Rips are strong currents that can start near the shore and rush out to sea, quickly taking you out of your comfort zone, from the shallows to deeper water, or at times into rocks.
Some experts, like rescuers or advanced surfers, may use rip currents to get to people in trouble or to get out through the surf zone. However, they have years of training and experience in order to use rips safely. For the vast majority of beach goers, rip currents are a major hazard.
At local beaches, about 80% of all surf rescue calls are related to people getting in trouble with rips. These currents can be faster than an Olympic swimmer and can pull unwary beachgoers quickly out to sea. Knowing how to recognize rips and where they are most commonly found is important so you can avoid them. Ask someone knowledgeable and seek information at local beaches!