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Surfing is arguably one of the most profound and enjoyable water activities ever invented by man. A cult spanning all nearly all corners of the globe, in some ways or another, has offered a considerable amount of personal devotion in pursuit of this nearly pure-hedonistic pastime. But while the sheer happiness and pleasure brought about with the simple act of sliding down the face of a wave cannot be denied; the love for surfing--- like any other form of true love, can also bring equal measures of pain and suffering.
Looking at the negative aspects of surfing, at the very least, can certainly raise untoward emotions and bruise a few egos along the way. Like any other sport that demands a certain level of physical effort, injuries to the simply come with the territory. And speaking of “occupational hazards”, at its most extreme, many have paid the ultimate price for surfing--- which is losing one’s life to a force of nature greater than any of us in the grand scheme of things. But perhaps these underlying factors are the very reasons that make surfing so appealing. When viewed broadly, the human aspect is constructed in ways best explained by a sociologist or an anthropologist.
While those at the very pinnacle of skill and prowess are revered as gods, the initiation to the tribe of surfing will always start at the bottom. As you begin to advance, you must also become more aware and pay heed to rules regarding etiquette. They are there for a reason.
Surfing’s mores and folkways can be traced nearly to its birth; and its norms have evolved along with its members and equipment to the state that it is today. Simply put, these have been set in place to ensure that everyone remains safe while having a good time. Going beyond man-made conventions, acceptance by the sea is a completely different matter entirely. Its will is beyond what a mere wave rider can possibly comprehend. However, understanding this element is definitely not beyond our reach. We are masters at adapting to all sorts of environment, and this great body of water is no exception. To quote the esteemed Benjamin Franklin: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
Then check your gear on whether it’s up to par. When in the water, always be mindful of the conditions and always be aware of your surroundings. Be on the lookout for other people--- being aware of where everybody is positioned in the lineup is one precaution whose importance cannot be stated nearly enough times. Knowing certain information beforehand, such as where the lifeguards are (or whether there are no life guards around to begin with), emergency numbers, and basic first aid training can be literally be life savers. All in all surfing is generally safe as long as you’re adequately prepared, alert and reasonably cautious.