Is Surfing A Scary Sport To Learn? - Green Iguana Surf Camp

Is Surfing A Scary Sport To Learn?

For the majority of surfers, nothing can beat the joy of gliding through ocean waves under a glowing sun. It’s a thrill like no other, so there’s no wonder many people try their hand at surfing each year!

Is Surfing A Scary Sport To Learn?

However, like every other sport, surfing is not without its dangers. This can lead people, especially beginner surfers, to question if surfing is a scary sport to learn. 

If you are questioning whether or not you should learn how to surf based on how scary it is, then this is the article for you! Here, we will discuss how scary surfing is to learn, any potential dangers that come with it, and more! 

Is Surfing A Scary Sport To Learn?

For many people, surfing is a scary sport to learn. This is because of the dangers that come with it. Some of these dangers are misconceptions that can easily be worked through.

For example, many people believe surfing to be scary because of the crashing waves that could land on them. In reality, not a lot of waves will be like that. 

However, there are other fears, like injury or drowning, that are understandable and are a concern when it comes to surfing. But, there are many things you can do to prevent these dangers from happening. 

It is important to note that there are dangers in all sports, and while the factors causing the danger to vary, the risk itself does not.

It is important to know how to deal with dangerous situations in all sports, and it is an essential part of learning how to surf. 

If you know how to deal with risk and dangerous situations, then surfing will feel a lot less scary. 

What Are The Danger Of Surfing?

Here are some of the dangers you may face while surfing. 

Bruises And Cuts 

You may be faced with bruises and cuts if you scrape against your fin or a rock in the water. You will fall down a lot while surfing, so this type of injury is very common. 

Head Injuries 

Additionally, you may also be faced with head injuries. If you get wiped out by a wave then you may hit your head on a rock or against the reef. Some surfers deal with this by wearing helmets. 

Pulling Muscles 

It is very easy to pull a muscle while surfing, especially if you have existing problems with your shoulders or back.

This is because of the repetitive paddling and continuous standing. To deal with this, it is best to rest and make sure you heal before going back into the ocean. 


It is also common to get cramps while surfing. This can happen when you do not warm up sufficiently before going out on the water.

It can also happen because of dehydration. So, you should warm up well and drink a lot of water to avoid getting cramps.


Understandably, many people are afraid of drowning while surfing. You will inevitably fall off your board often, but the key here is to not panic.

Easier said than done, yes. But, it is important to remember that panicking makes it far worse. The biggest cause of drowning while surfing is not falling into the water, it is panicking about it.

Panicking shortens the time you can hold your breath underwater, which is what causes you to drown. 

Sea Creatures

Naturally, there are going to be sea creatures present while you’re surfing on the sea. Many of them will ignore you, but some may not like the fact that you are there.

Jellyfish, for example, may try to sting you. There’s also the risk that you will get attacked by a shark or a stingray. 

So, this means there is a chance of a serious injury while surfing. However, the dangers of sharks or stingrays are not significant if you are just learning to surf by the shore.

Then, when you become more experienced and want to venture out into the ocean, you will learn how you can protect yourself from those dangers. 

Should You Be Afraid Of Sharks?

While sharks are portrayed as awful creatures set on eating you alive in the movies, real life is not quite the same. Do not mistake us, sharks do pose a threat to surfers, and you should try and avoid them to avoid a potential serious injury.

However, you should not let the potential danger of sharks stop you from enjoying surfing and being at the beach. 

Is Surfing A Scary Sport To Learn?

A lot of the time, a shark will mistake you for food. If you are lying on your surfboard you look a lot like a seal or a turtle, which is when a shark is most likely to attack. 

But, in the U.S. less than 20 people get attacked by sharks a year on average. The average number of surfers in the U.S. is 2.5 million, so the chances of getting attacked by a shark are very low, which makes surfing safer than it seems initially. 

Why Ignorance Is Fatal

When it comes to surfing, the main thing that can injure or kill you is ignorance. It is important to watch the water for about 10 minutes before you go in, so you can learn where the break is and see how the current moves. This is vital for learning where the reefs and rocks are. 

Additionally, you should learn surfing etiquette, especially if you are a beginner surfer. This will help you keep yourself and other people around you safe. 

It will be beneficial to get surfing lessons from a professional, too. Not only that, but you should ask some of the local surfers if there is anything they wouldn’t do or if there are things you should stay away from while surfing. This will give you some insight into things you would not have known on your own.

It is important to be prepared in all ways to surf because sometimes it is not the rocks or the sea creatures or panicking that will get you into trouble, it is your own naivety and ignorance. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What Waves Are Too Big For Beginners?

If you are a beginner when it comes to surfing, then it is best to stick to the “whitewash” and surf on the inside. 1-2 ft waves are great for beginners, but when you gain more experience you can start growing that number and move to bigger waves on the outside. 

Can You Get Seasick While Surfing?

Yes, there is a chance that you could get seasick while surfing. This is because the waves are constantly rocking. But, if you still want to surf, all you need to do is take a non-drowsy pill or a seasickness pill and it should solve the issue. 

Final Thoughts 

Surfing can be a scary sport to learn because, like with any sport, there are associated risks that can injure you.

However, these risks are usually minor, and you will learn to prevent and deal with the more dangerous forms of injury as you gain experience on the waves. 

If you or a friend have been seriously injured while surfing, it is important to contact medical professionals as soon as possible to ensure your safety and wellbeing. It is also good to contact a professional to learn more about the risks of surfing and what you can do to keep safe.

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