(KGTV) — Surfing has recently become California's official sport, which may prompt some of our state's locals to grab a board and try it out.
But before hitting the waves, there are some important tips to consider. Not when it comes to gear, but when it comes to safety.
Don't go alone
Don't surf alone. If you're new to the sport, you definitely don't want to surf alone. Attending a surf school or lesson can help with that. If you've been surfing, it's still always better to surf with a buddy.
Stretching out helps prevent injuries. If you're new to surfing, you'll definitely be using some muscles you haven't used before so limber up!
Between your foot and your board's leash, there's plenty of room for your board to get in someone's way and vice-versa. Make sure you have enough room between yourself once you go for a wave. That last thing you want before wiping out is to send your board into someone or catch someone else's board yourself.
Don't ruin a wave
Before you paddle out, check the situation. There may be someone hurdling toward you and about to catch a wave. Point being, get your bearings on where others are currently. Paddle out between breaks and you'll be less likely to run into someone.
Don't drop in
If you're not paying attention, you may end up on the same wave as another surfer. This can lead to two things, a collision or having to bail out of the wave. Either way, it's bad news. Apologize if you accidentally end up in the situation, but be aware of your surroundings.
Spotting a rip
Rip currents can be a real danger whether you're swimming or surfing. Know how to spot a rip current and where you're allowed to surf, and make sure you're within view of a lifeguard. If you're caught in a rip current, experts say it's important to stay calm. Float, wave your arms and yell to get the attention of a lifeguard or people on shore.