Let's be honest, surfers aren't known for being a sober bunch.
Constantly exercising and spending time outdoors, on the whole they're a pretty healthy lot, but when it comes to having a cold pint after a good set? They're always down for a cider.
What about surfing after a couple of pints though? If you've had a lazy lunch at the beach and are feeling a little tipsy, should you stay away from the waves?
What's the lowdown on surfing and alcohol?
Firstly, let's start by being realistic. We've all caught a few waves after a beer.
I doubt any of us have been in the water when we're having issues walking in a straight line (just trying to get a wetsuit on while intoxicated would probably halt that plan) but we all have a cheeky drink sometimes in the midday sun.
Mick Fanning brought out a flip flop with a bottle opener in the sole!
Surfing comps are regularly sponsored by beer brands and a couple of year's ago Mick Fanning brought out a flip flop with a bottle opener in the sole!
So maybe surfing after a drink is OK if you use your common sense?
We decided to find out the facts...
Drinking has five big effects on your body:
1) Lack of coordination
Alcohol numbs the senses particularly sight, sound and touch. When these senses fail, the stumbles and stutters kick in and swimming abilities may be altered.
2) Disturbance of the inner ear
Fluid in the ear is responsible for balance. Alcohol and a sudden change in temperature can led to disorientation. Diving into the water is a perfect opportunity for this: all of a sudden, up becomes down.
Alcohol increases blood flow to the arms and legs, even when the body would normally try to stop this action to save from heat loss. If you fall into cold water under the influence of alcohol, hypothermia could potentially occur.
4) Impaired reaction time
As a depressant, alcohol reduces the rate the brain processes information. Ordinary reactions simply take longer. On the water, a quick response is vital.
5) Impaired judgement
Alcohol distorts your perception of risk, and your own abilities. With less accurate information pouring into the brain, you’re not as well equipped to make the right decisions.
Suddenly our three pint confidence is fading away....
Looking at the facts, the logical answer is clearly a big fat no.
While you might feel after a good pub session that a surf is in order, you should definitely stick it out on the beach for an hour or so and get something to eat.
Maybe we should think a little more before grabbing our board....
We've surfed after a drink before now and let's be honest, we'll probably do it again, but now we know the risks maybe we should think a little more before grabbing our board...
Better safe than sorry!