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Thread: Reef surfing

  1. #1

    Reef surfing

    Being an east coast surfer I have never surfed a real reef. I was wondering how often people hit the reefs when surfing. I've surfed places where the bottom is like a rock reef but I don't consider them the same.

  2. #2
    Hey I grew up in Florida surfing sand, and now I live in hawaii where there's practically no such thing lol sometimes I miss pulling into a.barrell without a care in the world, honestly I hold back sometimes cause getting slammed the wrong way can be so bad and a lot of places here there's no help around and no cell phone service...
    But to answer your question, I bump the reef almost every time I surf, especially since the waves break in such shallow water (hence all the barrells) here, but I'd say I show blood once every other month or so, and haven't had anything worse than some scrapes.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Ocean County NJ
    Quote Originally Posted by lipride20 View Post
    Being an east coast surfer I have never surfed a real reef. I was wondering how often people hit the reefs when surfing. I've surfed places where the bottom is like a rock reef but I don't consider them the same.
    Consider them the same and avoid impact.

  4. #4
    Hey Doug do you know alex morin? He's from ocean city

  5. #5
    Like Doug said, avoid impact.. .I grew up surfing beachies and got slammed . When I first started surfing reefs I was cautious. But I feel it's mostly the same (except the waves are way better on reef). If you slam on either you can get hurt. Some reefs are super shallow, but some sand bars are super shallow too...
    I try to avoid going too deep when surfing shallow waves and I've been ok thus far.
    That being said... It depends on where you are. Some spots are way knarlier than others... The sicker the barrels, the greater the risk

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    If you want practice, go surf some of the Coquina reefs scattered across Central FL.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Surfing reefs for the first time can be unnerving for some, especially if there are rocks sticking out of the water. It takes a few times out in the water to shake the feeling. But really, that's all it is....a "feeling". I've hit way more sand bottoms than rock bottoms. There are so many more plusses to reef surfing; mainly, paddling channels and wave shape and consistency. You have several good reefs in the northeast. Get a good wetsuit and practice up.

  8. #8
    I grew up on the east coast (and recently moved back) but lived on oahu for 17 years. I have some scrapes and scars from reefs on the north and west shores, but none of them were too painful. My worst injury was a fin cut a 1/4" from my eye from a leash snapback which could have happened anywhere in the world.

    While you are right to worry about your body, board dings are also a big concern especially depending on where you surf. Some of the best, least crowded surf on oahu is at places where the water entrance and exit is reef shoreline where you have waves crashing on exposed reef and that's the only way to get in and out of the water. (I am thinking of Campbell Industrial Park near Kapolei and Maili Point and Free Hawaii on the West Side).

    I remember one of the first times I surfed on the north shore was at Marijuana's. It wasn't too big and I had an awesome sesh. I had paddled out a bit south of the break and when I finished my session, I decided to come straight into shore on my last wave. Big mistake. There is a large shallow reef inside the impact zone that extends far inside and up and down the beach and I didn't realize how extensive the reef was. (Parts of the reef are exposed at lower tides, and the whole reef is only a few inches underwater most other times.) I ended up breaking one fin and knocking another one completely off (fcs plugs came out) as I belly rode in.

  9. #9
    Reefs are almost always worth the risk. Just take a minute to understand the risk. Each spot is different.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Puerto Rico
    I found that interesting to read. I learned surfing on a pretty heavy spot, with rocks/sand but not too shallow, but very violent waves that are hard to surf compared to a glassy reef wave. I always thought that I', not ready for the reef, because I like big waves 6-20ft no problem but I'm afraid of hitting the reef or rocks. For once I'm 6'4 and just for that cut a lot my feet. I surfed very very shallow spots but I just cant get relaxed in such spots because there are waves you simply will wipe out without any chance to do something against it.

    My personal opinion is I rather surf huge ass waves with more space to the bottom so even wipeouts are just about the wave power instead of small waves on a shallow reef. I cant seem to find any thrill anyways surfing small perfect waves. Sometimes when I surf gigantic waves, I am pleased for 1-2 weeks with one good, big wave, while small waves on days when you dont even get nervous, dont really please me at all.

    I think it is very important to take time to observe new spots and find a location at the spot from there the paddle into the wave feels most comfortable until you feel more relaxed. I mean there are very very good reef brakes that aren't even that shallow. Just make sure NEVER fall head first and if you think you wipe out, push away the board with your feet before falling and go butt first and cover your head.