An undertow occurs when a wave is about to break on a shallow sandbar where a swimmer might be standing.
The water will suck underneath the wave as it breaks.
While enjoying the ocean waters, waves, and sand dive into some popular water sports in South Padre include surfing lessons, windsurfing, kayaking, kite boarding, and jet skiing, parasailing, banana boats, and fishing.
Beach side activities feature sand castle lessons, horseback riding, atvs and more.
RIP CURRENTS KILL SWIMMERS EVERY YEAR HERE AT SOUTH PADRE ISLAND.
Rip currents are life-threatening to anyone entering the surf. Undertow is a concern mostly for weak swimmers or the unfortunate non-swimmer.
The tide plays an important factor in water depths in the surf.
The tide range, or difference between high and low tide varies between 1 to 3 feet.
This "undertow" can sweep a weak swimmer off of their feet and into deeper water, and he may panic as the wave crashes over his head.
The undertow disperses almost immediately until the next wave approaches, then the cycle starts again.