Have you ever noticed the vibe change in a lineup purely from one anti-social cretin paddling out? Especially on days when surfing options are limited to a few select spots due to lack of swell or unfavourable wind, you almost need to adopt a completely different mindset to a) enjoy your surf and b) exit the water without yelling at the guy with a GoPro on the nose of his board who almost filmed himself crashing into you. If it’s crowded and decent waves are scarce, remember that surfing is a ridiculously enjoyable yet ostensibly frivolous activity, and should not be approached with any attitude but one of pure fun. There is no need to paddle for every wave or aggressively compete with other wave riders. Those doing the wrong thing should be treated with a polite correction at most, while a quiet chuckle followed by swiftly making some distance between the two of you is the best course of action in most situations.
However, nothing annoys an experienced surfer more than someone who is oblivious to their surroundings and subsequently gets in the way of other people, creating a potentially disastrous situation for both the offender and anyone unfortunate enough to cross their path. Don’t be that guy. But, what is perhaps worse is the experienced surfer making a menace out of themselves, dropping in or snaking out of greed, often without a glance to their inside despite knowing full well who has right of way. Don’t be that guy either.
Occasionally a wave will fall right in your lap, regardless of whose turn it is and how many people are around, and that’s fine, but for the most part there should be a simple rotation system for any surf spot with people sharing the area. People on the peak should be able to catch a wave without everyone on the shoulder paddling for it, and that aforementioned peak should be given a wide berth when paddling out so as not to ‘jump the queue’ or interfere with someone’s ride.
Other obvious gaffes that should be avoided at all costs include dropping in and ditching your board, but one of the main sources of butchered surf etiquette is people disregarding their limits. It could be the decision to go out on a bigger day that results in an injury or someone having to save you, but more likely it is a beginner to intermediate surfer flailing around at a crowded spot when somewhere else with less swell/people is a much more suitable place to practice. Surfing proficiency takes 100s of hours to attain due to the sport’s incredibly steep learning curve, and while getting there is half the fun, the journey shouldn’t be peppered with completely avoidable confrontations.
Video Of Typical Snapper before Kelly Slater owns it!
The 10 Cardinal Sins Of Surfing Are:
1. Right of Way. The surfer closest to the peak gets priority.
2. Don’t Drop In. You are spoiling a wave of someone like you, who also enjoys surfing. Don’t do to others what you don’t want done to you. Wait for your turn.
3. Don’t Snake. Select the best position in the line-up and do not paddle around other surfers always wanting to catch all waves. Be patient. There are waves for everyone.
4. Don’t Get in the Way. Paddle wide, not through the peak, and stay in the water if you got caught inside and a surfer is enjoying his surf line.
5. The Furthest Out Gets Priority. Although longboarders may not use this rule wisely – leave some waves to shortboarders – in theory, they hold priority. Sense and sensibility tells them to avoid calling priority in all waves.
6. Do Not Throw Your Board. If you kick out or fall, try to control your stick. Surfboards can actually kill someone if they hit critical regions of the human body.
7. Communicate What Will You Do. In case two surfers are sitting in the middle of the peak and the wave opens to both sides, they should tell each other if they’re going right or left.
8. Do Not Dive Head First. Reef or sand, the ocean floor can severely hurt your body. Try to use your surfboard to protect the impact and protect your head your arms.
9. Respect the Beach and the Ocean. Never leave garbage in the sand and water and try to give back so many hours of pleasure and joy.
10. Give Respect to Gain Respect. Interact with other surfers in a civilized way, even if a minority is still learning good manners.
Credit to Surfer Today