ARE YOU GUYS KIDDING ME!!!???? UNDER-TOW? This term is not even used by my grandmother anymore...Learn your ocean if your going to talk about it.
Undertow is a term used to describe the phenomenon when a wave washes up a steep beach, then quickly back down, and another wave crashes in over the top of the receding wave. The "undertow" it can pull little kids off their feet and suck them under (for a very short time). It's a rel phenomenon, completely different from a rip current, which is water escaping outward from the beach through slots in a sand bar.
same here. was in belmar sunday and there was a slight rip around 13th-14th which helped on the paddle. drift was almost not there. I kept checking figuring I'd be half way down the beach and noticed I hadn't moved lol
undertow: any strong current below the surface of a body of water, moving in a direction different from that of the surface current.
rip current: A strong, narrow surface current that flows rapidly away from the shore. Rip currents form when excess water that has accumulated along a shore due to wind and waves rushes back suddenly to deeper waters. Also called rip tide.
The definitions are synonymous. They both pull you away from where you want to be or in the case of surfing they help you get out to the lineup quicker.
I was caught in a big rip current last night. Before I could even react to it it had pulled me out 30 yards or more. I'm glad I was on a board.
I don't care what you call it. The only important thing is do you know how to get out of it?
Man down in Bethany Beach we didnt have any rip currents or ,as all of you grandma's call it, under tow. the waves seemed weak and real easy to get through and around and if you did get sucked down ur a idiot because those were some of the easiest waves to ride.
Spots on Saturday in DE and MD were drastically different. I checked Bethany and Fenwick and was really bummed. Saw small mushy waves around 3-4ft. I thought thats all we had. Then I drove down to a few streets in OCMD and saw the same. I stopped when I got to 120th because it was at least 3-4ft bigger there with some 8ft sets.