According to surfing etiquette, ditching your surfboard is one of the worst things you can do.
There are other surfers to think about, and if you’ve ditched your body and it’s speeding toward someone else, it could damage their surfboard or even cause them physical harm.
But there are times when you definitely should ditch your surfboard and that’s what we’ll discuss here.
Ditching Your surfboard on the Waves
If possible, you should refrain from ditching your surfboard. You have other surfers to think about but you should also consider your own safety.
You can cause serious damage to yourself and other surfers by recklessly ditching your surfboard during a big wave. Deaths and serious injuries from surfboards are rare, but they do occur, and even if there are no serious accidents, you could ruin someone’s line or even damage their surfboard.
If a big wave is coming, duck dive and wait for it to pass. If you don’t know how to duck dive, you shouldn’t be going anywhere near big waves in the first place.
When Should You Ditch Your Surfboard?
If you’re facing big waves and there are few surfers around, you can think about ditching your surfboard. However, it’s something you should generally try to avoid.
As a new surfer, you will be wiping out and ditching all of the time, and that’s why it’s important to learn techniques like the duck dive and the turtle roll. These will help you to survive those heavy waves ensure you’re not ditching your surfboard at the first sign of trouble.
How To Safely Ditch Your Surfboard
If duck diving is not an option, you can’t perform a turtle roll, and there’s no one else around, you can ditch safely.
Just remember that you’re attached to that surfboard via a leash and as soon as you pop your head back above the waterline, it’s going to come straight back at you.
To ditch your board safely, always jump away from the board and always assume that you’re jumping into shallow water. You don’t know how deep the water is or whether there are any obstacles, so you need to prepare yourself.
Try to land butt-first in a cannonball position, minimizing your chances of breaking your ankles.
Last but not least, always cover your head using your arms.
What is a Wipeout in Surfing?
A wipeout is when the surfer is thrown from their surfboard. Wipeouts occur at all surfing experience levels, though you can expect to wipeout more frequently when you’re just getting started.
Wipeouts are more dangerous in larger waves and with inexperienced surfers. The former have further to fall while the latter are more likely to panic and make costly mistakes.
Some of the most common problems associated with wipeouts include broken bones, broken surfboards, and concussions. However, most are uneventful and you’ll feel frustrated more than anything else.
Can A Wave Crush You?
A large breaking wave can land with enough force to burst eardrums and slam you into the ocean floor or a reef. The wave itself won’t crush you, but it could still lead to serious injuries and broken surfboards.
Can a Surfboard Knock You Out?
Yes, a surfboard can knock you out, which is why surfing etiquette dictates that you should never ditch your board around other surfers.
You can also be knocked out by your own surfboard, with the leash dragging it back toward you following a wipeout.
Such incidents are rare, though.
Can You Drown Surfing Waves?
Several surfers have died from drowning. Some are held under too long; many are knocked unconscious by the reef.
To reduce the risk of drowning, take someone with you and only tackle waves that are suitable for your skill level.
Ditching an Old Surfboard
Usually, when someone references “ditching” a surfboard, they’re talking about intentionally wiping out as a way of avoiding harm. But you may have clicked on this article to learn about ditching an old board and buying a new one.
So, how do you know that it’s time to get rid of your old surfboard and start thinking about a new purchase?
How Long Should A Surfboard Last?
A surfboard can last anywhere from 5 to 20 years. The exact lifespan will depend on the type of board, how often you ride it, and how well you maintain it.
A good hybrid composite board or epoxy board could last for 10 or 15 years with regular use while a foam or fiberglass board may last for half that time.
To get more from your board, keep it out of direct sunlight, wash it after use (to remove dirt, sand, and salt), and repair dings and cracks as soon as they appear.
Do Surfboards Deteriorate?
The materials used in surfboard construction will break down over time. At best, they will just lose their “pop” and the board won’t feel or perform as well as it should.
At worst, the board may become waterlogged and when this happens, it’s only a matter of time before it’s completely useless.
Is It Bad To Leave Your Surfboard In The Sun?
You should never store your surfboard in direct sunlight and should always keep it away from extreme heat. The sun’s rays and heat can damage the board, potentially reducing its lifespan.
When Should You Ditch an Old Board for a New One?
There is no fixed date for when you should get rid of your surfboard and buy a new one. It’s not like a toothbrush or mattress, as the rate of deterioration can differ greatly from one surfer and one board to the next.
As a general rule, buy a new board when the old one doesn’t perform as expected or as needed. If it’s waterlogged or has been fixed too many times, consider buying a new board.
Don’t get rid of the old one though, as it still has some use. You could keep it as a spare board in case of emergencies, give it to a friend who is just learning, or turn it into a piece of furniture or decoration.