“When in doubt, don't go out” is the classic saying. This is absolutely true and should always be followed, but if you're not in doubt and just need a little helpful information on how to ensure your safety out there in the mad shorebreak, then you've come to the right blog posting!
"When in doubt don't paddle out!"
The first and foremost thing to think about before you go out there with your Slyde handplane (or even just your body) is “am I a strong swimmer?” If the answer is no then don't do it. Maybe if you're at a beach where children are at play, but not at a raging shorebreak beach like Sandy’s on Oahu. Sandy’s has claimed many lives over the years to poor swimmers getting caught in the fierce riptide.
Once you've come to the conclusion that you're a strong swimmer, look out for rocks and reef and exactly where the wave is breaking. If the wave is breaking directly on the sand, then you will most likely be pummeled into that same sand, keep that in mind.
Even if you're great at catching waves and relatively experienced, you can still get yourself caught in sticky situations, especially if you're in the wrong spot at the wrong time. If the wave is about to break in front of you, dive into the back of the wave if you can. For more stability, drop the shoulder that’s facing the wave and enter it at this sideways angle, your legs will be of more help here as they attempt to hold a tight stance. this is where fins come in real handy to punch through to the back.
Sometimes it’s too late to dive into the wave but don't worry, in those cases just turn your board (or body) around towards the shore and do your best to ride the white wash. You may get tossed around a bit, but at least you'll be stuck under the suction of the wave for less time.
If you are caught in the ugly underbelly of a large shallow wave and are near any coral, make your new priority covering your face and head. Don't worry about your board, priorities are important in these frantic situations. The most injuries and fatalities happen at extremely shallow breaks from people hitting their heads or breaking their necks on the rock bottom.
I hope I haven't scared you out of anything. Shore break beaches are typically the most dangerous, but can also be the most fun. If you've got a slyde handboard with you, there is no limit to the amount of tubes you can catch. There’s not paddling out like regular surfing so your time on the waves is tripled or even quadrupled.
So keep chasing those breaks, but be safe out there kids!
Best board for the shore break Job the hexflex