Posted by: Surfboard King | May 24, 2011

Surfing Etiquette

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Surfing Etiquette

 Rule #1: The Right of Way

The surfer closest to the peak of the wave has the right of way. This means if you’re paddling for a left, and a surfer on your right is also paddling for it, you must yield to him or her because they are closest to the peak of the wave.

A-Frames or Split Peaks: If two surfers are on either side of the peak, they each have the right of way to take off on their respective sides. It’s not generally accepted to take off behind the peak unless there’s nobody on the other side. These surfers should split the peak and go opposite ways.

If a wave is breaking forward (a closeout) and two surfers are taking off at each other, they both have the right of way. You may want to back off the wave to avoid a collision.

Rule #2: Paddling

Don’t paddle straight through the heart of the lineup where people are surfing. Paddle out through the channel or around to the end of the lineup.

When paddling back out after catching a wave, do not paddle in front of someone riding a wav. This may take a little guesswork where the surfer will cross your path as he is coming down the line toward you.

Rule #3: Don’t Ditch Your Board

This is important, especially when it gets crowded. Always try to maintain control and contact with your board. You may have to grab for your leash during a wipeout if your board is on a collision course with another surfer. Surfboards are large, heavy, and have sharp fins. If you let your board go flying around, it is going to eventually injure someone. This means if you’re paddling out and a wave crashes on you, you don’t have permission to just let go of your board and dive under.

Rule #4: Beginners: don’t paddle out to the middle of a packed lineup.

If you’re a beginner you should avoid paddling out into the middle of a pack of experienced veterans. Go to a less crowded beginner break. You’ll know you’re in the wrong spot if you locals give you the eye.

Rule #5: Don’t be a wave hog.

Just because you can catch all the waves doesn’t mean you should. This generally applies to longboarders. Since it’s easier to catch waves on longboards, it becomes tempting to catch them all, leaving nothing for shortboarders on the inside. Let some waves go for others.

Rule #6: If you mess up

If you break one of these rules accidentally and mess up someone’s wave, a quick apology is appreciated, and goes a long way to help reduce the tension in crowded lineups.


What is the proper surfing etiquette ? Surfing lineup line-up. Where can I surf? How to paddle out in surfing. Rules of surfing. local surfer rules.


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