Once you feel confident in a pool, you may want to tackle the mighty Pacific Ocean to swim and body surf.
Here are 10 tips to help you have safe fun in the ocean.
- Don’t drink alcoholic beverages and attempt to swim in the surf or open ocean. Period.
- Start your training on days when the surf is small. As you build confidence, you can tackle more difficult conditions.
- Go with a buddy or at least stay within sight of lifeguards. Use a building, tree, etc. on shore so you can tell if you are drifting. It’s normal to drift on San Diego beaches. There is usually a current from the Northwest.
- Talk to the lifeguards before you go into the surf. Ask about rip currents and other hazards.
- Check the water temperature. Wear a wet suit if needed, and be aware that if you start to shiver, you should return to shore ASAP.
- Shuffle your feet as you wade out. If you don’t, you may get stabbed by a sting ray as you step on top of it.
- Wear fins. They give you much more power and a margin of safety for swimming out of rip currents.
- Learn how to swim away from rip currents and stay calm.
- If you are uncomfortable, have trouble breathing, or just feel tired, return to shore. You can always go back out.
- Learn your limits and how to take care of yourself. The lifeguards aren’t perfect!