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When learning to surf, you are most likely taking surf lessons, renting or purchasing a wet suit and board, and taking the time to perfect your technique. While focusing on these details, be sure to not overlook the importance of also protecting yourself physically. Without the appropriate precautions, surfing can damage your eyes, ears, and skin thanks to the combination of salt water, high-impact waves, and sun exposure. Here are a few ways to protect yourself without sacrificing the joys of surfing:
Buy Earplugs for Surfing
Many novice surfers have no idea that their ears are at risk of serious damage if they don't wear earplugs while surfing. Without specially designed surfer earplugs, cold water can enter your ear canal and potentially become trapped inside. This can lead to earaches and an uncomfortable feeling of pressure. If you get serious about surfing for many years, you could even be at risk of developing surfer's ear, which is when frequent exposure to cold water causes your ear to grow a new, uncomfortable layer of bone.
Luckily, all you need to protect your ears is earplugs made just for surfing. These earplugs keep water from entering your ear, but still allow sound in. This is essential for your safety since you need to hear your surfing instructor, other surfers, and incoming waves.
Use Eye Protection
Like your ears, your eyes are also vulnerable to potential harm from exposure to salt water and the sun's UV rays. In rare situations, you can even develop surfer's eye, which can be very uncomfortable and decrease your quality of life. In order to protect your eyes while surfing, it's a good idea to wear surfing sunglasses. These special sunglasses are designed to protect your eyes from salt, water, cold, wind, and UV rays. They are watertight and wrap tightly around your head, so they won't fall off due to impact with a wave.
Protect Your Skin
No surfing protection strategy is complete without sun protection for your skin. A bad sunburn can put a serious damper on your surfing vacation, not to mention increase your risk of skin cancer and premature aging. Wearing waterproof sunblock with a high SPF, and reapplying every time you get out of the water, is an effective way to protect your skin. Buying rash guards and other surfing attire made from sunblocking materials will protect your skin even more.
Incorporating these items into your surfing experience will keep you safe and protected without getting in the way of your surfing fun.