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Master the Waves: Why Fins are Your Beach Day Game Changer!



Take your fins with you to the beach. I always have a pair of fins in my beach bag. I like to wear them in the ocean for leverage, propulsion, and power. Trying to walk in them or put them on once you’re at a suitable depth can be awkward, but it's incredible once you take off swimming! I made sure to include fins on the cover of my book, BREAK THAT GRIP, to emphasize their importance. 




I discovered firsthand how challenging it is to swim against a rip current, and my pride and insistence on getting right back to shore was not helpful. I had to learn and trust the strategy to “break the grip of the rip” you see posted at many beach entrances. 

 

Fortunately, I studied and learned why and how to apply this trusted escape plan. Still, the ocean is intense and unpredictable, and it’s very hard not to panic if faced with the possibility of surrendering to its power until the current eventually dissipates. 


People who grow up at the beach, surfing the waves, have learned to relax and adapt to the thrill, but for those of us, like me, who grew up in a land-locked state and only got to the beach for a week or two in the summer, they are usually not as loose and limber in the sea.


I partnered with a friend to start a junior lifeguard program. She was a lifeguard and grew up in South Africa, where she regularly experienced the waves and currents, while I grew up in a pool. Being a competitive swimmer, I spent hours each day swimming back and forth, looking at a line at the bottom of the pool to swim straight ahead and then flip-turn when I saw the line end. All that practice did not prepare me for the open ocean. If anything, it hurt me because I thought I did not need a strategy. 


Just recently, a swim team from Canada came down to train in Clearwater, Florida, to have some fun and escape the cold winter, and one of the male swimmers drowned in the ocean within minutes of entering. This is very sad to me but not surprising. 


My junior lifeguard friend, business partner, and I were a good team because she humbled me and made me realize that even though I was tough in the pool, that did not mean I was impervious to the ocean’s ebb and flow. Due to our different upbringings, we were good at coaching various young ocean swimmers. 


I learned from another seasoned lifeguard that fins are an important piece of equipment when making a save. After surviving my first rip current, I decided always to take fins to the beach, whether I wear them or not. I also don’t worry much when watching others swim, knowing I'm prepared if anyone seems to be struggling. 


Most people believe wearing a helmet when riding a bike is important. I feel the same way about fins in the ocean. Sometimes, I may look goofy and like a tourist, but I don’t care. It helps me feel more relaxed and makes for a much better day at the beach. 


Along with the Canadian swimmer who drowned in Florida this past winter, I’ve already heard of more drownings this summer. Find comfortable fins and keep them handy while going to the beach.


To fund our life-saving messages for kids about ocean safety and CPR, we’re affiliating with Amazon to provide products that can help our efforts to prepare our kids and families and keep them safe and secure for generations to come. 


Our store here will take you to Amazon, where you will not incur any extra costs. Whether you buy these fins or others you prefer, you’ll be helping our efforts to inform and inspire students of all ages.  



Below is a short excerpt from my book that I think you’ll find helpful.  


BREAK THAT GRIP…LESSONS FROM THE OCEAN OF LIFE


SOAR is my strategy for breaking free of negative thoughts that bring my feelings down, just like there’s a proven strategy for breaking the grip of a rip current in the ocean. 


To break free of a rip current in the ocean it’s advised to NOT fight against the current, but instead to change your direction by swimming parallel to the shore or relaxing and allowing the current to take you out further, and when it gives, because it eventually will, then work your way back to shore. 


The most important thing is to remain calm and visualize yourself back on shore. Wearing fins makes a massive difference because they add strength and leverage to propel us up and over the waves. Even if we lose a fin and our float gets swept out to sea, a strong and positive mindset is our best equipment.



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