Yes there is such a thing as surfing etiquette even when on a stand up paddle board! This is a brief set of unwritten rules to keep yourself out of trouble and to ensure you get your most out of your surf session. Please remember that surf supping is still quite new in the UK and can be frowned upon by regular surfers. Lets show them that we too can be accepted in the surf community.
Right of Way -Learn who has the right of way on the wave. It’s all about wave priority. Basically, the surfer who is closest to the breaking part of the wave has priority. If a surfer is up and riding a wave, then it’s that surfer’s 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.
First to feet – the first to feet or first onto the wave.
You may here someone shout “Left” or “Right”, this is used if the wave is dual peaking.
Don’t Drop In – This means don’t cut in front of another surfer who are all ready up and riding. This is possibly the most important rule to follow as it can be very dangerous. Observe the right of way and you should be fine.
Don’t Snake – This is paddling round someone to get into the inside position on a wave.
Don’t Hog the Waves – The waves are there for everyone to enjoy. Even if you can paddle out quicker than the others and catch the waves first every time you reach the line-up, please avoid it. It’s not courteous and can lead to others breaking some of the other rules to prevent you from doing it.
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.
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.
Choose a Surf Spots that Suit your Ability – Try not to pick a spot that is above your ability. It’s good to push your limits, it’s the best way to improve but push it too far and you may become a potential hazard to other surfers.
The most important thing to consider is to be safe and have fun!