Dr. Rip On The Science Of The Surf

Dr. Rip On The Science Of The Surf

Dr Rip, aka Rob Brander, is a coastal geomorphologist and surf safety educator at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.

Author of the best-selling Dr Rip’s Essential Beach Book, he explains in easy-to-understand layman’s terms everything swimmers need to know about surf, sand and rip currents. His award-winning videos can be found on Science of the Surf.

He explains, “They are not an undertow. They will not pull you under because there is no such thing as an undertow. They are not rip tides because they are not a tide. They are a current because they flow pretty steady.”

Because rip currents are strong, narrow, natural flow of water that take the water from the shoreline to offshore, they are great for experienced open water swimmers to utilize as they head out to sea or to the first buoy.

Because the rip currents take the water piling up near the shore back out to sea, they are also something for everyone to avoid coming back into shore. Experienced eyes (see below) will spot rips, both for their advantage going out and to their disadvantage coming back in:



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