Safely surfing with kids

Fritter's picture
Fritter started the topic in Thursday, 30 Jun 2022 at 8:07pm

A quick safety note following an incident from last weekend on the Surf Coast… Last Saturday I surfed a reef a little way out of Torquay and swung to go on a wider wave which came through. As I was getting to my feet I was hit in the back of the head by a board which had been bailed by a young girl. I blacked out for a moment, fortunately landed on my board, and when I realised where I was and what I was doing, I gathered myself and paddled out of the impact zone, and felt blood streaming from a gash in the back of my head. I made my way in, helped by a mate, and saw the young girl come in too and I spoke to her about never letting go of your board etc (you can’t get angry at a young kid). We waited for 20 mins in the car park while getting changed and applying pressure to the gash to let the Dad know what had happened and that perhaps his daughters shouldn’t have been out in conditions they can’t handle. He didn’t come in while we were waiting, and I needed to get to hospital. Overall, I had 4-5 stiches put in, have pretty bad whiplash, and 4 days later I’m still very much recovering from concussion. If I’d landed in the water rather than on my board, it could have been a really bad situation and outcome. So if you’re taking your kids surfing, please make sure they’re actually able to handle the conditions you’re taking them out in, that they know basic safety standards like not bailing their boards, and please keep an eye on them them in the water. Cheers

Gary G's picture
Gary G's picture
Gary G Saturday, 2 Jul 2022 at 8:37am

This is worthy of a bump

andy-mac's picture
andy-mac's picture
andy-mac Saturday, 2 Jul 2022 at 9:21am

Definitely.... Not safe for the kids or other surfers to be out in conditions not suitable. Glad you are ok and have a quick recovery..

Bnkref's picture
Bnkref's picture
Bnkref Saturday, 2 Jul 2022 at 12:42pm

Yeah I saw this happen. It was a sickening bang when the board hit the guy’s head. At first I thought it must have been board on board given how loud it was. Lucky it wasn’t much worse.

I think it’s a good lesson that parents need to keep an eye out for their kids and not take them out in conditions they’re not 100% comfortable in, particularly if it’s a busy lineup.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Saturday, 2 Jul 2022 at 3:25pm

Yikes. Hope you're OK Fritter.

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude Thursday, 7 Jul 2022 at 2:28pm

Sorry to hear mate. Unlucky, I hope you're alright.

I'm not sure what the conditions were like etc. but just to play devil's advocate, it can be really tough for young kids to duck dive properly owning to their lack of strength. Its a tricky one because for progression often kids can paddle out, get a few and in the right environment good to be out when its a little bigger than they are used to.

I do agree though, the old man needs to be closely monitoring the youngster if conditions are borderline for them.

Fritter's picture
Fritter's picture
Fritter Wednesday, 13 Jul 2022 at 2:48pm

Hey Solitude, thanks for you comment and I agree with your sentiments. It’s tough for kids to learn and progress, and sometimes they won’t be able to hang onto their boards. I think that’s why the imperative is on the parents to really make sure their kids are capable of the conditions they’re taking them out in, to teach them how to be safe in the water, and to keep an eye on them. Busy reefs probably aren’t the best location for young kids.