I've tried surfing only twice and had a lot of fun learning. I want to get better but after some deep searching about surfing, I've come across stories of people getting into accidents that honestly scare me (head cuts, reef rash, rip currents etc) and near-death experiences. It honestly never crossed my mind how dangerous surfing could be because when I tried, there weren't other people in the water and the waves were mellow. Also, I rarely hear from other surfers about the dangers.
Because of this, I have become a bit fearful and paranoid that something bad would happen to me as I try to get into surfing more. Wondering if this is a valid feeling and if you have any tips to ensure my safety on the water as well as anything that could ease my mind!
No need to be fearful. You just need to stick to conditions that suit your level of surfing and build up slowly.
If you stick to surfing small, soft waves ideally with sandy bottoms you have a very low chance of seriously injuring yourself. In these conditions the board will Most likely cause the most damage so stick to foam boards and you can also get rubber/ bendy fins.
That said as you progress if you want to keep pushing it the chance of injury increases as you surf bigger and more challenging waves. It’s normal to get a small fin chop or reef cut every now and again.
But again if you stick to easy waves you will absolutely be fine.
Oh and one other factor is other people and their boards. If it’s super crowded you need to be more aware of your positioning and try not to get in people’s way especially near the impact zone.