Surf into a safer summer of fun

EXPERTS are to hold a series of workshops to keep beach lovers safe this season.

The Academy of Surfing Instructors (ASI) is holding learn to surf and stand-up paddle board days across the country.

ASI’s Christina Rovere said, without basic surf and stand-up paddle safety knowledge “it’s easy to find yourself in dire straits out on the ocean or flat water”.

Hastings schools Soul Surfing and Stand Up Paddle Port Macquarie are running events in the area. 

The Girls Get into Stand Up Paddle day is on tomorrow.

Owner and instructor Wayne Dean said people often were unaware of the potential dangers on flat water. A lesson from an accredited instructor could help you avoid them.

Factors such as wind and tide could turn a pleasant paddle into a nightmare, he said.

“You don’t want to be paddling against the tide,” he said. “We give you a briefing on the dangers like avoiding the rocks, jetties and other boats.” 

Lessons would give paddlers confidence in the water and prepare them for tackling it on their own.

Soul Surfing owner Corey Enfield said most of the dangers associated with surfing came from a lack of understanding.

“The other danger is a lack of control over your surfboard, especially if it’s a big fibreglass board. It’s pretty easy to get hit in the face if you are inexperienced.”

He said the most common consequence for beginners trying their own luck was probably bruised egos, but sometimes the outcome could be far worse.

Girls Get into Stand Up Paddle is on tomorrow, at 10.30am and 12.30pm. Phone  0457 649 429 to book.

Girls Get into Surfing is on January 25. Phone  6582 0114 or 0428 480 266.

For other dates, contact both schools.

Keep safe this summer with ASI’s top five tips.

For surfing:

1. Knowledge of the Ocean. 

2. Don’t be Washed Away. 

3. Understand Surfing Rules. 

4. Stay Cool. 

5. Be Surf Savvy - 

For stand up paddling:

1. Always paddle in flat water. 

2. Keep a 360° awareness. 

3. Weather Conditions. 

4. Use the ‘buddy’ system. 

5. Relax.

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