Surf signs: funny, scary and informative

Beach surf signs are rare and precious. From Malibu, Pipeline, and Ericeira to Bells, Biarritz, and Arpoador, surf information has been mixed up with serious art pieces that survive the passing of time and salty weather conditions.

The colored signs can be found on the sands of the planet's most famous surfing beaches and down on the nearest road access.

Some are placed by locals just for fun, and others try to intimidate the "haoles" of the dangers of that surf peak.

The first surf signs were created when the lifeguard and surf life-saving concepts were initiated in the USA, UK, and Australia back in the 19th century.

Of course, the surfing signs only appear later in the Hawaiian Islands, California, and Gold Coast.

Metal plaques often deliver dubious information.

Take "high surf: enter at your own risk," for example. Only the bravest and most experienced are ready to go because that probably means you could lose your life in the waves.

Sharks are the stars of the beach surf signs. They are placed in the beach entrances in order to inform you what it means to go for a ride or a bath. Surfers lose lives every year in the shark-infested waters of the world.

In Europe, the special reserved areas for surfing and surfers are new.

Before the 1990s, there were only a couple of beaches that really distinguished the bathing zone from the water sports zone.

As surfing grows throughout the world, local authorities have been displaying special signals for beachgoers and surfers in order to establish rules and good practices in coastal regions.

Do you know an interesting beach surf sign? Send us your favorite metal plaque from your local surf spot, and we'll publish it here.

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