Why It Is Important to Ride the Second Wave and How to Deal with Lineups and Follow the Rules

Your surfing depends on how you arrange your surfing time and what decisions you make during the ride.

Sometimes, the state of the sea dictates to you the special conditions of the ride to which you need to adapt.

Our second article today is for those who have already overcome the initial level of development in our sport and for those who are already going on rides as true professionals.

If you are standing on the surfboard quite confidently and not for the first or second year, pay attention to the second wave, namely, to how to catch this second wave efficiently.

Of course, you need to focus on the main wave and this is correct but do not underestimate the second.

Usually, well-riding surfers stay on the first wave, the one that is higher for a ride, and when a particularly large wave arrives, they ride the entire peak to the right along with the entire length (and this is a good pair of hundreds of meters, or maybe more), managing to jump a more shallow place in the center and hitting the second wave.

But most often, the second section cannot be skipped, the second foam closes the way for advanced riders further allowing beginners to take their ride on the second wave.

It is here that in comfortable conditions of rides, closer to the second channel, it is best to take classes.


Naturally, you will not get a full break between the first and second sessions if you chase after the second wave but your tiredness will be worth it.

It will be a sacrifice in the name of your own good because you will no longer miss the second chance in the ocean.

You may notice that this second chance may not be as steep as the main wave but sometimes you can get a lot more from the second option than from the first ride.

Initially, you will probably get lost in the sequence of the rides and the second wave will not be very large, at least, not the same size as you expected.

But there is an advantage – a small number of people will be chasing the second peak because, most likely, you will be there completely alone.

And also, this new circumstance will teach you new tricks to adapt faster on the rides.


The main task of the instructor at the very first and second lessons of surfing is to teach the student to “read” the second wave that is to assess its position related to the peak of the wave to understand where the wave will begin to collapse and in which direction it needs to be caught for a ride to get to the starting point on the shoulder of the wave – in the place where the slope is not excessively sharp but not too smooth, where the second wave has not yet begun to crumble but this will happen immediately after the start of the ride.

surfing instructor

You will have to compromise quality in order to get a larger quantity by the second ride.

To ride as many second waves as possible, you will need to catch several of them, which is not the best quality for a ride.

These second waves can be quite awkward and clumsy but in this way, there will really be more waves even if they are second.

When you go deeper under the surface of the second roll, you will feel the unity with the entire body of it when on the ride.

This feeling can subsequently become the result of many not very good second waves but in this way, you will make them much larger and your session can last for a longer time leading you to all the next second peaks to ride.

All this is due to an increase in the flow under your equipment when you ride.

The consequence of the loss of the main waves in favor of the second will be your greater confidence and stability on the reefs or in the bays when you ride the second rolls.

You will feel the second waves much better and stick to them well, not catching one or two but making the whole sets of tens or more during your ride.

Your progress will directly depend on how many second waves you will manage to ride, even though they are second and not the most perfect ones.

When you go through the basic skills in this type of ride, you will soon adapt to new conditions much faster and your rides will become more advanced. You will be surprised why you have not done these rides before.


Sometimes, you may have noticed that there are quite crowded places when surfing conditions are comfortable to ride the rolls.

In these places, there are always a few people who are constantly on the ride and the sea seems to give them really more for their rides than to the rest.

You look with envy at such people, in particular, because they are not professionals and ride for themselves.

In fact, out of the whole group of people, such a few surfers get almost half of all the waves and the rest half of their time they are waiting for the second waves to share them with others to ride.

Very often, this picture can be seen in crowded places and you can safely stay and wait for the second wave to come to you or for the moment when other surfers will allow you to queue but be careful because your hour to ride may never come.

If you find yourself in such a situation and you are not one of those guys who do not let others live in peace and who they hate, it would be most reasonable to go on a ride along with the secondary waves, since, most likely, this will occur to a few.

You may be that only guy who will get everything that they were afraid of and did not think of sharing with others for the second time.

So do not be afraid to use your potential either on the main or on the second wave impulses. This is a very useful thing, especially, when you ride in membranous bays.

surf girl

When surfing, choosing a wave is vital for a ride. It determines the length and speed of your ride as well as the ability to perform certain maneuvers on the second rolls.

For beginners, depth is about the waist and already broken waves, the so-called “foam”, will be an ideal chance for training in order to learn how to stand on the surfboard, control it, and perform a turn.

But as soon as you master all this, try moving further back and catching the green waves.

These waves are harder to pick and they require more rowing and more control in order to pop-up.

Ideally, you need to look for the second wave that has not yet begun to break and goes in a straight line, and not the one that falls down immediately.

Before going on the ride on the line-up, take a few minutes to observe where the peak of that second wave you have chosen is and where the best place to wait for this wave on the line-up is located.

Try not to get in the way of other surfers.

surfers on wave

When you stay on a line-up waiting for your second turn, be sure to watch what kind of waves other professionals ride – this will help you determine the appropriate place where you can catch the best waves.

However, be careful not to get in the way of other surfers and check before starting that no one is going on the ride along this second wave you want to catch.

The technique for catching green waves is very similar to what you did when training on the foam.

You just have to row stronger, get up on the surfboard faster, and keep your balance at the start.

Once you have mastered the set of speed, try turning the surfboard at a small angle and ride along the tide.

Once you have gained enough speed to catch the wave, you will encounter a sharp decrease in speed during the pop-up.

The key is to get to your feet in one smooth motion as fast as you can.

Keep your knees slightly bent and look forward in the direction you are going to ride. Transfer your weight to your front foot.

This will help you increase speed. From this position, if you chose a soft and gentle second wave, you can adjust your weight using your upper body as a steering wheel and do it along with the green wave you caught.

surfer sitting on board

As soon as you begin to notice the situation around you, you will see that the more the beaches and water are filled with people, the higher your colleagues will rise in order to ride on good and big waves.

So, they will gather there, abandoning many other places where you can train with the second rides.

You will notice empty spots in the middle or closer to the beach where you can ride along with the second peaks without interference from other surfers or vacationers.

You may be concerned that the quality of your rides may decrease due to the fact that you have not got very good conditions but you should not exaggerate so much.

In fact, in most places, the second waves you are going to ride do not differ much in quality from those waves the winners of the peaks are riding at the moment.

Thus, based on the quality research, your second waves will not differ by more than ten to fifteen percent from the ones you have dreamt about.

Try to admit that it is not such a big and noticeable difference, especially, if you enjoy the process of your ride and not look out for what big waves your competitors get.

Moreover, you will ride even more second peaks than they do in the end.

many surfers

In order to correctly determine the nature of the ride, you need to know the types of spots.

A spot is a place where there is a rise in water and its formation is caused by a tide. The nature of this phenomenon is determined by the characteristics of the seabed.

A beach-break is a place where waves break against a sandy bottom. On a site with different depths, they bend and collapse towards the shallows.

This creates an opportunity for trainees to ride along a special wall of the second waves.

Beach breaks, such as in the French town of Hossegor, are the best ones for beginners because the sandy bottom is not dangerous when falling.

A feature of such spots is that sand alluviums change their location and this leads to a second change in the nature of the waves.

Peaks are the places where the waves collapse because of their “ride”.

A reef-break is a place with a reef or a pile of stones on the bottom.

A sharp drop in depths creates a high wave with “barrels” and its breakdown occurs later.


The main plus of such second waves is their constancy and predictability of behavior.

The reef is often covered with a sandy embankment and surfers can easily ride to the lineup.

Reef breaks are preferable for skiers but because of the sharp edges of reefs and stones, they are dangerous for them. The examples are Pipeline in Hawaii and the most part of surf spots in Bali.

These classic rides are captured on the best videos about our favorite sport.

A point-break is the name for the longest tides when the swell collides with a barrier protruding from the surface: a cape, like the Irish one, a peninsula such as Cornwall, a stone ridge, or a rock can be examples.

After rounding the obstacles, bends are formed running in a series of ideal shapes that gradually break down over hundreds of meters and they allow you to perform long rides.

The examples are spot Medewi in Bali and Bells Beach in Australia.


Unlike other sports in our industry, there are clear rules regarding priority on the wave rides: only one person can ride the wave. And when the one with the priority is already on the way, no one can start their ride on the same wave.

This is an inviolable rule of surfing behavior and the non-observance of it sometimes leads to serious problems.

For example, more experienced surfers may kick you out of the lineup.

Many beginners, having a little understanding of the rules, just misunderstand the priority rule. More precisely, they interpret it as if it were made up especially for them.

Formally, the second priority rule says that the person who stays closer to the peak of the wave has a priority. But this rule has a lot of limitations.

If at least one of these limitations comes into effect, it does not matter who is closer to this position and who is the second for the ride.

All these limitations should be discussed separately according to the situations. And unfortunately, they are incorrectly interpreted at some schools and courses, if they are spoken about at all.


The lineup is a priority. However, many people do not know or intentionally forget why the lineup is called so.

Once upon a time, when there were not so many surfers in the water, everyone kept their order.

What it looked like: a man who had just ridden the wave, stayed at the end of the line, and waited for everyone else on the lineup to make their second attempt to ride.

That allowed everyone to show their strength without showing aggression on the lineup.

Fortunately, you will often find yourself in places where people are adequate and follow a certain sequence and these second surf sessions will become the most pleasant and positive in life.

Now, when there can be 30-40 people in a queue or even 100-150 people altogether, it’s rather difficult to “queue”.

Though at the same time, no one has canceled the second priority rule and it looks like this: you ride to a lineup (it doesn’t matter whether from the coast or after the first or the second ride), you choose a wave for yourself and you get on a ride on that, very often second, wave.

Before you row on a second roll, you give a chance to a couple or three people to catch this second wave.

It’s clear that you can scoop closer to the wave remaining “in priority” but this does not give you actual benefits. You must wait at least a couple of rolls.

This is the etiquette and it must be followed.

surfers in ocean

The second time you overtake the ocean, pay attention to the people around you and the conditions in which you go on a ride.

Ask yourself if you are satisfied with the main wave and expectations from the ride or whether you’d better go down to the second wave and keep to this principle constantly at large numbers of second waves.

It is very possible that the second variant will become your priority for more than one day.

The main thing is to correctly assess the situation for yourself and understand whether the first or second variant will be better for you.

There is nothing bad to be content with small but stable second things, especially, if it brings you joy and pleasure from what you do.

Of course, telling your friends that you ride on high and strong waves is really cooler than saying that you ride on the common mild second waves but only this way, you improve your skills and achieve the perfect technique for further rides.



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