Underlying principles of professional etiquette for surf-riders

Our society is making constant progress and surf-board riding is also forging ahead.

As surfing is becoming more and more widespread, more surfriders are drawn together to the beachline.


Observing certain surf ethical principles will make it easier for everybody to derive great satisfaction at surf bathing.

Overview of etiquette

Perceiving and following those common standards will help to preserve surf-riding as an exciting and healthy activity for anybody interested in this sport.

Purposefully violating the rules of conduct brings risks to all the participants and causes wrath and unfriendliness on the waves, which spoils the general climate of surf-riding. The worst violators may carry adequate consequences.

In case you are just a beginner, make sure you have got the point of all the basic principles.

If you are a pro, refresh your knowledge and look into details of surf etiquette.

Etiquette Principle No. 1: Right-of-Way

right of way surfing

The nearest rider to the “spike” (the top of the breaker that is going to or has begun to slide) on the “inner” is at liberty to go first.

All the other surf professionals have to let him/her pass if they see him/her oaring for and surf up.

Sometimes, two surf professionals may share one spike that creates a convenient slide in two trajectories (one rider moves leftward, another – rightward).

Principle No. 2: Don’t Cut Off in No Case!

Don't Cut Off surfing

Concerned with Principle #1 and is surely the most severe violation of proper surf behavior.  “Cutting off” happens if the rider on the “inner” is at liberty to go first but the other surf rider starts off just in face of him/her.

Cutting off means filching a breaker of another surf rider. It is both, very aggravating and risky, particularly on greater waves.

The peak is missed, the surfer who was entitled to go first is annoyed, the violator feels stupid and all the situation is absurd. Refrain from doing it!

It is critical to remember that it is not fair to cut off for the sole reason that the rider at liberty to go first seams to have trouble riding the slide he/she is oaring for, or it’s likely he/she may come off, or the surge may outride.

Try to keep an open eye and your surf-mates will return you the favor.

It is absolutely unjustified to cut off and we will all benefit from if violators of the ethic principles would just confess to an error, offer an apology, and won’t do that in future.

Ill-fated attempt to cut off – Do not exemplify! Remember, that’s a rugular etiquette.

Etiquette Principle No. 3: Do not Act as a Viper


Acting as a viper in the water implies surfing round about another surfer with the aim to get the right-of-way.

Once more, this is filching. Do not act like this, because you must stick to surf etiquette; it’s reckless.

Etiquette Principle No. 4: Oaring Out

Surfers rides waves

Refrain from oaring out directly across the thick of the events where surf riders are copping and gliding the waves.

On the coast-line with numerous breakers, apply your best judgment, and steer clear of oaring out in the area where surfers ride the waves.

There are occasions (for instance, you caught the wave in a session and fell off in a way that the next waves are now coming straight at your back) when you can hardly escape the danger area.

Use every effort to be no object to other surfers trying to oar sidewise or oar at the tail of the gliding rider in the direction of the wave’s top or the white water.

Here, sound judgment will help you to move in the right direction.

Principle No. 5: Latch On to Your Surfboard

Hold onto your board

It can be unsafe and risky to other surfers, particularly on a tightly packed coast-line.

If you are not able to hang on to your surfboard when the water is dashing over you, you must not be out in the riding area.

It is fundamental to remember when a rider is gliding the water in your direction, releasing hold of your surfboard is the worst-case scenario because the approaching rider may have not enough time to make the right move and will likely bump into you or your surfboard.

If you latch on to your surfboard and try to halt the movement or proceed with oaring at the same pace and trajectory, the oncoming surfer will be in a much better position to elude the hitting. This is one of the rules of etiquette.

Etiquette Principle No. 6: Find Own Level

proficient riders

In case you are only starting the adventurous path of mastering the art of surfing, do not rush right into the thick of events where the greatest waves are breaking.

Let the proficient riders to practice the highest breaking waves as they have more abilities and capacities to enjoy them in full.

Your turn will also come. That’s the other piece of advice from etiquette.

Etiquette Principle No. 7: There Is No Place for a Surf-Hog

surfers with another equipment

It is only possible to gain perfect experiences when the general climate in the water is hospitable and polite.

Splitting the waves between surfers irrespective of the proficiency level and skills is the key to a successful session.

It’s rather aggravating when surfers with more advanced surf equipment (for instance, longer boards or kayaks, which are more suitable to surf up farther in the ocean) conceive the idea that they have a prerogative right for all the breakers on the coastline since their equipment permits to do that.

Even though you are able to ride almost any wave, it doesn’t allow you to act like that.

Principle No. 8: Apology Counts for a Great Deal


Nobody’s perfect and surf-riders also commit errors.

You may cut off; you may come out on the line when somebody is gliding the best breaker of the session. Things like these happen.

Admit to making an error, beg a pardon, and do not act like this in the future.

Etiquette Principle No. 9: Take Care of the Environment

rubbish on the beach

Don’t toss your garbage and be at ease to take out the rubbish that someone else didn’t bother to clean up.

It will do good for you and your surroundings.

Principle No. 10: Have a Good Time!


Remember why you took on surfing; riding waves is all about enjoying yourself!

Follow the surf etiquette principles and rules and you (and your fellow surfriders) will have a chance to enjoy the perfect surfing experience!



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