March 26, 2023


General Blog

Dangers you can encounter while surfing.


Surfing is a beautiful sport, but it comes with inherent risks. It can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. The ocean is a powerful and wild force, but you can learn to surf safely with the proper knowledge and experience. Good-quality surfboards and fins, like those from FCS fins, are crucial for your safety.

Beach erosion, dumping waves and shore breaks

Beach erosion, dumping waves and shore breaks are all hazards that can be encountered while surfing.

Beach erosion is when the beach loses sand to wave action, increasing the waves’ height as they near shore.

Dumping waves occur when a wave breaks and pushes water up onto land, creating a large pool of water that can cause injury if you fall into it. This type of hazard will only form on beaches with high tide ranges. 

Short breaks are formed when strong winds blow off large swells and create fast-moving currents. Beaches with steep slopes or drop-offs, like rocky reefs or jetties, cause them to break up into smaller chunks called rip currents that flow out across beaches towards deeper water, forming small but powerful surf breaks known as shore breaks.

Encounters with marine life

  • After encountering a shark, you may feel rattled or even scared. However, if you stay calm and don’t provoke the animal, it is more likely to leave you alone. Some studies have shown that sharks are less likely to attack when people make a lot of noise (such as yelling) or splash around in the water—so keep your cool.
  • Avoid swimming near seals and sea lions. Many consider these animals “surf offenders” because they think surfers are trying to steal their food sources; therefore, they can become aggressive toward humans when provoked or threatened—especially during mating season (November through March). These attacks do not happen frequently, but they happen often enough that you should be aware of them! If you see any marine mammals in distress on shore or in the water (elderly seals with injuries), notify authorities immediately so rescuers can take action fast before an attack happens again. 

Hazards in the surf zone

  • Wave shape: A good surf spot will have waves that break on a consistent line, giving you multiple opportunities to catch a wave (and avoid getting smashed). A bad one has waves that slam into each other before they can reach you.
  • Wave size: The bigger, the better. More giant waves are more accessible to ride than smaller ones because they move slower and break farther from shore, allowing more time for paddlers to judge their approach and dodge danger points like rocks or reefs.
  • Wave period: This is basically how long each wave lasts as it travels toward shore. A longer period gives surfers more time to get ready before each section crashes down on them; shorter periods mean more frequent but smaller sets rolling in from all directions at once. It can be challenging for beginners to avoid getting caught inside during set changeovers when there are no lulls between sets. Catching rides off those breaks might be easier once everyone else clears out so someone new can come in safely without feeling rushed by incoming waves crashing down around them.

Rough weather and tides

  • Check if there are any warnings or alerts in place.
  • Check if any storms are around, as this could affect your surf experience.
  • If you’re surfing near rocks or coral reefs, check the tide tables to ensure they won’t be exposed when you plan to surf them. This will ensure it’s safe to enter the water at low tide without getting cut by sharp objects underfoot.

Surf safely

Surfing is fun, but it can be dangerous if you’re not careful and need quality equipment. Always buy your surfing accessories from reputed sellers like FCS fins to assure your safety. Before you head out, check with local authorities about any beach hazards and ask for advice from people who know the area.