Surf hazard rating: A decision-making system for application to competition through the surf zone
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This paper introduces and details a new and universal Surf Hazard Rating system for rating the prevailing surf conditions at any beach in real time. The system uses primarily seven easily observable and measurable surf zone characteristics. These basic characteristics are defined and rated separately in terms of their potential risk to the safety of competitors within the surf zone. They aggregate to form an overall rating of the hazardous nature of the prevailing surf conditions. The Surf Hazard Rating is the first of two components that, when compared, will form the Competitor Surf Safety Index. This will be a single-value index to assist decision makers and competitors assess the appropriateness of continuing in the prevailing surf conditions at the time. The system has applications for surf sport participants and the beach-going public all over the world, but is being applied at present to Australian surf carnival events.
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