Boogie Boarding Safety Tips
Boogie boarding is a popular alternative to surfing. Did you know that boogie boarding is just as dangerous or even more so than surfing? Many parents, especially, assume boogie boarding is safer than surfing but this is unfortunately not true. Here’s how to keep yourself and your kids safe while boogie boarding.
1. Anyone using a boogie board should also be a good swimmer. In waves, it’s not uncommon to become separated from the boogie board, even ones with leashes. If separated from the boogie board, it will be necessary to be able to swim back to shore.
2. Spend the extra money to get a boogie board with a leash. Many cheaper boogie boards and boards designed for children don’t come equipped with leashes. While it will cost a few dollars more, go for the board with a leash.
3. Even with a leash, a boogie board is not a substitute for a floatation device so be sure never to rely on your boogie board as you would an official floatation device.
4. Be aware of hazards in the water, including shallow areas, rocks, break walls, reefs and also other swimmers/people in the water.
5. Only ride waves that match your skills and ability. Hundreds of people are hospitalized every year with injuries resulting from riding waves that were too large. For example, waves of only 3-4 feet can create a tunnel with very little water along the bottom. A wipe-out close to the bottom can result in serious injury.
6. Don’t go boogie boarding solo or allow children to boogie board without supervision. Always monitor children and teens closely while in the water.
7. Check into boogie boarding classes that teach technique and safety.
Despite the popularity of boogie boarding and the much cheaper cost of boogie boards compared to surf boards, boogie boarding can be just as dangerous as surfing. Boogie boarding can possibly be more dangerous even than surfing because people underestimate the risk of injury and overestimate its safety.