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Dr Rip's Essential Beach Book: everything you need to know about surf, sand and rips

ROB BRANDER
Copyright Date: 2010
Published by: UNSW Press
Pages: 224
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt5vkpjv
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  • Book Info
    Dr Rip's Essential Beach Book
    Book Description:

    Many of us live near the beach, and many more visit the beach on holidays. But just how much do we understand about the beach and its potential hazards? The types of waves and the way they break, tides and their currents, dangerous rips and how to spot them, and why some beaches are safer than others? Every year tens of thousands of people need to be rescued from the ocean because beach-goers don’t possess basic beach safety knowledge and skills. The Essential Beach Book by Dr Rob Brander (aka Dr Rip), a surf-lifesaver and scientist who studies beaches, rips and currents, is a simple, entertaining and useful guide to beach safety, with a solid scientific basis. He explains how beaches form, what drives waves and how rips develop, and offers practical advice to show you how to get the most out of your day at the beach—without risking your life.

    eISBN: 978-1-74223-098-6
    Subjects: Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. About this book
    (pp. vi-ix)
  4. 1 THE SANDS OF TIME: BEACHES PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE
    (pp. 1-35)

    The beach. There’s a lot wrapped up in those two words. Close your eyes and all sorts of images flash through your mind. A strip of golden sand, the sounds of crashing surf, the endless blue ocean stretching to the horizon, clean lines of swell forming perfect right-handers, the smell of sunscreen, a hammock swinging underneath palm trees, gentle voices whispering, ‘Helloooo, excuse meeeee, you want to buy sarong? Special morning price, bring good luck!’ … Sorry, I’m daydreaming about my beach holidays in South-East Asia! The point is we all have our ideal image of a beach and it’s...

  5. 2 WAVES: THE SCIENCE OF THE SURF
    (pp. 36-75)

    When you get the chance, rent a big wave DVD or search online for ‘biggest wave ever ridden’ and you’ll no doubt end up watching some jaw-dropping footage of surfers the size of ants riding some incredibly monstrous waves kind of like the picture on page 41. While most of us will never know what that feels like, anyone who’s ever surfed, boogie boarded or bodysurfed a largish barreling wave and miscalculated their takeoff will be familiar with the sensation of time slowing down as you are briefly suspended in mid-air. It’s amazing what you can accomplish in the millisecond...

  6. 3 MOTIONS OF THE OCEANS: TIDES, TSUNAMIS AND STORMS
    (pp. 76-109)

    On 26 December 2004 an earthquake registering 9.3 on the Richter scale occurred off the west coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra. During the earthquake a 1200-kilometre section of seabed ruptured and was pushed approximately 20 metres upwards into the ocean above. This was the disturbing force that displaced a massive slab of water, creating very long and fast tsunami waves that travelled at speeds of up to 500 kilometres per hour across the Indian Ocean in all directions. The waves smashed into beaches and coastlines in its path, reaching estimated heights of 30 metres above sea level in...

  7. 4 WHITE IS NICE, GREEN IS MEAN: RIPS AND OTHER CURRENTS
    (pp. 110-147)

    Drifting in a rip current about 300 metres offshore (and counting) at Muriwai Beach, one of Auckland’s high-energy west coast beaches, I started to think of the common advice given to people on what to do when caught in a rip. ‘Just swim to the side’ came to mind. Yes, that was good advice, but possibly not so good given that the rip was so wide I couldn’t actually see either side. I suppose I could have taken a shot at it Michael Phelps style, but I reasoned that by the time I made it to the side, if I...

  8. 5 LIFE’S A BEACH…: BUT WHICH ONE?
    (pp. 148-197)

    Is there such a thing as a perfect beach? I’d like to think so, but I’m not sure I’ve found one yet. Even if I did, I certainly wouldn’t be telling anyone about it. Finding the perfect beach can be tricky, not because there are thousands of beaches in the world to choose from, but because beaches mean different things to different people. Ask a family with young children, a 21-year-old backpacker in search of a full moon party, and a surfer to write down their top ten beaches and you’d get very different lists. The variety of factors that...

  9. 6 SHARK FIN SOUP: AND OTHER THINGS THAT CAN KILL YOU: BEACH HAZARDS AND SAFETY
    (pp. 198-226)

    The late Peter Benchley has a lot to answer for. The author of the best-selling novelJawswas a staunch supporter of the conservation of sharks and later did his best to dispel their image of being ‘man eaters’, which is fantastic except for the fact that his book and the subsequent 1975 movie of the same name effectively traumatised a generation of swimmers preventing them from ever stepping foot in the ocean.

    I was ten years old when the movie came out and my parents did a wonderful thing. They refused to let me see it and to this...

  10. Acknowledgments and photo credits
    (pp. 227-230)
  11. Index
    (pp. 231-238)