by Corky Carroll
With the normal heat waves of September and October comes the big offshore winds that we call “Santa Anas.” Most surfers relate this with good surf. If there is any kind of swell running these winds create very good wave conditions. Along with this it is also very dry and very hot. Which leads me to this weeks little advice from your favorite surf guru, me, on what this can mean to you and other surf seekers during this time of year. This also relates to any and all others who plan on doing any kind of strenuous exercise outside.
STAY HYDRATED. I cannot stress the importance of this. We preach this for those surfers and others who visit tropical areas where it’s hot and humid. So many people forget to do this, or mistakenly think that drinking coffee, soft drinks or alcoholic beverages is hydrating. They aren’t, just the opposite. Ya gotta drink water or other hydrating liquids such as electrolytes, even Gatorade. It’s very common for people to get sick, thinking that they ate bad food or drank bad water, when its dehydration. In fact, it’s almost always dehydration. I have had it twice and never want to have it again. The first time was when I surfed a few hours in the morning at a tropical point. I came in for breakfast and had coffee but no water or juice. Then I went back out and surfed a couple more hours. Drove back to where I was staying and started feeling sick. Go much sicker fast and thought for sure that the breakfast I ate was giving me “Montezuma’s Revenge.” Lucky a doctor lived in the building and treated me. He explained that I had totally dehydrated myself and in fact it was not from food or water. It was lack of water. The second time I was doing a diner concert at a hotel and had a big glass of water on my side table. Naturally a pal of mine switched my water with a huge Margarita. Did a two-hour set, all the time sweating like crazy. When I finished I was super dizzy, wound up passing out and spending the night and the next day in the hospital with an IV drip. Learned my lesson for good.
What you really do NOT want to happen is to get Heat Stroke (also known as Sun Stroke). Here in Southern California during these late summer heat waves it gets super dry. People who exercise during these conditions, or work in non air conditioned closed in spaces, are prime targets for Heat Stroke. This is deadly.
From WebMD. “Heat stroke is the most serious form of heat injury and is considered a medical emergency. If you suspect that someone has heat stroke -- also known as sunstroke -- call 911 immediately and give first aid until paramedics arrive.
Heat stroke can kill or cause damage to the brain and other internal organs. Although heat stroke mainly affects people over age 50, it also takes a toll on healthy young athletes.
Heat stroke often occurs as a progression from milder heat-related illnesses such as heat cramps, heat syncope (fainting), and heat exhaustion. But it can strike even if you have no previous signs of heat injury.
Heat stroke results from prolonged exposure to high temperatures -- usually in combination with dehydration -- which leads to failure of the body's temperature control system. The medical definition of heat stroke is a core body temperature greater than 104 degrees Fahrenheit, with complications involving the central nervous system that occur after exposure to high temperatures. Other common symptoms include nausea, seizures, confusion, disorientation, and sometimes loss of consciousness or coma.”
So, please take my advice and if you are out surfing, running, doing any kind of exercise or are stuck in non air conditioned indoor places, ya gotta hydrate and take measures to not get overheated. Stay cool in the heat.