#1 Understanding The Right Of Way
Surfers that are closest to the part of the wave that is breaking (otherwise known as the peak), have right of way. If you’re thinking about paddling for a wave, but another surfer closer to the peak is about to take off, you should pull out.
If someone is already riding a wave and you attempt a late takeoff between them and the peak, this will not give you right of way. In fact, it’s called backpaddling and it’s poor etiquette.
#2 Never Drop In
This is the most important rule of them all. Dropping in is when a one surfer is about to takeoff on a wave (or already riding it) and another surfer takes off in front of them—blocking their path. This is not only extremely frowned upon, but very dangerous.
#3 Know Where To Paddle
Paddling in front of oncoming surfers is not only unsafe, but frustrating for the surfer who has to dodge your head. Always paddle behind oncoming surfers and head towards a channel where there’s less waves breaking and minimal surfing congestion.
#4 Board Control
Without the right amount of care, your surfboard can fast become a heavy, hard and dangerous missile. Never ditch your board to dive under a wave or when you’re kicking out, as this can cause injury to surrounding surfers.
#5 Share The Waves
You need to remember that you’re sharing the beach with other surfers. Just because you have the ability to catch every wave, doesn’t mean you should. It’s called a lineup for a reason, so wait your turn. Also, you should never ‘snake’ a wave by paddling around another surfer to better position yourself for a wave. Being a wave hog will get you no respect among other surfers.
#6 Look After The Beach
This is part surf culture and part common sense. Never leave any trash behind and always respect other beachgoers.
#7 Everybody Makes Mistakes
No surfer is perfect. Just like everyday life, if you make a mistake, you apologise. Whether you’ve accidentally dropped in or paddled in front of someone, try to get their attention after and apologise. While this might not fix what you did, it doesn’t hurt.
Do you like travelling to great surf spots around Australia? Then you’ll love these surf guides:
- Winter Surf Tour Of The Northern Rivers
- The Utimate Surf ‘N’ Stay In Byron Bay
- Surf & Stay Your Way Through Newcastle
- Surfer’s Guide To The Coffs Coast