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SUP Surfing Etiquette


It's important to observe the correct etiquette while out surfing, otherwise things will just descend in to total chaos. 

Do try to stick by these unwritten rules, keep yourself out of trouble, and enjoy your SUP surfing. 

Observe Right of Way

Learn who has the right of way on the wave. 

  • Furthest out: the surfer that is furthest out or that has been waiting longest

  • Furthest inside: the closest surfer to the peak of the breaking wave

  • If it is not clear who has the inside then its the first to feet or first onto the wave (Prone surfing)

  • Communication: the call of "Left!" or "Right!" if the wave is dual-peaking

Don't Drop In

Cutting in front of other surfers who are up and riding is a quick way of getting yourself in trouble with other surfers. Observe the right of way and you should be fine.

Don't Snake

Repeatedly paddling round someone to get into the inside position on a wave is a no-no. No-one like a queue jumper.

Don't Hog the Waves

Share them around. On a SUP you can paddle furthest outside and catch the waves first every time you reach the lineup, don't do it. People will quickly get annoyed at this and will simply start dropping in on you at every opportunity to get a wave themselves, everything will then descend into chaos!

Do Apologise

If you drop in on someone, run over someone, or breach the etiquette and rules in any way, just apologise. It's just plain good manners. We've all done things that we shouldn't have when out surfing, saying sorry goes some way to smoothing things over. (Obviously repeatedly snaking, dropping in, hogging the waves and running everyone over will probably end in a beating, no matter whether you say sorry each time or not.)

Respect the Locals

Keep in mind that the locals surf the spot every day. Give respect and behave while visiting a spot, keep things friendly, earn some respect yourself. Don't mob surf spots in large numbers. Don't rush straight outside, take your time.

Paddling Out

It's easier to paddle through unbroken water than slog your way out through walls and walls of white water. So before you start paddling out, take a good look at where you need to be in the lineup and determine the easiest way to get there. Think it through - what is the best way out? Can I use a rip to help me out? Paddle out wide so that you will not be in the path of incoming surfers? Use your common sense. Each surf break differs from the next, and each day at a surf break may yield different peaks from the day before, so study the line up before going out. If you are surfing in and come off your board, you may be stuck in the impact zone - known as being caught inside. If this happens, then you should make your way back out to the lineup through the whitewater, and not in the path of other surfers who will be coming in on waves. It is your responsibility when paddling out to keep out of the way of incoming riders. If you do get caught inside it is important that you manage and keep hold of your board and do not ditch or throw it, especially if there are other surfers paddling out behind you.

Surf Spots that Suit your Ability

Try not to pick a spot that is out of your ability range. You'll only end up upsetting the other surfers by getting in the way or being a potential hazard for everyone.

Help other Surfers

Always aid another surfer in trouble. Surfing can be dangerous and even fatal, look after each other.

Have Fun

After all that, lets not forget this one.

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