Like anywhere else, there are ‘rules of the road’ in the line up. A certain etiquette that needs to be followed to ensure that peace reigns, rules that apply regardless of whether you are an experienced pro or absolute beginner, in big or small waves.
Unless you are one of the lucky few who can surf in an uncrowded line up, these rules will apply to ensure the stoke is shared amongst all board riders and water users. If not, then chaos will ensue and we will ultimately destroy and devalue the beautiful surfing experience for ourselves and those around us.
Here are 10 basic rules, learn them, use them and pass it on:
1. The Golden Rule: Don’t ever, ever drop in on someone else i.e. don’t catch a wave that someone else is already riding. That is so lame and will definitely be frowned upon by the Surfing gods…. The surfer closest to the breaking part of the wave i.e on the inside always has right of way.
2. Never snake, Never be a Snake! A snake is a surfer who constantly paddles to the inside or turns inside someone AFTER they started to paddle into a wave, the drop in rule then comes into play – – and as we said.. this is brings bad karma.
3. Don’t paddle through the line-up. i.e. don’t paddle out where the other surfers are riding. This is the same as going against traffic up a one-way street… Not very clever trevor! This could be very dangerous for all involved and lead to injuries, board damage and ‘heavy’ language.
4. When you are surfing away from your home break, respect the locals brah!. Show some courtesy to both the more experienced surfers and the locals and peace will reign.
5. The surfer on the wave has right of way, if paddling out, try to stay out of the way, take the hit from the white water rather than risk ruining another surfers wave. You would not run into traffic, do not paddle into the line of an oncoming surfer dude…
6. Use common sense where crowds are an issue. If you turn up to a break that is already heavily crowded, chances are that the frustration factor in the water is already high. Consider surfing somewhere else, this will mean to less stress for you and lead to a longer life.
7. Wear a leash at all times. Common Sense.Enough said
8. Always hold on to your board when a wave hits you, do not throw your board away and let your leash to do the job for you. Apart from this being very dangerous to the other surfers in the water, you also risk the chance of your leash snapping. Which means you have to swim back and then also have to deal possible board damage.
9.Never use your board as a weapon or as a shield against a possible collision, many beginners will throw their boards in front of another surfer when afraid of a collision. Very dangerous and you risk more than just a board ding.
10. Always have fun, but consider the other people in the water. The ocean and it’s waves are meant to be shared, do so and prosper! Amen brothers and sisters.
Apply the above and share the stoke… Aloha