Surf Etiquette

Surf Etiquette

Surf etiquette is a set of unwritten rules and guidelines that help maintain a safe and enjoyable environment for all surfers in the water. Just like when you were in the military – being “new” is not an excuse for being unsafe or having a negative impact on operations. If you are surfing at a new spot, or unsure of the local etiquette be conservative and take the time to ask. Here's a list of surf etiquette:

Respect the Lineup: Wait your turn and take your position in the lineup according to the established order. Don't paddle around others to get a better spot.

Avoid Ditching Your Board: If you're wiping out, try to maintain control of your board to prevent it from becoming a hazard to other surfers.

Apologize: If you accidentally drop in on someone or make a mistake, acknowledge it and apologize. It's a sign of respect and can prevent conflicts.

Be a good battle buddy: Whether the person next to you is a friend or dropped in on you all day, always ensure you make others aware of dangerous weather, wildlife, or other hazards, and always remain ready to lend a hand to someone in need.

Be Courteous: Treat fellow surfers with respect and kindness. A friendly attitude goes a long way in maintaining a positive atmosphere in the lineup. When you have paddled out and are sitting in the lineup, make the effort to greet the surfers who were there before you.

Don't Drop In: One of the most important rules. If someone is already riding a wave, don't paddle into their path. The surfer closest to the peak or who has been waiting longer has the right of way.

Double red flag: On most beaches across the US, double red flag conditions mean no swimming, however a person is permitted to enter the water with a surfboard and leash. Ensure you are aware of your abilities before doing so and have a plan if your leash breaks.

Know Your Skill Level: Choose a break that matches your skill level. Don't paddle out to a crowded lineup if you're a beginner who might pose a danger to yourself and others.

Mind Your Leash: Keep an eye on your board and leash to prevent them from becoming tangled with other surfers or their boards.

No Snake-boarding: Don't repeatedly paddle around the lineup, positioning yourself in front of others to catch every wave. Wait your turn and respect the rotation.

Paddle Wide: When paddling back out after catching a wave, do so away from the breaking part of the wave to avoid interfering with other surfers who are still riding.

Priority Rules: The surfer closest to the breaking part of the wave (the peak) has the right of way. The surfer on the inside has priority over those on the outside.

Respect Locals: If you're surfing at a spot that's frequented by locals, be mindful of their presence, follow the local customs, and show respect to those who are more familiar with the break.

Share Waves: Don't hog all the waves for yourself. Share the waves with other surfers, especially if the break is crowded.

Stay Clear of Surfers on Waves: If a surfer is riding a wave, don't paddle out or drop in front of them. This can cause collisions and accidents.

Wax: Have some and be willing to share.

Wetsuits: Only pee in your own wetsuit. Never in a borrowed one.