Surfing Etiquette8 comments
It's important to observe the correct etiquette while out surfing, otherwise things will just descend in to total chaos. Most of the do's and don'ts here are explained in more details in the articles elsewhere on the site. Do try to stick by these unwritten rules, keep yourself out of trouble, and enjoy your surfing. Also take a look at the surfing rules for related information.
Observe Right of Way:
Learn who has the right of way on the wave. Please take a moment and read all about wave priority. For those in a rush, here is the condensed version:
- Furthest out: the surfer that is furthest out or that has been waiting longest
- Furthest inside: the closest surfer to the peak of the breaking wave
- First to feet: the first to feet or first onto the wave
- Communication: the call of "Left!" or "Right!" if the wave is dual-peaking
Don't Drop In:
Cutting in front of other surfers who are up and riding is a quick way of getting yourself in trouble with the locals. Observe the right of way and you should be fine.
Repeatedly paddling round someone to get into the inside position on a wave is a no-no. Where would we all be if everyone did this?
Don't Hog the Waves:
Share them around. Even if you can paddle furthest outside and catch the waves first every time you reach the lineup, don't do it. People will quickly get annoyed at this sort of behavior and will simply start dropping in at every opportunity. Again, everything descends into chaos!
If you drop in on someone, run over someone, or breach the etiquette and rules in any way, just apologise. It's just plain good manners. We've all done things that we shouldn't have when out surfing, saying sorry goes some way to smoothing things over. (Obviously snaking, dropping in, hogging the waves and running everyone over will probably end in a beating, no matter whether you say sorry each time or not.)
Respect the Locals:
Keep in mind that the locals surf the spot every day. Give respect and behave while visiting a spot, keep things friendly, earn some respect yourself. Don't mob surf spots in large numbers. Don't rush straight outside, take your time.
Learn the Right Way to Paddling Out:
This includes not throwing your board or paddling into the path of other surfers. Take a moment and read up on how to paddle out to the lineup.
Surf Spots that Suit your Ability:
Try not to pick a spot that is out of your ability range. You'll only end up upsetting the other surfers by getting in the way or being a potential hazard for everyone.
Help other Surfers:
Always aid another surfer in trouble. Surfing can be dangerous and even fatal, look after each other.
Respect the Beach:
Leave only footprints. Don't litter, graffiti, vandalise, or otherwise impact the beach or surroundings.
After all that, lets not forget this one.
Do try to stick to these guidelines. The more experienced you become, the more you will come to appreciate the need for everyone to try and stick to this sort of behavior.
on Nov 17, 2011
|As a 25 year Malibu are vet - Do respect the locals! A lot of locals (myself included) will easily accept visiting surfers who practice good etiquette; but bad etiquette can lead to confrontations, bad vibe in the lineup, or even a brawl.|
on May 20, 2012
|We've come a long way in both etiquette and respect. Today's surfing community are cleared of the general public's discontent. Respect extends out into the community also whereas, we wear our shirts (and thongs) in businesses and establishments. Our social demeanor is being cordial, respectful and honorable. We (the old timers) whom had these qualities "grieved" when "idiots" (we call them show no goes) behaved like sore thumbs. Testosterone was part of it, but ignorance was it's main venue. Surfer's "Rulz" only when we respect the "rules"! |
Imua...Bradda from Annada Madda!
on Jun 22, 2012
|Thanks this really helped!!!|
on Sep 10, 2012
|New to surfing but standing up and riding waves consistently. Visited my first crowded beach today... Didn't know these rules. Got beat bloody by a group of local Thais without any explanation. You're already at this site, so you're fine. But spread the word. And don't hate ignorance, gently enlighten it please.|
on May 6, 2013
|What kind of douchebags leave trash on a beach? I don't understand how people can do that, and not have it clouding their conscience.|
on May 23, 2013
|Hey man, thank you for all the tips. Have just been Learning in Cali and damn, I didn't know any of these things but not one guy even snapped at me. I guess I've been lucky. Anyway, thank you for the tips!|
PS. I'm from Sweden, only visiting a handful of times every year DS.
on May 23, 2013
|It is only normal to respect the locals and try to blend in. Aggression will get aggression back. If you don't catch waves the first day, try again. Maybe someone will have sympathy and let you catch one. Do your best and earn your respect.|
|W. H. Armstead, Jr.|
on Aug 27, 2013
|Thanks also a LOT and a LUMP for posting this said set of guides for Surfing Etiquette and for reminding others also that this said set of guides says also to try to leave only print tracks at the beach for others and even for us, too.... And thanks also a LOT and a LUMP for explaining also that this said set of guides also points out REALLY, REALLY clearly that saying sorry helps to make some of the bad feelings disappear REALLY, REALLY very quickly for all for others and even for us, too....|