Everyone who has ever tried it, loves to surf. That can make the choice breaks pretty crowded. Something every surfer should know is surf ettiquette. Most of you have seen it. Two or more surfers paddling into the same wave. They both catch it, now what? Think traffic, who ever arrived at the stop sign first, goes first. So, who ever stands up on the wave first, gets it. If you lost that race, pull out of the wave and avoid injury. Collisions in surfing can be dangerous. The last thing you want is a fin gliding over you. Or, the tip of someones board ramming into you while the surfer tumbles on top. It happens! Just like every other sport, you can get hurt if you are not careful.
Respect your elders! All manners still apply in the water. Every once in a while you get those priority surfers. Seasoned locals get the wave. It’s just the way it is. It’s never fun to get dropped in on, but it happens. Don’t panic, don’t get frustrated, just pull out. You’ll appreciate that mentallity once you’re “over the hill”. Surf ettiquette is a fancy word for surf rules. Follow the rules and it will make your session a lot smoother.
Don’t be ‘that’ person either. Same as elders, little kids get the right a way. Too often you will see grown adults cutting off kids, hogging waves, even pushing kids off. That is the worst kind of surf ettiquette. Just as I said before surfing can be dangerous. Don’t do anything that puts another person in harm. Especially, a child learning how to surf. Crowded breaks can be frustrating, I know believe me 😠. However, continue treating people the way you want to be treated. Don’t be a bully!
Picture this, you have been in the water an hour but none of the waves have been very good. You’re paddling around until your arms feel like jello. Finally, you found the perfect spot to catch the next set of waves. You’re waiting, waiting, still waiting…. At last! The perfect wave coming right for you! You turn your board around paddling to catch the wave like your life depends on it. You’re just about to pop up and… snaked! The person next to scoots around you and steals your wave. Not cool. Wait your turn, and don’t be greedy.
Last but not least. If you claim it, catch it! You’ll hear it, “mine, mine, mine.” Everyone will stop charging the wave, to allow the person to go. Oops, didnt catch it. Now no one gets it. That won’t make you any friends! Only claim a wave if you are 100% sure you can even make it. The same rule aplies If you hear some one call on a wave. If you hear “mine” stop paddling. Respect the claim.
Remember, who ever stand up first gets it. Elders and children get the right of way. Don’t be greedy. Always follow through on a claim. These are the basic surf ettiquette rules to live by. Keep them in mind while in the water. Every sport has rules! surfing is no different.
Mahalo! be safe, be repectful, have fun!