The surfers code – etiquette of surfing
The increasing popularity of the sport of surfing has resulted in the overcrowding of some of the popular surf breaks leading to frustration, tension and aggression in the line up.
The coach has an important role in educating the beginner surfer by introducing basic rules to avoid causing conflict in the surf.
Teach basic surfing rules
- Before paddling out, check the line-up
- Do not paddle out in surf conditions that are overcrowded and are beyond your ability and fitness level
- Always paddle around the break – not out through the middle of the pack
- Always paddle towards the white water, never paddle up the face of a wave when a surfer is up and riding
- NEVER drop in
The surfer on the inside or closest to the breaking part of the wave has right of way.
The surfer on the outside or who is second in the line-up and takes off is “dropping in” on the surfer who is up and riding.
Dropping in should be avoided at all costs as it can be dangerous to both surfers and is a major cause of aggressive behavior (surf rage).
Snaking is a term used when a surfer paddles to the inside of a surfer who is taking off in the prime spot. Snaking should be avoided as the surfer who is “snaked” will be annoyed, which again creates tension and aggression in the line-up.
Is where local surfers at a particular break claim right of way and ownership of the waves which can make the line-up an unpleasant place for visitors.
Surf coaches can suggest to their students to avoid these surfing hot spots or to encourage proper surfing etiquette to avoid conflict.
Tolerance and respect
We teach our beginner surfers that as their skills develop and they start to venture out in the line-up to respect the better surfers, be tolerant, follow the surfer’s code, take your turn and by putting a smile on your face you will hopefully create a better, friendly vibe out in the surf.
Nobody owns the waves and any surfer has the right to surf waves providing their surfing ability and fitness level is suited to the break and they are not a danger to themselves and other surfers.
Manly Surfschool coachs show respect to fellow surfers and beach gores by using less popular areas thus not allowing our beginner groups out into a crowded area.
Developing a good working relationship with local surfers, lifeguards, surf lifesavers and boarding riding clubs will provides a good support and safety network for all surfers.
Don’t drop in
Surfer A is nearer the shoulder and has right of way. B must give way to A.
- If B does catch the wave he/she is “dropping-in” B. Don’t drop in.