Surf Rip Tides Huntington Beach

This is from a former student wrote us about surf rip tides

Having recently took a surfing lesson in Huntington Beach, California, with yougosurf I was taught exactly what to do in a riptide. Now a rip current is not something to be afraid of, in fact once you understand what it is you will see that it is only temporary.  Some people call it an undertow and think that it can pull you underwater.  This is not the case, a riptide could sweep you off your feet but it would not pull you under the water.  My instructor assured me that if I encounter a riptide I should remain calm and look at my surroundings.

Strong rip currents can be seen since they often pull sand out to sea with them.  If you are caught in a rip current and cannot keep your feet on the sea floor do not panic.  The riptide will only pull you out to Sea a short distance.  There is no need to swim against the current.  The best thing you can do is look around and determine the best direction to swim parallel to shore out of the rip.  Meaning you can only swim north towards Los Angeles or south towards Newport Beach.  The idea here is to swim out of the rip current without swimming all the way across it.  A good surfing lesson will cover these conditions in detail.

Rip tides form between sandbars under certain conditions.  Essentially, a funnel effect starts after a set of waves comes to shore and starts a river of water flowing out to Sea since it has nowhere else to go.  The rip tide will eventually dissipate but can leave a swimmer a bit concerned if they suddenly find themselves out in deep ocean water.  Experienced surfers will often utilize a rip tide to speed their return to the line-up (area where waves begin to break).  My surfing lesson Huntington Beach covered the details of rip tides and taught me to not panic if suddenly taken for a ride.

My initial instruction came in handy when I took another surfing lesson Newport Beach, California. This time the waves were much bigger and my instructor assured me that rip tides were present.  She took the time to show me how they look like mushrooms with the stem forming off the beach.   I was a little nervous since it was all theory before.  Would I panic or remain calm as I imagined I would when my instructor initially told me about riptides.  After about fifteen minutes in to my second surf ever I had the pleasant experience of being ready for my situation.

The ocean was swirling and my instructor was off on another fun wave for her.  Meanwhile, I sensed that the shore was getting further away.  I looked around and realized I was on the Los Angeles side of a wide riptide.  So I took the advice given to me and started paddling north and quickly stopped floating out to sea.  Once clear of the rip I was able to easily paddle back to shore and get back in close proximity with my instructor.  I felt like a real surfer and quickly got washed to shore by the next set of waves.  Reminding me that I have a lot more learning to do. I was very thankful that I took a surfing lesson in Huntington Beach and another surfing lesson in Newport Beach, California for I can say it saved my life.  Thanks




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