Before you get in the ocean, it’s important to understand and notice the correct surf etiquette. These rules are put in place to keep surfers safe, and to respect one another.
#1 Don’t drop in, don’t be a snake
Keep your distance in the surf, don’t put yourself and other surfers in danger by surfing right on top of them. Avoid paddling on the inside of another surfer to take off on the wave before they do. Be aware of your surroundings and take notice of who has right of way.
#2 Choosing the right spot
It is important to surf the right spot for your ability. Small and soft waves are perfect for a beginner, as they are less intimidating. Larger, hollow waves require experience. Read the surf forecast, and ask an experienced friend for advice on the best spots to surf for your ability. Know your limits, and respect the power of the ocean.
#3 Take turns, share the wave
Spots with consistent take off turns such as reef breaks and point breaks, offer the possibility of every surfer taking a turn. It is good manners to wait in line.
#4 Time your paddle out
It is vital to the safety of yourself, and all surfers, to correctly time your paddle out. Avoid other surfers paths when you’re paddling back out, by paddling further out on the shoulder. Avoid the ‘impact zone’ to decrease the risk of injury, board damage and snaps.
#5 Be hardware aware
Being mindful of fins and leg ropes can save you from damaging your hardware. To avoid unnecessary stress to your board, never bail from your board and try to avoid bad landings. Decrease the risk of fin damage by avoiding surfing too close to the shore.
#6 Your board: your responsibility
Stay with your board, and use a leg rope where you can. It is your responsibility to control your board in the water, and letting go of your board in the surf can be extremely dangerous, leaving your board open to impacts with the environment and other surfers.
#7 Respect the locals
Local surfers have long histories of surfing particular areas, and often have their own version of ethics. It’s important to observe and accept these, in order to maintain good vibes in the waves.