I was discussing surfing etiquette with @doug today, after he had a minor incident yesterday in Oahu. Certainly, it’s just going to get tougher and tougher every year with increasing crowds at the best breaks. Does surf etiquette vary from location to location? Across cultures? Let’s hear from some seasoned pros, as well as some beginner’s thoughts on the topic.
Here’s a collection of articles from Surfline, called the Bill of Lefts and Rights (click link for more details).
- Picking the Right Location
- Don’t drop in on or snake your fellow surfer.
- When paddling out to or within a break, it’s your responsibility to stay out of the way of riders on waves.
- Thou shalt learn to take turns.
- In any surf session, respect the pre-existing vibe in the lineup.
- Always aid another surfer in trouble.
- When traveling, thou shalt respect the local surfers and their rights and customs, without forfeiting your own right to a wave.
- Thou shalt not use your surfing advantages to abuse your fellow surfers.
- At all times, be responsible for your equipment and respectful of others’.
- Relax, have fun, and enjoy your surfing and that of your fellow surfer.
On a related note, the supply of open ocean waves for riding via downwind paddling is unlimited. That’s one of the appeals of paddle sports like downwind SUP, downwind prone (which I had a blast on today), surf-skis, and OC-1s. Downwind paddling is like killer mountain biking, with great scenery and a connection to nature while providing a thrilling and vigorous workout.