SURF safety in the coming months has been highlighted following the death of a 64-year-old Lennox Head man while surfing at a Ballina beach on Christmas morning.
While the beach wasn't patrolled at the time, there is nothing at this point to indicate that the man wasn't following other safety tips - he was with others, and conditions weren't rough.
Surf Life Saving NSW said that the public need to be aware of surf safety, and that while the man had taken these safety precautions, their preference is for people to be at a patrolled beach in patrolled hours.
Nat Folkes from Mojo Surf, which conducts surf lessons up and down the coast, said that knowing about safety in the water is extremely important.
"Education around surf safety is important, but it needs to be practical education, not just theory," he said.
It's a different world out there in the ocean, he said, and one must learn how to survive in it before putting themselves in that situation.