SURF AND SWIM AREASSurf and swim areas are designated by lifeguards at beaches where surfers and swimmers enjoy the same stretch of beach together. Surfers present a significant hazard to swimmers because they move through the water at high speed while riding waves on hard, sharp surfboards. Bodyboarding is another form of surfing, however it is performed with a smaller, lighter, soft board. Bodyboarding is normally allowed within swimming areas but depends on the local conditions and regulations. Skimboarding is another surf activity that is performed with a hard, thin, flat board, which slides on a thin layer of water over the sand from the beach into the waves breaking close to shore. This activity is normally separated from swimmers because of the hazards the fast moving skimboarders present to beachgoers and waders as they slide across the waterline.
HOW DO I KNOW WHERE I SHOULD SURF, SWIM, ETC?
The designated surf and swim areas can vary at each beach depending on the conditions and local regulations. At most beaches, surf and swim areas will be posted along the shoreline by signs and flags with arrows or instructions directing beachgoers to the appropriate areas for the specific water activity. Some signs are more specific than others, but they will usually have the activity written visibly on the sign with an arrow pointing to the area designated for the specific water activity. At some beaches, surfing and/or other water activities are prohibited. These areas are usually marked with the "blackball flag" which prohibits board riding in the surf.