Ok guys, I've been surfing just under 2 years and I wish after some big days someone could come up to me and say wow that wave was a ...... high wave, so I knew where my comfort level is at. Chest Shoulder I'm fine in, occasional Head maybe, but I really want to paddle out and catch bigger waves (and get my first tube lol) but at the same time respect the ocean and more importantly the other surfers out there.
So, my question: Are the wipeouts from Shoulder high --to-- Head/1-3 Over really that much worse? Or pretty much the same?
Describe if you would not your worst wipeout on these days but an average wipeout on a 1-3 over head high in comparison to a shoulder.
I don't feel the wipeouts are a whole lot different, the biggest difference to me is the paddle back out on these two types of days. I mean when you wipeout whether it's 3 ft or 8 ft, the key is to just not to fight it and panic. You know your going to get sloshed around a bit no matter what the wave size is but after the initial ragdolling just pop up to the surface, grab your board, and get out of the impact zone as soon as you can. Yes, the bigger the wave the harder they crash but just relax and stay calm and your golden.
Oh forgot one thing...After a crazy wipeout and/or an intense paddle back out on big days, I find myself chuckling a little bit to myself when I get back to the lineup. It's kinda like a "WOW, did that just really happen" laugh. It helps me to keep my cool and remember that I'm having fun and surfing shouldn't be a chore.
surfing big winter surf as compared to summer is completely different... A lot easier to relax and you get less tired surfing in warm water without all the rubber... Have to be in shape to a lot of surf beach breaks in the winter.
its not about the wipeout, its about keeping yourself out of harms way - either out of another surfers way, or avoid being pounded into a jetty or a pier. You have to be aware when you have no control of where you are in the water and might be putting yourself at risk
He's giving good advice. I'm by no means a pro but I've lived in Hawaii and Puerto Rico and been other places. I've been hurt worse in waist high mushy beach break. It's not about the size of the wave but your level of awareness and commitment to surf the conditions you find yourself in whatever they are. If you are commited to making a drop on a wave of consequence and you are mentally prepared (of course with the applicable skill level to match the conditions) you will have a better change of making it than surfing chest high mushy closeouts at your local beachbreak and not thinking about your surroundings. Just my .02
Disclaimer: don't get discouraged when you have your ass handed to you even though you have commited yourself. It happens to everyone from time to time.
I have to disagree on the "deep breaking waves are less dangerous" idea. You get a consistent swell with 5+ wave sets breaking with frequency in deep water, you can get in real trouble really fast. Thing is in the impact zone the deeper water will aerate substantially. This equates to super soupy "water" that no longer has the density to provide you float or traction. If you're not on your board it is almost impossible to tread water, if you are on your board it is almost impossible to paddle. Add this to not being able to touch the bottom and you have serious issues on your hands.
So, the real question is if you want to risk shallow water blackout or a broken neck
This is true, I broke my nose on a knee high day a few years back. Went to do a mini mini floater and the board got kicked up into my face by the backwash off the beach. But then again I got hit in the back of the head on a big winter day about 20 years ago and the board chipped my skull and gave me a slice so I guess it can happen anytime.
yea it's possible on both days. I just see myself much less caring on smaller days because i mess around more. A couple years ago I dislocated my shoulder landing on it in shallow water and this past summer i sprained my mcl because my foot slipped of on a turn.
the only think that has hurt me in bigger days is being held down for a while. no serious injuries though
totally agree...I've definitely hurt myself worse on smaller days, luckily nothing serious...this past summer I was goofing off and pulling a cutback and slipped off my board, went head first into about a foot of water...got real lucky!
In OH-DOH, just one real long hold down...that one really freaked me out, that was years ago. and in OBX i went over the falls backwards on a DOH wave...haha that was fun!
[QUOTE=Erock;110767]I have to disagree on the "deep breaking waves are less dangerous" idea. You get a consistent swell with 5+ wave sets breaking with frequency in deep water, you can get in real trouble really fast. Thing is in the impact zone the deeper water will aerate substantially. This equates to super soupy "water" that no longer has the density to provide you float or traction. If you're not on your board it is almost impossible to tread water, if you are on your board it is almost impossible to paddle. Add this to not being able to touch the bottom and you have serious issues on your hands.
Yep. I had a good friend from Hawaii tell me before we were about to paddle out to an outer reef and I kept checking my leash out of nervousness that I should never paddle out into anything that I wouldn't be able to swim in from because those types of waves will snatch your leash with very little effort. If you think about it it makes sense. When it gets good size then a leash is the last thing you want attached to your leg. That part doesn't make much sense to me but then again I don't make it a habit to surf triple OH outer reef breaks.
With beach breaks you have somewhat less worry. Outer reefs are the scariest places to find yourself in a predicament. Happy swimming.
people used to do bong hits and slam beers before paddling out in OH surf. Even the most skilled guys out there would get completely obliterated by a wave or two and guess what - everyone would laugh their ass off about it later. I guess what I mean to say is that the people who over-think things that are actually simple i.e. the original poster - are usually the only ones that end up getting themselves messed up.
Used to? Hmmmmmmmmmm.......... maybe thats how they "used to" paddled out in 34 water 38 air temps without a hood! LOL