At some point or another, you might enter a race where you have to enter through the surf to get to the start line. Or maybe you go for a paddle and want to beach along the way, but there is some surf to account for. This can be intimating to some. And others may not understand how a simple extra second can make all the difference. Here are some important tips, dos and don'ts and lessons learned the hard way which may help you safely get to your destination and not have to worry so much about that upcoming race with a beach entry.
This is part of a multi-part series.
- Part 1: GENERAL tips and guidelines for paddling in and out of surf
- Part 2-6: CRAFT SPECIFIC tips for various craft
Prone Paddleboard Tips For Entering and Exiting the Surf -
brought to you by Joe Scaturro Surftech USA
Know before your go- Always keep an eye on the forecast and see if the swell is on the incline or decline. I always like to watch the ocean for a couple of minutes before going out to see what is going on. Observe Sets, Rips, Surf line ups, and reefs/ rocks that are shallow to see where you should paddle out.
- Leashes and PFDs- Safety 1st - Always wear a leash when going out in the ocean, you can never be too safe… Especially on Downwind runs a leash be will your saving grace if the wind is really going. Also, if you are a beginner wearing a PFD on your waist is a great idea. You never know what could happen on the open ocean so always having these items in your gear bag it a great idea.
- Always Paddle with a buddy- Especially in open ocean and paddling through the surf, always be paired up with a buddy for Safety. On longer distance paddles having someone with you in case of something going wrong is a great thing. Before going out check in with the lifeguards and let them know what your planned route is and the time you will be on the water, then once complete with your paddle check back in with the lifeguards to let them know that you are back safe.
Board placement while going through the surf- When going out through the surf your board nose should always be pointed out to sea. This will allow the board to go up and over the waves in a safe manner. Never have your board perpendicular to the beach and between you and the wave, When this happens the board can come and hit you or others while you are in breaking waves.
- Know Surf Etiquette- Knowing these rules will help keep you safe while entering or exiting the surf.
- First surfer/paddler up, Closest to the curl has right of way.
- Paddle around the break to paddle out
- Hang on to your board, look out for other surfers
- Help other surfers/paddlers in trouble
- If a surfer/paddler is caught inside, let the surfer/paddler on the wave pass, and then paddle out behind him
- Respect the beach and ocean
This article was brought to us by Joe Scaturro and Surftech - a company with prone and SUP boards that combine the best qualities of PU (polyurethane) and EPS (expanded polystyrene) combined with our sustainable “GreenPoxy” and other sustainable steps which have garnered the much sought-after approval from industry watch dog organization “Sustainable Surf”. All our boards also utilize the latest and most advanced fin systems and boxes from both FCS and Futures and carry a One Year Warrantee.
We build what others can only dream of and we were the first to do it!