Shore break: a challenging and dangerous wave for bodyboarders | Photo: Shutterstock

Shore breaks are tough stuff. Waves that break directly on the sand can easily break several bones in a matter of milliseconds. Learn how to survive a shore break experience.

Self-mutilation is often seen as a psychological disorder, but there are many wave riders who take pleasure from risky situations. For them, shore break surfing is dangerously fun and addictive.

The activity often involves pounding waves, high tides, super shallow waters and, in some cases, hard sandy shores. The goal is to enjoy mayhem, defy fears, and eventually get barreled (and not coming out).

Shore break riding often ends in the hospital, and the medical reports occasionally indicate broken neck and back, skull fractures, and bone disintegration. In other words, regular persons don't do it.

But if you somehow feel attracted to the abyss, try to walk off of the horror scene unscathed. Learn how to throw yourself over the ledge, and leave the beach with a smile - and all your teeth - on your face.

1. Wear a helmet: if hit the sand with your head, it's game over;
2. Catch the wave early: if you're fast enough, you might be able to ride the wave's face instead of making the classic elevator drop;
3. Don't hesitate: if you've made the decision to paddle for a wave, commit to it and go;
4. Angle the board: forget bottom turns, and vertical drops - just keep the board and body parallel to the beach;
5. Move back on the board: too much weight forward will push the board down into the high impact zone;
6. Raise your chest: prevent your head from hitting the sand when the wave explodes in the beach;
7. Grab the outside rail: don't let the energy of the wave turn the board around;
8. Pull the nose of the board up: try to defy gravity for as long as you can - the bottom of the board should be first to touch down on the sandy beach;
9. Keep the board flat: make the safest possible landing and cushion the impact of the crashing wave over your body;
10. Aim for the barrel: have fun, and try to make history by finding an impossible exit through the pounding whitewater;

Surfers have always smoked cannabis to enhance the wave riding experience and the connection with the ocean. But the flipside of relaxation might make you think twice before lighting a pre-surf marijuana joint.

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