Rip currents are strong outgoing currents that can pull you into deep water if you get caught in one. Northern California beaches almost always have rip currents, so swimming in this area can be life threatening in all conditions. Not only do our beaches have rip currents but they also have extremely cold water that limits your ability to swim. And, of course, we also frequently have pounding surf, so leave the swimming to surfers who wear thick wetsuits to keep warm and leash themselves to their surf boards so they always have something to hold onto.