Surf safety and surf etiquette are paramount to an enjoyable surf session for everyone involved.
Surfing is fun, it’s adrenaline-pumping and life-changing.
Surfing can also be dangerous to you, and those around you. Like any sport or activity, there are guidelines for best practices. Keep reading, to discover how you can maximize your own surf etiquette and general surf safety while minimizing the chance of accidents. No one wants to experience conflicts with other surfers, but everyone enjoys good vibes and good karma!
- Select the most appropriate location for your skill level. If in doubt, ask your local surf shop.
- The surfer closest to where the wave broke has priority, or in some places, it’s the person first on their feet. Use discretion and your observation skills and remember, if in doubt, don’t drop in!
- Stay out of the way of other surfers- when paddling out, paddle towards the broken part of the wave so you avoid interfering with surfers on the green face.
- Don’t be a wave hog- take turns, encourage others.
- Be observant, pay attention at all times.
- Assist a fellow surfer in trouble or distress.
- Spend a little time speaking to locals before surfing- figure out the local vibe, how best to fit in.
- Your board is a missile and has the potential to harm another person. Never ditch your board when a surfer is behind you- hold onto it like a life depends on it. Remember a 9ft board with a 9ft leash has a reach of close to 20 feet…. and your fellow surfer on a similar board has the same… try and keep a good 40ft from other beginners.
Surf etiquette is something all good surf schools should teach. A quality surf lesson, with a mature instructor and good track record will start you off on the right foot!
Remember to relax, have fun, and don’t be a jerk. Smile, share and lift the spirits of those around you. Before heading out to surf, consider a good warm up, a work-out, getting some of the extra energy out. In this way, you aren’t depending on catching 50 waves at the expense of everyone else’s fun!