More education needed to avoid surf rage

As surfing becomes more and more popular, the number of beginners continues to rise. More bodies and more surfboards means waves are more crowded and these conditions create the ideal breeding ground for surf rage. Many involved in the sport are concerned that a lack of understanding of the ocean and surfing rules can cause serious problems. Inexperienced surfers often take waves without being aware of the "dropping in" rule. This rule governs who has priority on the wave. The surfer closest to the curl of the wave has the priority. Experienced surfers can catch a wave just as it starts to

break and be up on their feet and riding quick as a flash. The inexperienced surfer, further along the wave, will then be in the way. Not only does this ruin the ride for the surfer riding on the wave, but it can also cause a collision to happen. This is definitely the biggest cause of a surf rage incident. Dropping in is not the only potential source of surf rage, says Nigel Potts, surfing educator, at the Academy of Surfing Instructors, and author of Learn to Surf manuals. "Inexperienced surfers usually have little "ocean sense", he said. "Rips and currents can easily drag a surfer out into the larger waves and in the way of experienced surfers," he

said. "To make matters worse, the inexperienced surfer may not know how to get back into shore. "They often swim into the rip or current and tire themselves out. "Inability to read waves is also another area where inexperienced surfers can get into trouble. "Just like some beach areas are more suitable for surfing for beginners and much safer. "Understanding more about surfing and the ocean is definitely required before getting out on a surfboard." Most sports need some level of theory before delving into the sport. Scuba diving, for example, requires people to understand

something about their equipment and safety issues before going into the water. The same is true for surfing, says Potts. Unfortunately, many people think they can just jump on a surfboard and do it. Because they have not bothered to learn more about their equipment, the ocean, surfing rules and safety, they become a potential danger in the water. "It is for this reason that I have written learn-to-surf manuals targeted specially for the beginner and one for the intermediate surfer," he said. "Surfing is a great sport and surf rage can be avoided if everyone is a little more educated when it comes to surfing.

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