Summer Stories Surfing in Crete
Summer time in Crete and Meltemi wind brings us constant waves to the north coast of Crete. Our group today was a good mix of kids, youngsters and adults of different surf experiences. To bring everyone on the same page, surf instructor Andy always talks about safety rules and safety signals. Then also a quick theory. Our first time surfers first learned the motion of catching the wave and gliding on our bellies, thus finding the right position and balance on the surfboard. Then they join the others trying to pop up on the board and having a ride. Those with a little bit more experience got some tips on the pop up, stalling & trimming and trying to turn the board!
Today we also had a little bit of a scare, with Andy performing a rescue of swimmers that were caught in the rip. Luckily the whole situation dissolved quickly, no one was hurt and we could continue with our surf lesson.
What is a rip? A rip is a current in the water that does not allow you to swim straight back to shore. When you realise you are caught in a rip, the first thing to remember is to stay calm. Then swim sideways to the shore towards the breaking waves. There you can swim or walk back to shore. Whenever you can touch the ground, walk to keep your position. How do we avoid being caught in a rip in the first place? Usually this kind of current is characterised by water with small riplets like a river and no breaking wave and it's not a good idea to swim there. Respect the red flag on the lifeguard tower, meaning no swimming allowed! Watersports is allowed. When swimming AND surfing, always observe the land around you. Make a horizontal and vertical line to the shore (rocks, umbrellas, flags,...) If you see that you move away from your landmarks unnaturally fast, try to reposition to the area you wanted to be. And finally, when you realise you are in trouble, call for help!