Beach time is so much a part of the Australian summer. But staying safe and happy is essential. Here are some of our favourite things to take to the surf and our best beach tips, plus advice from Bondi Rescue’s Anthony ‘Harries’ Carroll.
I dream of those hot summer days, where the sky is a blue that carries on forever. That first sight of the beach as you come to the coast.
The squeak of the sand and the smell of the sea, the sound of the surf and the salt on the breeze. It’s the poetry of the beach; the stanzas of summer.
But in spite of its beauty and your own excitement, you have to remember that even the beach isn’t without its hazards.
Christina and I love spending time at the beach, so we thought we’d share some of our favourite ways we make the most of our time there.
We’ve also got some tips and advice from Bondi life-saver Anthony ‘Harries’ Carroll of Bondi Rescue fame.
Best beach tips – how to ace the beach and stay safe
Sand doesn’t have to get everywhere
It’s the one of the pitfalls of beach days: the ubiquitous sand pit when you’re home post-beach visit. No matter how hard you shake that towel off, there’s always some left lurking in crevices unseen.
But Tesalate’s techy towel has put an end to all that for us. Sand slips off this towel’s surface like Teflon, but it’s still incredibly absorbent. In fact, the manufacturers reckon it can soak up over a litre of water!
It’s also compact and folds away small, and it’s light-weight too… when it’s not full of a litre of the sea. Impressed? We are.
The towels come in a range of colours and designs. Our favourite – this one – is called The Swell.
You don’t need a bigger boat
With seemingly more shark attacks happening around Australia than ever, I think it’s pretty normal to wonder how safe you are in the ocean. In reality, the odds are very much in your favour.
But for real peace of mind, you need a Sharkbanz.
Strap one of these amazing shark deterrents to your ankle or wrist and swim safe in the knowledge you have cutting-edge tech on your side.
They work by sending out a strong magnetic frequency that makes proximity to you very unpleasant for those sensitive little apex predators. Disrupting the electromagnetic environment sharks use to hunt and navigate, Sharkbanz create a forcefield around you.
If you don’t believe me, check out the tests that have been carried out here.
And the thing we like about Sharkbanz most of all – apart from saving us from becoming bait food – is how sustainable they are. Sharkbanz are non-polluting, don’t harm the sharks or other sealife and don’t even need recharging, so their carbon footprint is almost non-existent.
Keep cool and hydrated
I’ve always hated lugging big heavy ice boxes and eskies around, but over-heating and dehydration can ruin a beautiful day out. We love how portable cooler bags are, and there are some winners on the market now.
They’re lightweight and fold flat when not in use, so they’re even easier to get back in the car at the end of your day at the beach.
Something like this cooler bag from BagBoy, which fits a dozen drink cans, is ideal for a day at the beach. Of course, you can put other things in it than drinks. I was just trying to give you some scale.
Even better, the 30-litre cooler bag from Overboard is 100% waterproof and keeps ice as ice intended for up to 24 hours, so cool drinks and fresh food should be a walk in the park… let alone a day at the beach.
The key to a good day
That hollow, sickly feeling inside when you realise your keys are missing shreds happy moods like a Banksy picture frame. And the futility of digging around in the sand at the end of a day out just adds to the misery.
There are several tech options around like this Water Droplet Smart Finder that clips to your keys and lets you track it via your phone’s Bluetooth. It can also act as a remote for your phone’s camera, which is a nice touch.
The next step up is this wireless location tag from TruFob that uses a proprietary tracking app via your phone. The app can support up to 5 different fobs with different alerts for each.
But for the ultimate peace of mind with your keys, I love the Keysmart Pro, which has an inbuilt GPS tracker that works through the free Tile app. It means you can go straight to your keys without sifting sand like some crazy gold-panner.
The Keysmart Pro can also hold up to 10 keys and comes with a bottle opener accessory, an LED flash light and a function that can also help you find your phone, which is a clever symbiotic touch, isn’t it?
And if all this doesn’t make your beach time awesome…
We asked ‘Harries’ Carroll of Bondi Rescue fame a few questions on beach safety, and – as he’s the ambassador for Sharkbanz – some tips on skipping meals where you’re to be the first course.
What should you do if you get caught in a rip?
Stay calm, float on your back, raise your hand if someone is around and call for help to a board rider or someone with a flotation device. Never swim at an un-patrolled beach.
What’s the biggest mistake you see people making at Bondi?
People not putting sunscreen on, and people swimming in rips or rough conditions when they aren’t strong or educated swimmers.
Is there one thing you wish people would do more on the beach to keep themselves safe?
For them to take responsibly for their own actions.
What’s your favourite feature of Sharkbanz? When’s the best time to wear one?
Favourite feature is that it is so easy to use – it’s a part of me. I use it 90% of the time I’m in the water. If you have one you should wear it at all times.
If you enjoyed this story, you should also check out our story on how to look like a local at the beach in Australia and this one about 3 Sydney beaches only locals know about.
What are your tips for making the most of your time at the beach? Tell us in the comments!