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- Watch out for rips and stay surfing in your comfort zone. Know your limitations.
- A good wetsuit is recommended. (For buoyancy and warmth)
- Be knowledgeable of the water environment you are in and its potential hazards, such as deep and shallow areas, currents, and wave sizes, check out Water Safety NZ for more details.
- Make sure you always have enough energy to swim back to shore. Don’t try to swim against a current if caught in one. Swim gradually out of the current by swimming diagonally across it.
- Use a feet-first entry when entering the water.
- Come up hands first after a fall from a board, cover your face with your hands and stay underwater for a few seconds. When coming to the surface, lead with your hands high, so they break the water first. After a wipe out, the board could be anywhere. If it hits you when surfacing, it's better to be hit in the arms than the head.
- Do not swim after you have eaten or if you have consumed alcohol.
- Do not swim on beaches that are closed or that aren't patrolled by Lifeguards. Check out Surf Life Saving NZ Stay out of the water if unsure of the surf conditions or there are no safety flags.
- Pay attention to local weather conditions and forecasts. Check out the metservice web site.