Antonio just got into surfing. Like many newcomers in the surf community, he knows very little about the unwritten rules, safety measures, and basic knowledge that experienced surfers instinctively follow. To help people like him, we at TURTL PROJECT decided to build a list of the do's and don'ts of surfing.
1) Watch your surroundings!
Before catching a wave, you should ensure no one else is already surfing it. In addition to being disrespectful, dropping in a wave with others could endanger you and them.
2) Respect the "right of way"
If you are paddling in the same direction as another surfer, the right of way is always given to the one closest to the wave peak. If two people are at the same distance from the peak and are both paddling for the same wave, then the right of way is given to the one who stands on the board first. General rule of thumb is: If someone is already on the wave, let them enjoy it and catch the next one.
3) Make yourself predictable
Make it obvious for other surfers to understand when you are and aren’t ready to catch the next wave. Being "predictable" is often put as a bad thing, but in this case, it's not. In the water, nothing is more dangerous than unpredictable behavior. If you're paddling close to someone, you should warn them by saying "I'm coming!" or something of the sort. Also, giving clear directions such as "I'm on your left!" is always helpful to a fellow surfer when trying to avoid accidents.
4) Stay out of the way when paddling
If you're paddling from the beach, going in the opposite direction of the waves, make sure you won't become an obstacle for others. Situate yourself and look at the surfers, remembering where they are and predicting where they will be so that you won't stay in their way.
5) Be patient
Being anxious and selfish is one of the most despised behaviors by the surfing community. Let other surfers catch good waves and praise them when they do so. The collectivism of this sport is one of the things that makes it unique, so don't act like the world revolves around you.
6) Don’t ditch your board
Before paddling with others, every beginner must learn how to duck dive or turtle roll, so they won't lose their boards and potentially injure others. If you are separated from your board and it starts hurling towards other people, you will be held accountable for any accidents or injuries it may cause.
7) Respect the beach and the ocean
We love the ocean and the beach just as much as we love surfing. We owe our friendships, memories, and so much more to nature. But, if we want to be able to keep enjoying it, we must help maintain it. You can contribute by making sure you don’t leave any trash behind or even better, leave the beach and ocean better than you found them collecting trash that was already there. Another option is to invest in products and eco-conscious companies that through your support, will be able continue to innovate sustainable solutions.
8) Have FUN!
This step is the easy when you're wearing the right wetsuit and riding the appropriate board. Check out our articles “Wetsuit Thickness Guide” and “How to “Choosing the perfect surfboard” for more tips!
Last but not least make sure to always remember, that the best surfer is always the one who is having the most fun. We wish you, Antonio, and any other newcomers, a warm welcome to our beloved sport! Now get out there and ride some waves!