Surfing Etiquette

Surfing Etiquette

Surfing is a way of life for many – and has developed a dedicated surf culture around it. Like any following, there are rules set out to make sure everybody has a good time. Surfing, as laid back as the sport is, does have an etiquette around it. It’s not super strict, just some basic rules to keep the good times rolling.

The Rules of Surfing Etiquette

Surfing etiquette is expected to be followed. Surfers always want to maintain the harmony that the activity provides – and don’t want some annoying person intruding on their sacred sport. There are a few guidelines to make sure nobody gets injured and everybody enjoys their surf session. We lay out some below:

Respect the right of way

The right of way is the golden rule of surfing. It respects the queue that may build to catch the wave – and expects that line to be followed. The ideal is that the surfer closest to the peak gets priority. For example, if you are paddling towards a right-side wave and there’s a surfer on your left – let them move ahead of you.

No two surfers should share the same wave

Surfers are some of the most inclusive and accommodating people worldwide, but there is an expectation that one wave applies to one surfer. Not only does this allow the surfer to move freely, but it stops collisions from happening. Waters are unpredictable, so the personal space here needs to be respected.

Don’t cross somebody’s ride

There is nothing more annoying than having a perfect ride and then somebody getting in your way. Don’t get on the same wave as someone else, stay well clear of someone’s ride, and don’t paddle into their surf line.

It can cause severe injury and a frustrating surf session. You wouldn’t want anyone getting in your way.

Treat your board kindly

There can be days when things just don’t go your way – but that’s no reason to take it out on the surfboard. Make sure the surfboard leash is always securely attached to your ankle. Don’t throw your board or leave it anywhere out of frustration. Surfboards can cause injuries to yourself and others if not controlled properly.

Respect your fellow surfers, the ocean, and the surroundings

It goes without saying that you should treat your fellow surfers kindly. Don’t be egotistical, be patient and respect the practices of others. That includes the ocean you are surfing in and the environment that surrounds it. Don’t litter, damage the ecosystem, or cause harm to any of the wildlife. This causes the most disharmony in a surf session.

With the Right Attitude, You’ll Always Be Among Friends

The etiquette is easy to follow and benefits every surfer in the scene – so there’s no reason not to follow it! Should you ever make mistakes in breaking surf etiquette – simply apologize and do better. If you are unsure of surf etiquette, just ask a local surfer – they want to keep a nice balance just as much as you do.

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