Is Surfing Considered An Extreme Sport?

You probably have an idea of what is considered an extreme sport, but it is not easily defined. The word "extreme" can be used to describe something that is very risky or dangerous. It can also be used to describe something that is difficult to accomplish. For this reason, it cannot be assumed that all extreme sports are the same in terms of risk and danger.

Surfing is considered an extreme sport because of the high-focus tricks that can be done. Extreme sports are usually classified by a combination of high speed, risk, and focus. Surfing is not very dangerous if not done during a high current when the beach has a red flag displayed. The focus involved in doing surfing tricks is similar to other extreme sports like skateboarding and motocross. These sports all have the power to increase your adrenaline.

If you are looking for a water sport that is extreme, surfing is a great choice. The sport is able to excite your senses and sharpen your focus. Is this sport is hard to learn? Do you need a teacher to get started? What makes extreme sports attractive? We will answer all of those questions and more, so be sure to keep reading.

A surfer running on the beach with his surfboard trying to catch big waves, Is Surfing Considered An Extreme Sport?

Why Is Surfing Considered Extreme?

A surfer riding under the cresting wave

Surfing involves using a manmade object on natural terrain. Other sports that take place in a manmade stadium have removed some of the unpredictable factors that come with nature. The weather plays an ultimate role in sports that take place in nature and is never predictable. Surfing involves focus and balance to be successful.

There are inherent risks that come with surfing that a non-surfer would not have to face. Hitting the seafloor, getting hit by the surfboard, and drowning are the most prevalent. Although it is rare, surfers are competing in the water that contains sea animals like sharks and jellyfish. The corral reef can also be dangerous if a surfer takes an impact.

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Is Surfing Hard To Learn?

Surfing can be difficult and unpredictable, but the learning curve is not steep for everyone. You may be able to learn the basics in two hours and begin riding waves on the same day. The most basic two skills you need to get started are balance and the ability to move from your belly to a standing position in a quick movement. This can be hard for many people to get started and frustration can cause people to give up before ever riding a wave. Your level of determination and patience will make all of the difference.

Surfing is unpredictable. There are many factors that determine how mild or difficult the surfing session will be. The first factor is the weather. Most people would prefer to surf on a sunny day and not during a heavy rainstorm. The wind direction and speed affect the size and intensity of the waves. Longer and faster wind creates larger waves. When the air is colder than the water, the waves grow bigger and move faster. Beginner surfers will have a more difficult time adapting to changing conditions at sea.

Can You Teach Yourself To Surf?

There are two factors that make learning to surf easier. The first is having good balance. The second is having strong arms and legs. People with these qualities can typically teach themselves to surf. It is best to choose a day and location with smaller waves and fewer people out in the water surfing.

You have to learn surf etiquette to avoid upsetting other surfers or getting in the way. Getting started with surfing is difficult and can be frustrating. In order to succeed in teaching yourself how to surf, you will need determination and patience.

Is Surfing The Most Dangerous Sport?

A surfer on a white surfboard riding rough waves

There is no definitive way to determine what is the most dangerous sport. Data from the National Weather Service collects data about the number of fatalities that occur in surf zones in the United States. Data shows 100-105 people die every year in surf zones in the USA. It is not clear if this data could include swimmers using the beach at one of these surf zones. There are approximately 2.5 million surfers in the USA. This data shows that 1 out of 25,000 surfers would die each year in the country if all tracked fatalities are surfers.

We don't know how many of the 2.5 million surf regularly. If we assume all of those 25 million surf regularly for 20 years each, then the lifetime fatality rate would be 1 in 1,250. According to this data, base jumping is the sport with the highest fatality rate. Hang gliding, motorbike racing, and grand prix racing all have higher fatality rates than surfing. Shark attacks and fatalities are very rare for surfers and swimmers.

How Many Surfers Get Injured?

This surfing fact sheet from the Sports Medicine of Australia states that only 2.2 injuries occur per 1,000 surfing days, and most of the injuries are not serious. The most common injury is laceration from coming into contact with your own board or another surfer's board. Another cause of injury is wiping out. The third possible cause, that only accounts for 18 percent of injuries, is hitting the sea bed. Sustaining one of these injuries while surfing could make you more likely to drown.

How Can You Prevent Injuries?

You can prevent surfing injuries through adequate preparation, surfing etiquette, and knowledge of the break. Injuries and fatalities are more likely in extreme sports if an athlete attempts to do something beyond his or her ability. It is important to assess your own skill level and gradually move to bigger waves as you get more experience. Warmup each day before you start surfing. Good warmup exercises involve yoga, stretching, and balancing.

Surf etiquette is important to maintain the safety of all participants. The surfer closest to the peak gets the wave. Each wave should only have one surfer. Wait your turn and don't try to skip the line.

The surfboard itself is the cause of most injuries, which can come from your own surfboard or the board of another surfer. That is why surf etiquette is very important. You should add a rubber or plastic nose guard to your board to minimize the possibility of injury. You might also use a soft-top surfboard so that any impact with your board will result in less severe injuries.

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What Makes Extreme Sports Attractive?

A surfer riding a yellow surf board riding a giant wave

One common misperception is that people who do extreme sports are addicted to adrenaline and have a death wish. Queensland University of Technology research determined that extreme sports are attractive due to the altered consciousness that comes through high risk and high focus activities.

The risk brings hyper-focus to the athlete and can blend the line between the consciousness of you and nature to feel like one. This connection to nature and heightened senses seems to be the attractive aspect of extreme sports, but that is made possible by the adrenaline that runs through your body in risky situations.

In Closing

Surfing is considered an extreme sport. Surfers are at the whim of the weather, the wind, and the tide. It is not particularly dangerous compared to other extreme sports, but there is a perceived risk that is adrenaline-inducing. Extreme sports are a way of connecting with nature while experiencing heightened senses and increased focus. While the danger is not high with surfing, there are just over 100 fatalities every year in all surfing zones in the USA.

Surfing is adventurous and unpredictable. It is not the most difficult sport, but it can be frustrating when you're trying to learn. It is much easier for people with strong legs and arm muscles to learn surfing if they have good balance. Stretching and yoga is a good way to improve your balance for surfing. It is also advisable to do a warmup exercise each surfing day before you go out on the waves. Surfing is exciting and rewarding for people who are able to get past the learning curve.

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