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Thread: rip tides?

  1. #11
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDSurfer View Post
    The infamous ''Undertoad'' mentioned in The World According to Garp is, and always was a complete myth promoted by those unfamiliar with the ocean and currents in the surf zone. People felt the pull on their legs of the water receding after a wave and mistakenly thought that that water movement would pull them under water and all the way out to sea. Those who surf know that to be a complete myth, along with the myth that waves are moving water. The only time water actually moves within a wave is when the wave pulse feels the drag of the bottom and becomes top heavy pitching all of its inner energy up and out.

    A rip current is the sum total of all that water dumping on the inside of the sandbar, and since water seeks its own level, it has to go somewhere. The first result is a littoral current running parallel to the beach and when a weak spot in the sandbar gives way to all that mounting shoreline water, a rip develops through the sandbar. As surfers we know that rips love deep water, and waves generally don't break well there. Generic swimmers react with fear of breaking waves since they've always been warned about the ''Undertow'' or the ''rip tide.''

    In an effort to educate more swimmers, the US Lifesaving Association and NOAA are circulating this brochure all over the Outer Banks, and maybe it's time to stock area motels in our areas as well: http://www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov/sign...hure_final.pdf http://www.usla.org/ripcurrents/signsbrochures.asp. (It's important to note that this brochure is available in Spanish as well)

    With that and the maxim that everyone should know their own limitations, especially when it concerns water, we might have a few less bodies floating around. Take time to educate everyone you know about potential hazards since we know so much more than most others who only visit the ocean. In short, learn not to fear the ocean, but also learn not to ever turn your back on it either.
    I agree "undertow" is a myth ....It's usually a misunderstanding of wave motion, longshore currents and rip currents.
    Last edited by Aguaholic; Jul 16, 2008 at 01:38 AM.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Long Beach
    Posts
    134
    Quote Originally Posted by MDSurfer View Post
    The infamous ''Undertoad'' mentioned in The World According to Garp is, and always was a complete myth promoted by those unfamiliar with the ocean and currents in the surf zone. People felt the pull on their legs of the water receding after a wave and mistakenly thought that that water movement would pull them under water and all the way out to sea. Those who surf know that to be a complete myth, along with the myth that waves are moving water. The only time water actually moves within a wave is when the wave pulse feels the drag of the bottom and becomes top heavy pitching all of its inner energy up and out.

    A rip current is the sum total of all that water dumping on the inside of the sandbar, and since water seeks its own level, it has to go somewhere. The first result is a littoral current running parallel to the beach and when a weak spot in the sandbar gives way to all that mounting shoreline water, a rip develops through the sandbar. As surfers we know that rips love deep water, and waves generally don't break well there. Generic swimmers react with fear of breaking waves since they've always been warned about the ''Undertow'' or the ''rip tide.''

    In an effort to educate more swimmers, the US Lifesaving Association and NOAA are circulating this brochure all over the Outer Banks, and maybe it's time to stock area motels in our areas as well: http://www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov/sign...hure_final.pdf http://www.usla.org/ripcurrents/signsbrochures.asp. (It's important to note that this brochure is available in Spanish as well)

    With that and the maxim that everyone should know their own limitations, especially when it concerns water, we might have a few less bodies floating around. Take time to educate everyone you know about potential hazards since we know so much more than most others who only visit the ocean. In short, learn not to fear the ocean, but also learn not to ever turn your back on it either.
    Great post! Last year there was a very big push for "Break the Grip of the Rip" from the NWS, which I thought was very good and this year nothing. Why not? The NWS releases rip current advisories when they are HIGH as a coastal hazard and it's mentioned in passing on the news, but I think that maybe more signage on the beaches or more of those "Break the Grip" signs would be necessary. I think by *not* having appropriate signs on the beach, or educational materials about the various currents, the beach and/or city is assuming responsibility for all people entering the water. We live in such a litigious (is that the right word?) society, that "Swim at your own risk" "Caution - dangerous currents" signs become necessary to CYA.

    Rip currents tend to increase here in the afternoons as the South-Southwest seabreeze kicks in, and picks up to 10-15 kts. I think that information should be available about such stuff as people come to the beach to pay - it's the easiest way to get information across.

    Until then, "there's a lot of water moving around out there today".