Rip currents are the leading surf hazard for all beachgoers. The U.S. Lifesaving Association reports 80 percent of all surf rescues are related to rip currents. On many beaches, rip currents are present every day. In most cases, rip current speeds are too slow to be a danger to most swimmers. However, when wave conditions, shape of the offshore beach and tide elevation are just right, rip current speeds can reach speeds faster than Michael Phelps can swim.