Surfing is gaining popularity and the number of people on line ups is increasing. Rather unpleasant occurrences take place on water and injuries happen as well. In order to avoid these, just be cautious and learn the rules of surfing etiquette. More’s the pity, many surfers cause dangerous situations just due to ignorance and lack of experience. Therefore, having studied these rules, you’ll keep the situation under control and get purely positive emotions from a surf training!
The first thing we wish to pay attention to: when getting to the spot, always greet those who you are going to surf with. This is a sign of respect and your goodwill!
Follow the priority rules and don't drop other surfers in
All the rules in surfing are rather important, but this is perhaps the most important thing to remember: never steal someone else’s wave (do not drop them in)
What does that mean?
Anyone who is closer to the wave peak (the place where the wave starts to crumble) has the priority! Imagine two people sitting at a line up and there’s a left wave coming. According to the rules, the one who is sitting closer to the peak (that’s to the right) has the priority over the wave. You can’t just take and nick the wave. It’s far from ethical and will lamp you in the dim light.
Only in case the priority person hasn’t raked / fallen / lost the wave, the priority goes to the next one in turn.
Likewise, don’t start on the wave that’s taken by another surfer. Always look both left and right before having a go.
If the wave closes both directions (A-frame), warn other surfers by shouting which way you are going to.
If you did drop someone in, be sure to apologize!
This is the sacred rule of all surfers, and you have to know it!
Do not hamper other surfers on your way back to the line up
No need to row directly into the wave collapse zone, go around, define the channel before entering the water. A channel is a place where water flows back into the ocean. In the channel, the waves don’t collapse, but the current will pick you up and help you swim back to the line up. This way you’ll pace yourself and disturb no one.
Suppose you’re getting back and see someone starting on a wave right in front of you, then row into the foam (to the side where the wave falls and that’s in the opposite direction from where the surfer goes), so as not to hamper them!
In this case, the surfers who catch the wave are right. Do not hamper them.
As is sometimes the case, a surfer takes his place and is waiting for a wave and at the moment of its approach, another one brazenly sneaks around the first one snakewise, taking the priority. That’s an example of a very indecent line up behavior! It’s unprofessional, ugly and never arouses respect, no matter how nicely you ride.
Do not nick all the waves, let others ride
In case the priority is yours, but you fail to catch the wave, rake back to the next one and don’t succeed again, give other surfers a try. We do not advise anyone to try this to infinity, respect others!
Likewise, having got to the line up, you’ll see some surfers already sitting and waiting for their waves, so don’t go with the first wave. Pass a few so that they catch theirs. They’ll do exactly the same upon return after their attempt: they’ll see you and give you a chance to ride.
We’ve already mentioned it, but let’s sling it up: every time you make a mistake, apologize to the surfer! Do not neglect this rule. And if you aren’t certain whether you did something wrong, just ask if everything is fine with them.
Be sober assessing your own abilities
Never enter the water if you feel you aren’t ready, if you feel that these waves aren’t for you. It’s not the kind of sport where you need to prove something to anyone. There’s the mighty ocean and your life, so don’t expose yourself and others to danger if you are unprepared.
Watch your board
You don’t want your board to hit anyone on the head, do you? Or vice versa? Therefore, watch your board at all times, learn to overcome the swash with the “turtle” (in other words, “eskimo roll” - a coup with the board so that the wave passes between you and the board). When you get to riding a shortboard, the swash can be passed with a duck-dive (diving under a wave, first drowning your board’s nose and then diving fully with it under water).
When getting to the line up and staying there, watch the distance between other surfers. An unexpected set of waves can wash someone off onto you or the other way round.
Respect the locals
Local guys grew up in these spots, know every stone underwater, and they’re anything but delighted at all times when some tourists come and prevent them from surfing. However, there are always spots for beginners and more experienced ones. These spots are simple and safe. They’re suitable for beginners, so the localism there is either sparse or missing.
Keep your eyes open and help others
If you notice a surfer in trouble, swim up and give a hand, or call for help in case you know you can’t handle it on your own.
Spotted an unowned board? Take it, look around, maybe there’s the owner nearby, or just take it ashore and the surfer will catch sight of you.
Be friendly and positive at the line up, greet other surfers and smile!
Save the ocean!
Regretfully, the environmental situation on the planet is getting worse with each year. Plastic in the ocean is responsible for more than 1 million marine animals’ death annually. Ocean is any surfer’s home, so let's save this home and not pollute beaches, water, abstain from leaving garbage behind, ‘cos it mostly finds its way into the ocean.
The ocean lets us surf, and we must let it live!