Please explore the links below for a variety of educational material suitable for all ages, much of which is freely downloadable or available on the links below or by contacting SOS.

Use of the images and material found on this website should fully acknowledge both the image source and, where possible, link back to Science of the Surf

Post a picture of a rip current on the Science of the Surf Facebook page and if yours is chosen as Rip of the Month, you win a free copy of 'Dr Rip's Essential Beach Book'!

Pictures can be taken from any angle, on any beach, but must include a short description describing the photo/rip. This is a great idea for kids, students, nippers, parents , surfers and budding marine scientists to get involved in!

Dr Rip's Essential Beach Book

Need to know more about a reflective beach or what causes tsunamis? Get Dr Rip's Essential Beach Book. Available in paperback or digital.

Dr Rip's Essential Beach Book

We also have fact sheets available that explain beach terminology.

Rip Current Survival Guide DVD 2nd Edition

Produced by UNSW TV and The University of New South Wales Faculty of Science, this new edition of the popular 'Rip Current Survival Guide' runs for approximately 5 minutes and includes subtitled versions in Chinese, Spanish and Portuguese and a downloadable copy of the Rip Current Survival Guide Poster.

DVD Cover of the Survival Guide

The DVD is freely available to surf educators, schools, community groups, tourism operators and accommodation managers, airlines and any other organisation that can reach a large audience.

Order your copy of the DVD

Available in other languages

Closed caption versions of the Survival Guide are now available in other langugages via YouTube

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Rip Current Survival Guide Poster

Download the Rip Current Survival Guide Poster which is also available directly from SOS in A3 and A4 sized formats.

Thumbnail image of the rip current survival guide poster

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YouTube Videos

UNSW TV is a program run by the Media and Communications office of the University of New South Wales and with the help of producer Mary O'Malley a series of videos based on Science of the Surf have been developed that are easily accessible on the UNSW TV website and YouTube.

March 2012: Waterlust R.I.P

In December 2011, we conducted an experiment on rip currents at Shelly Beach on the NSW Central Coast. It involved all sorts of things, but I'll let this video tell the story. We had scientists from the US come over with their students. One was Patrick Rynne, a PhD student from the University of Miami, Florida who is also a professional kite board surfer and likes to play with waterproof Go-Pro cameras. He had us all wear the camera taped to a helmet from time to time and also stuck cameras to boats, boards and anything else that moved. The result is pretty incredible. A beautiful visual show about our rip science and rip safety. Patrick will be showing this at an IMAX film festival in Virginia in the US and this is part of his pet Waterlust should check out his website to find out what it's all about:

December 2010: 'Beach Survival Guide'

This video gives a (very) brief and simplified overview of some of the main hazards you are likely to encounter at the beach: dumping waves, surging waves, rip currents, jellyfish, and rocks.

June 2010: 'Rip Current Time Lapse'

Patrick Rynne of the University of Miami put this time lapse of a purple dye release in a rip at Tamarama Beach, Sydney together using UNSW TV footage.

April 2010 Science of the Surf Episode 3: Tides

This video explains the formation of tides, why the timing of the tide changes every day, and why the tide range varies. It covers spring tides, neap tides, and king tides. Tidal theory is actually fairly complex so it was challenging to do this in a simple way in just a few minutes! Also tricky to get the right footage on a tiny budget. We still have footage to do 3 more episodes...but they might take a while.

June 2009 'Science of the Surf Episode 2: Wave Breaking'

This video describes the interaction between waves and the seabed, what makes waves break, how they break, wave refraction and the different types of breaking waves. It's also filmed primarily in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs beaches.

We actually have footage for about 4 more episodes, but ran out of money to put them together!

April 2009 'Science of the Surf Episode 1: Wave Formation'

This video describes what waves are, how they form and the different types of waves that exist in the ocean. Mostly filmed at Tamarama Beach and Bronte Beach in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs.

December 2008: 'Don't Get Sucked in by the Rip'

This video describes what rip currents are, how they form, what the different types are, how you can spot them, and what you can do if you get stuck in one. It has been linked to websites around the world and received an Australian National Safer Communities Award in 2009. Many thanks to the Waverley Council lifeguards (Yatesy and Chappo) for all their help and participation and also to the Discovery Channel Canada for letting us purchase footage of myself at great expense to myself.

Spotting a Rip

Dr. Rip teams up with Surf Life Saving Australia

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Fact Sheets

Please download any of these free fact sheets about waves, rip currents and beaches. There's a lot of useful information here illustrated with some excellent pictures.

Click on one of the links below to view, download or print the fact sheets.

You can also test your own surf knowledge by taking our 'How safe are you in the surf' quiz'. Take it again after looking at the material on this website or seeing a Science of the Surf talk to see how much you've learned!

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Other Stuff

Prime (Channel 7 Australia) Rip Current Public Service Announcement

Rip Current Animation by Dr Jamie MacMahan

Dr Jamie MacMahan is based at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California and his colleagues and students have been doing groundbreaking experiments in real rip currents for years. Lately this has involved chucking 'drifters' with GPS attached to them into rips. Check out this animation based on real data in real rips. You're looking down at the beach and the dark blue areas like rivers are the rips (there's 3 of them). The black dots are drifters. Watch what they do…

The BEAST Magazine

The BEAST is a free monthly magazine distributed across Sydney's Eastern Suburbs (Beaches Eastern Suburbs = BEAST...get it?). It's packed with great local info and I've been lucky enough to be a regular contributor with a Science of the Surf column since June 2009. You can read all the editions online and scroll through to find the SOS bit or look at some of the recent articles here:

Deadly Surf; Why Ignorance of Rip Currents is the Greatest Hazard on Australian Beaches

In December 2008, I was asked to contribute to an online Australian media conference about summer hazards. This Powerpoint presentation focussed on rip currents.

ABC TV Behind the News: Drowning Danger

This show is geared towards Primary and High School students. Reporter Catherine Ellis did a great job of combining my existing ABC footage to put together a great educational story on rips.

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