As soon as temperatures start to climb, visions of sun-kissed summer days spent by the ocean start to dance in our heads. When you live near breathtaking coastlines, beaches naturally become a go-to for fun on sunny days. But simply lounging on the sand can get old after a while. For more adventurous ways to enjoy beach days, why not take to the water? With the right mindset and preparation, you can make the most of time spent riding waves and tides.
Pick the Right Beach
With miles of shoreline to choose from, selecting the right beach spot is key. Look for lifeguard-protected areas if you’re less experienced with ocean swimming and surfing. Seek out beaches known for their gentle waves, gradual entry, and lack of strong rip currents. For surfing, experienced wave riders should head to renowned breaks like Rincon, Malibu, and Huntington Beach when conditions are optimal.
Prepare the Essentials
Once you have identified the perfect beach spot, make sure you pack all necessary supplies for a full day of ocean enjoyment. Bring the basics like sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, and other protective clothing. Pack food, water bottles and electrolyte drinks to stay hydrated and fueled. If you plan to surf or boogie board, do not forget your wetsuit and accessories like fin tethers and wax.
Rent Water Gear
Unless you already own surfboards, boogie boards and other sizeable ocean gear, renting is often the easiest option when beach bound. Look for outfitters offering hourly to full-day rates that include all necessary accessories. The experts at Canyon Sports tell us that for stand-up paddleboard rental, a liability waiver is usually required, but basic paddling instruction will be provided if you are new to SUP.
Watch Ocean Hazards
Before diving into beach activities, take a few minutes to assess ocean conditions and identify any potential hazards. Note the wave size, interval between sets, wind direction and areas of strongest rip currents. If red warning flags are posted, proceed cautiously, and speak to lifeguards.
Also realize your limits – don’t paddleboard or surf breaks that exceed your ability. Stick to designated entry points rather than running into the waves from everywhere. Follow all lifeguard instructions and be prepared to exit the water if they deem conditions unsafe at any point. For non-swimmers, always wear a certified life jacket.
Safely Enjoy Water Sports
Once you’ve surveyed conditions and prepared accordingly, it’s time for the fun to begin. For surfers and bodyboarders, respect general lineup etiquette and give others space. Paddle out carefully, keeping your eyes peeled for incoming waves. Don’t aggressively “drop in” on other riders and avoid areas dominated by more advanced surfers.
When stand-up paddle boarding, stay clear of designated surf zones so you do not risk injuring others with your board. Wear a leash to prevent runaway boards and know your limits when it comes to navigating waves and balancing. Even boogie boarding and swimming warrant care – avoid inappropriate areas, watch for watercraft and be aware of your surroundings.
Soak up Beach Time
While hitting the waves offers endless excitement, do not forget to budget time for good old-fashioned beach lounging and sunbathing. Stake out a patch of sand with optimal sun exposure. Break out your picnic or beach snacks when hunger strikes after all that playtime. Take nap intermissions shielded beneath your umbrella.
Tackling the tides is always more enjoyable when done properly prepared. With the right approach, you’re sure to create amazing oceanfront memories. Just don’t forget to hydrate – saltwater and sun can take a lot out of you.