BEHIND THE DESK: Are surfers the most daring athletes?
SURFERS may seem like the most laid-back athletes around, but the art of catching a wave is one of the most dangerous pastimes on earth.
Dealing with the raw, unpredictable and often terrifying elements, surfers take a number of risks each time they enter the ocean.
While I, among most, will never be any good at surfing, there is something so captivating about the idea of catching the perfect wave.
Widely know as the ‘green room’, some surfers can spend their lives looking to recreate the feeling of entering the fabled space inside a barrelled wave.
We see big wave surfers taking on some of the scariest conditions known to man each year and it would be easy to think they are the ones most at risk, but it is not necessarily the case.
These daredevils often take part in these events under meticulous supervision where all risks are considered and minimised.
But amateur surfers don’t have that luxury. Your everyday surfer might have a good idea of the swell, where the rips are and how to minimise their own risks, but there are some things that simply can’t be anticipated.
A change in conditions, a hidden rock or an unavoidable encounter with an inhabitant of the ocean are just a few misfortunes that can happen.
That was demonstrated in our own backyard last weekend when 15-year-old Mani Hart-Deville was tragically taken by a great white shark off Wilsons Headland.
As unprecedented as the attack was, surfers know the risks associated with the sport and carry on searching for that perfect wave for the love of the sport.
Some may see it as crazy, but I admire surfers and their dedication to doing what they love each and every day. That is why I believe surfing is the most dangerous, yet the most rewarding sport on planet earth.