Rip currents have been in the news in my area for the past few days. The media has been announcing regular warnings, and the life guard towers all have signage indicating strong rips. Last week, two tourists on Longboat Key rented surfboards and ended up drowning after getting caught in a rip current. I'm not sure of all the details, but speculate that they didn't know what they were doing, or how to handle the situation. Rip currents can be very dangerous for a person who is unsure of how to handle them, but they can also be valuable tools to surfers who want to paddle out to where the waves are. Surfers identify where the rip currents are, then let the current do all the work taking them outside, saving the energy of a long paddle. Because of rip currents, one is able to extend a good sesh for a much longer time by conserving energy . When my break has good waves, I look for the location of the rip current, and use it to take me out. Once outside, I can catch a wave, and repeat the cycle for as long as possible. When one is dialed into their own home break, it is usually easy to find the rips. There are interesting market parallels regarding rip currents. The markets can have many underlying rip currents that are either very dangerous, or valuable tools to the speculator. Rip currents can appear as sudden declines, increased activity, huge increases in price and volume, and many other forms. Rip currents have cycles, direction, and patterns, much like the markets. If you know your particular market well, you will probably have no problem identifying and recognizing the presence of a current. Rip currents can appear and disappear in a heartbeat, just like volatility in the market. In the water, one saves them self from a rip current by swimming parallel to the beach until the grip is lost. If caught in a market rip current, instead of battling it, just go with the flow or exit the trade. Either way, the proper management of a rip current (in surfing or the markets) will conserve much valuable energy, allowing for a longer session.


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