safety is a prime concern, and with that in mind, here are some safety tips for surfing.
- Surfing and alcohol do not mix – Save the beer drinking for the evenings, when you and other surfers can share stories about monster waves, and as tempting as it might be to down a cold beer during a break, stick to water.
- Be aware of surfing conditions at all times – The weather can change very quickly, especially on the beach. By watching for lifeguards and any warning signs, you will be informed when the conditions change. If you’d like holiday accommodation that’s only a stone’s throw from the surfing action, there are Croyde holiday cottages and holiday home rentals to be found online. Croyde beach has a lifeguard stationed from May to September. Always look at the flags, which tell you about the conditions.
- Know your own abilities – Be realistic when out in the waves, and if the swells become larger than you are used to, it might be best to sit it out for a while. If you are not a good swimmer, never go too far out, and whenever possible, you should have a surfing buddy. Watching out for each other when surfing makes for a safer experience, and surfing alone is particularly dangerous, as no one will be aware if you get into trouble.
- Always use sun screen – If you have ever suffered from sunburn, you’ll know just how painful it is! Of course, we never feel the sun until it is too late, and rather than taking a chance, you should always apply a liberal amount of sunblock prior to going out.
- Wave priority – We all want to ride the best waves, and if there is another surfer who is closer than you, then it’s his wave. Make sure you keep your distance from other surfers, and be polite and helpful when you think people need some assistance.
- Always wear your leash – This is what keeps you within a short distance of your board, and you should check the leash for frays regularly, and replace it when necessary. There is a list of surfing safety rules that is recommended reading for beginners and experts alike.
North Devon hosts some of the best waves to be found in the UK, and if you are planning a surfing holiday, there are very affordable cottages for rent that are as close to the action as humanly possible. By renting a cottage close to Croyde beach, you are only a few yards from the action. If you are planning a high season adventure, make sure to book well in advance, as when the surf breaks in the summer, there will be many people looking to ride that perfect wave.
By following the above safety guidelines, you and those around you will be safe, and never become complacent, as the currents can be very strong along this stretch of coastline.