8 Surfing Etiquette Every Surfer Should Know

Surfing a wave can be one of the most euphoric experiences in life but following certain surfing etiquettes will protect you.

Even though it can be a fun weekend activity, there are a few rules that you must remember when at the beach. These guidelines will not only protect you from accidents or injuries but also the surfers along with you at sea.

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People who ignore these rules disrespect the sport and often receive a stink eye from other surfers. Remember the ocean is dangerous and one wrong move can bring about an unwanted situation that can put your life at risk.

So before you get on your board and start surfing, make sure that you are aware of these basic surf etiquettes.

#1 Right of Way

When you are paddling out into the sea, the person closest to the highest point of the wave or at the peak of the wave has the right of way. In order words, if you are paddling out to catch a wave and you are the right paddler. The person on the left has the right of way and you must move out of their way. If you fail to move away before the peak, the surfer with you may end up surfing into you. If you encounter a split peak, both surfers can catch the wave, provided they move in different directions.

#2 Don’t Drop-In

One of the most important surfing etiquettes is to avoid dropping in on another surfer. Well, during your time surfing at some point you will drop in on someone because it is quite common. But you can avoid this by following the above step. If you end up dropping in on another surfer it may lead to injuries or even damage each other’s boards. So make sure that you wait your turn before catching your wave.

#3 Don’t Snake

If you want to get yelled at or punched by another surfer, avoid snaking while surfing. Snaking is paddling around the surfer beside you through a big ‘S’ to get the right of way. It is very offensive, selfish, and ill-mannered because you not only disrespect this amazing sport but also the surfers around. Learn to be patient as there are enough waves for everyone.

#4 Do Not Throw Your Board

As beginners, you must learn to hold on to your board while on the water. If a wave is heading towards you, it is easy to leave your board and dive underwater to avoid the wave. However, an idle board can be dangerous for other surfers as they may get hit by your board. Learn to paddle, read the waters well and paddle accordingly or you can learn turtle roll to avoid the wave. Building this habit will take you a long wave in your surfing life and protect you and the other people around you.

#5 Communicate

A quick way to let the people around you know what you are to do is by communicating right. Especially when you are paddling out into the water with another surfer, make sure they know who is going right or left to avoid any confusion at the peak. If the wave splits make sure that the surfer who is with you knows which direction you are heading so both of you won’t collide while trying to catch the wave. Simple communications will help you surfer better and not drop in on another surfer.

#6 Paddle Wide

When heading out into the water to catch your wave, make sure that you are paddling in the right direction. The best option is to paddle wide away from the place where surfers are riding their waves. If you paddle exactly where the waves break, you will end up crashing into another surfer and take double the time to reach the peak. If you happen to get in the way of another surfer, speed paddle your way out to avoid any collision.

#7 Take Turns

When surfing at the beach, remember you are not the only one who wants to surf. Even if you are a fast paddler, don’t hog all the waves to yourself but allow others around you to catch the waves as well. By taking turns to ride the waves, you show respect to your fellow surfer and you will be treated the same way.

#8 Apologise

While surfing, at some point you may break the above-mentioned etiquettes. And it’s absolutely fine as these things happen. A quick apology will be quickly accepted as it is good manners, polite and of course shows respect. The more respect you show to your fellow surfers, the more respect you will gain. And if you breach any rule, try to avoid repetitiveness so it does not get annoying.

Have Fun!

At the end of the day, you should not be stressed out trying to avoid these rules. Making these etiquettes a habit will make you a better surfer and also have a good time riding your wave. Before heading to the beach, here are some exciting surfing trends that will help you stay on top!

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