An inshore hole is a trench in the sand that runs parallel to the shoreline anywhere from one foot, to fifty feet from shore. It can vary in depth and width depending on the size and direction of the surf and the long-shore current. They range from only a couple of feet wide and small enough to step over, to twenty feet wide and deep enough to fully submerge a full grown man standing on his toes. Inshore holes are common at long stretches of sandy beach where the long-shore current can run freely for a long period of time and distance. Because inshore holes are generally close to shore, they present a significant hazard to young children and unskilled swimmers who expect it to be shallow. Inshore holes can exist in some shore-break conditions and are commonly filled with pebbles, shells, and other sharp debris. These kinds of inshore holes can be especially treacherous as they cause waves to break onto dry beach without any water to cushion a person being knocked down by the wave.


Sandbars are common at beaches with inshore holes and are basically underwater sand dunes that have been built by waves and currents pushing the sand into mounds as opposed to the winds of the desert. Sand bars can be completely submerged, or become exposed during low tides. They can be small and isolated, or large and reoccurring in areas of steady current flow such as river mouths. In any case, they cause waves to break abruptly and with unusual force in shallow water. Surfers and swimmers can seriously injure their necks when diving head first either off their surfboards, or while attempting to dive under the waves. Sandbars can shift around and appear and disappear on a daily basis. It is important to always enter the water feet first and to keep your hands in front of your head at all times to avoid being surprised by a head-on collision with on of these hidden hazards.