9 rules a beginner needs to know.
Learn the important unwritten rules of surfing:
A code of conduct to stay safe and be respectful of other surfers.
Rule #1: Pick the Right Location
BEGINNERS: DON’T PADDLE OUT TO THE MIDDLE OF A PACKED LINEUP.
Manage your choice for surfing spots for your swimming and surfing level. “If in doubt, don’t paddle out”. Go out to a less crowded beginner break and stay away from crowded peaks.
Rule #2: Paddling Rules
STAY OUT OF THE WAY
Ideally, you should never be paddling directly towards the takeoff zone. Paddle away from breaking wave and around if needed. (It could cause argument or injury).
Rule #3: Right of Way
The surfer closest to the peak of the wave has the right of way.
“First to the feet” and longest potential ride has priority for the wave.
Rule #4: Don’t Drop In
“THE SURFER CLOSEST TO THE PEAK HAS THE RIGHT OF WAY.”
Dropping in means that someone with the right of way is either about to take off on a wave or is already riding a wave, and you also take off on the same wave in front of him or her. It’s essential to look and listen closely before taking off on a wave.
Rule #5: Don’t Snake
PATIENTLY WAIT YOUR TURN
“Snaking” is when a surfer paddles around another surfer in order position himself to get the right of way for a wave. He is effectively making a big “S” around a fellow surfer.
Rule #6: Don’t Ditch Your Board
IT’S A DANGER TO OTHERS
This is important, especially when it gets crowded. Always try to maintain control and contact with your board. Never carelessly let your board fly free from your grip. Loose boards can injure people.
Rule #7: Don’t be a wave hog
GIVE A WAVE, GET A WAVE
Just because you can catch all the waves doesn’t mean you should.
This behavior is unacceptable and disrespectful to your fellow surfers.
Rule #8: Communicate openly
SAY SORRY IF YOU MESS UP
Simple, short communication with fellow surfers can avoid situations where you get in the way, and it can get you more waves.
It’s also a good habit to communicate “sorry” when you accidentally break one of the etiquette rules.
Rule #9: Respect
RESPECT THE OCEAN AND SURROUNDING ENVIRONMENT // RESPECT EACH OTHER
Don’t litter. Simple as that. Pick up your trash, and try to pick up a few pieces of trash before you leave even if it’s not yours.
Treat everyone in the water in a respectful and civilized way, as if they were your surf buddies. When you travel to new surf spots, remember to respect the locals.