The surf etiquette is a proper code of conduct designed to keep everyone safe and happy in the water. It is important to memorize and respect these rules to avoid total chaos. Stick by these unwritten rules to keep others and yourself else out of trouble.
Here are the basics of the surf etiquette:
1 RIGHT OF WAY
The surfer closest to the peak of the wave has the right of way. Also the surfer furthest out or first to his feet has the right to be on the wave. In all of these cases other surfers will have to let the wave pass. Learn these ‘rules’ and act accordingly.
2 DO NOT DROP IN
Dropping in is the act of stealing someone’s wave described at point 1. By doing it you will create a dangerous situation for you and the other surfers. Collision might occur, bones and boards can break. It is a bad idea and everyone will be annoyed.
3 PADDLING RULES
Do not paddle straight to the line up where the waves are breaking and people are surfing. It is wiser and safer to paddle through a channel where there are less chances of a run in. If you see a surfer coming towards you, estimate his direction and then paddle the other way.
4 DO NOT DITCH BOARD
Always maintain control and contact with your surfboard. If you see a wall of white water coming towards you, do not ditch your board because it might hit someone behind you. Learn how to duckdive.
5 DO NOT SNAKE
Paddling around someone to gain priority over the wave is called snaking. This can be very annoying and if done repeatedly a big no-no.
6 SHARE WAVES
Longboarders, kayakers, stand-up paddlers and more experienced surfers are able to catch waves much sooner and easier leaving not much for other surfers. It does not hurt to leave one wave for the shortboarders inside. To share is to care!
7 RESPECT THE BEACH
Leave only footprints. Throw your garbage in trash cans and do not vandalise in any way.
8 RESPECT LOCALS
Give respect to the surfers who surf the spot every day. Behave friendly and do not overcrowd the spot with a large group. Respect the vibe in the water.
9 HELP OTHER SURFERS
Look out for each other and always help a surfer in trouble. You could possibly save someone’s life.
10 BE PATIENT AND HAVE FUN
Wait for your turn to get a wave. Eventually it will come. Be friendly and have fun.
11 IF YOU MESS UP: APOLOGIZE
It is not the end of the world if you accidentally mess up one of these rules. Apologize and smile. They will forgive the first time.
Featured image by N.Rupert