6 dos and don´ts while your next surf trip!
Surfing is so much more than just a fashionable cool thing performed on the beach. To become a surfer, you need so much more than just curly hair faded from the sun, an expensive wetsuit, and a perfectly designed surfboard.
Respecting the ocean and the waves, knowing your skills and not trying to act like a macho man, being modest and following the etiquette of surfing – that is what will make you a surfer! The one, that will enjoy the time in the water. The one, that other surfer´s will be happy to share the unique experience of riding the waves with. So what are the basic rules to follow?
1. One surfer, one wave
Don’t drop in! This is the first rule that you can find in almost every surfer’s guide. Most of them may also say that this is the most important one to know before going to the water. But what does it even mean?
Well, easily said, if you see someone preparing to catch a wave don’t try to catch it right in front of him. The reason why is so easy… If you would catch that wave, you will block the other person from enjoying it! Plus, you put both of you into danger of some injuries or damaged surfboards… So please remember this sentence – only one surfer can ride one wave!
2. Respect the right of way
So now you know that you should not drop in in front of someone who has the right to catch the wave. But who is that one? If this question bothers your mind, don’t worry. We have the answer.
The surfer closest to the peak is the one who has the right of way. To give you a better insight, imagine that you are facing the shore. You see the wave coming from behind you, and you want to start paddling. Before you do so, make sure that there is no surfer on your left side. Because if there is one, then we are sorry to tell you, but he is the one with the right of way and you are not supposed to drop in.
However, there is one exception to this rule. If the wave is breaking and you both have a chance to enjoy it, then you both have the right of way. But this situation is not very common.
3. Give respect and you will gain respect
This sentence is not only true in surfing, but also in everyday life. If you want others to respect you, you need to respect them first. While surfing, there is so much to respect! The nature, ocean, waves, other surfers, and locals. Let´s talk a little bit more about respecting the locals.
There is one thing to understand – they are the ones who surf in a certain place very often (if not every day). They are the ones who are familiar with the behavior of the ocean and waves. And they may also have their local rules of etiquette. That’s why we recommend you sit on the beach and watch how it goes in the water before you get in.
4. Don’t let your surfboard live its own life
We know that sometimes it may be hard, but you should always try to keep in contact with your surfboard and maintain control over it. If you let your board live its own life and fly around like a tennis ball, sooner or later you will not only hurt yourself but also hurt others. And we don’t want to scare you, but surfboards can be dangerous weapons that may kill someone if they hit them in some critical parts of their bodies.
5. Say sorry
Nobody´s perfect! Even the pro-surfers may break some rules accidentally. And so can you. But what will make you not only a better surfer but also a better person, is an apology. A simple “sorry” will make a huge change. Trust us with this one…
6. Know your limits
If surfing seemed easy for you while experiencing the waves of Bali, please let us tell you, that it might not be the same in the Atlantic ocean around Gran Canaria… If you behave like the best surfer on the island, the ocean will soon show you who is the boss.
So, enter the water with respect and with knowledge of how big and strong the ocean is against you. Listen to your surf coach – he is the one who knows these waves better than you. Don’t pretend to be someone you are not. If you are tired, go back to the beach, drink some water and take some rest. Pushing your limits may be a good thing, of course, but there is always a border you should not cross.
In other words…
Yes, it might be a lot to remember and to think about while trying to catch a wave. But if you manage to follow this etiquette, other surfers will become your friends who are happy to enjoy the unique experience of surfing with you. So let us remind you of the rules once again, this time with the words of Shaun Thomson, the author of the book Surfer´s Code:
🌊 I Will Never Turn My Back on the Ocean
🌊 I Will Paddle Around the Impact Zone
🌊 I Will Take the Drop with Commitment
🌊 I Will Never Fight a Rip Tide
🌊 I Will Paddle Back Out
🌊 I Will Watch Out for Other Surfers
🌊 There Will Always Be Another Wave
🌊 I Will Always Ride into Shore
🌊 I Will Pass Along My Stoke
🌊 I Will Catch a Wave Every Day (even in my mind)
🌊 I Will Honor the Sport of Kings
And now, let’s go to the water!