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Monday, January 13, 2014

6 Sins of Surfing | Unwritten Rules of Surfing

Learning proper surfing etiquette is a major part of becoming a true surfer. It’s amazing how easy it is to spot offenders in the line-up once you know the rules. While slack should be given to beginners who are just starting to pick up the admittedly complex and sometimes fluid list of surfing do’s and don’ts, there are some surfing faux pas that won’t be tolerated. Below are seven of the more egregious offenses in surfing. If you can’t learn to follow these, then it’s probably best to keep your board stored safely on your surf rack.

(1) Revealing a Secret Spot
If you are surfing somewhere that everyone knows about, like Malibu or Waikiki, this isn’t an issue. But if you find yourself surfing a wave that very few people know about, keep your mouth shut. Don’t take pictures. Don’t instagram or tweet about it. Just enjoy the chance to surf in a place that has not yet been overrun by the surfing masses.

(2) Dropping In
The person closest to the peak of a breaking wave has right of way. If you paddle into or catch a wave that someone else has right of way on or is already surfing, you are guilty of ‘dropping in.’ This offense is one of the worst, so learn to look both ways before going for a wave.
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(3) Snaking
Snaking occurs when a surfer paddles around another surfer in order to gain inside positioning, and thus right of way for an oncoming wave. Be patient and wait your turn in the lineup. As you progress, you will begin to see that there is a natural order to things out in the water, with everyone getting their fair share of waves (assuming all surfers are being respectful).

(4) Paddling to the Peak of the Wave
If you're just paddling out to spot where others have been surfing for awhile, don’t think you can paddle straight for the peak and catch the next set wave. It’s disrespectful to the other surfers who have been waiting in the lineup and it disrupts the pecking order at certain spots. Paddling immediately to the peak is an easy way to put the local surfers in a foul mood.
(5) Ditching Your Board
Part of becoming a surfer is learning how to do all of the little things besides actually riding a wave. One of the most important of those is duck diving. When a large set wave looms on the horizon, it may seem natural to toss your board aside and dive as deep as you can to avoid the approaching wall of whitewater – don’t. Doing so puts other surfers around at you at risk, which will make them very upset.

(6) Rolling Deep This rule refers to surfers paddling out at a new break for the first time, especially one that isn’t very well known. A sure way to piss off the locals in the lineup is to show up with three or four of your buddies and paddle out. If it’s your first time at a given spot that is relatively uncrowded or off the map, show some respect and go out alone the first few times