Beginners Guide To Surfing: Surf Etiquette
Just like driving a car, surfing in Kona, Hawaii has its own rules of the road. The rules are known by surfers as “Surf Etiquette”. Knowing and following the rules of surf etiquette will not only help keep you safe in the water but possibly make you a few friends as well.
1. THE RIGHT OF WAY
-The general rule of thumb is the person closest to the peak of the wave as the right of way.
-If both people are side by side at the peak, then the person to their feet first has the right of way.
-Never “Drop-In” on another surfer, which means that if someone else is already surfing a wave in your direction, do not take off in front of them. This is just plain disrespectful and dangerous. Surfers don’t like this.
2. WAIT YOUR TURN
-The pack of surfers located near the main peak of a wave is known as the lineup. Surfers lineup next to each other and wait their turn to catch a wave.
-Cutting in front of someone in order to catch a wave sooner is known as snaking and is completely frowned upon in surfing.
3. PADDLING OUT
-Always paddle around the peak of the wave using the channel, which is a deep spot in the ocean where the waves don’t break.
-Never paddle straight into the peak of the wave. This is where people are taking off on the wave which means you will be right in their way.
-When your wave is over, paddle as fast as you can to the channel so you are out of the way of other people surfing behind you. You can always rest once you are out of the way of other surfers.
4. HOLD ON TO YOUR SURFBOARD
-Never let go of your surfboard, even if there is a big wave that’s about to pound you. There could be someone behind you and your surfboard could hit them.
5. BE RESPECTFUL
-Be respectful of everyone surfing around you, especially if you are a guest at a surf spot.
6. SURF WITHIN YOUR LIMITS
-Beginner surfers should never paddle into an area where advanced surfers are catching waves. Usually the waves are much more powerful and dangerous in these areas.
7. BE SAFE
-Beginner surfers should always check with the local lifeguards for dangerous rip currents or strong surf conditions before paddling out. When in doubt, don’t paddle out.
8. CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELF
-Please help keep our beaches clean, leave only footprints.
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