By: John Clement
At first glance, when you see a surfer riding a gigantic wave, it is easy to become overwhelmed with excitement, awe, and a desire to master the art. It isn't until you are actually on a surfboard in a large body of water that you think to yourself, "I might not make it out of this in one piece." The self-doubt may mentally cripple you and keep you from experiencing a life-changing sport. Though surfing has its risks, it is practically one of the safest activities you can do. It is estimated that no more than 10 people will drown while surfing. Among millions of individuals that actually surf, the numbers are very low. That is not to say that one cannot get injured. When you wipeout, it is probable that you can get struck with your own surfboard, clash into other surfers, or even get cut up by reefs or the fins of your board. It is imperative to be aware of your surroundings and learn how to wipeout properly so you do not drown. To further prevent any accidents, it is best to check the conditions of the water prior to you surfing. In the case of experiencing a wipeout, it is always best to fall away from your surfboard, to not panic, and to recover. Panicking will only cause you to use more oxygen. That is why it is important to increase your water confidence. By learning how to become a better swimmer or even joining a swim team, you can avert tragic events in the water. Just ask the individuals that are a part of the Underwater Torpedo League!