When it comes to surfing, there’s much more to it than taking some lessons and buying the gear. Surfers live by a specific code, and if you don’t follow it, let’s just say you won’t be the favorite newbie in the ocean.
These ‘rules’ benefit everyone from beginners to pro’s; it’s important that you use these as a guide to ensure that you have the best surfing experience.
When you’ve graduated from your surfing lessons, before you place your board in the water, read the surfer’s code below.
Get Familiar With The Lingo
One of the first things that you want to do as a surfer is to become familiar with the language. There are loads of different surfing terms, and if you haven’t done your studying, you might find it hard to understand what on earth your fellow surfers are saying.
Know Your Limits
When you get to the beach, however tempting it is to get yourself out there, first remember your limits. If you’re new to surfing, chances are you won’t be entirely familiar with the technicalities of surfing and the ocean. A pro surfer can look at the water and tell what type of current and waves are out there. At first, you may find studying the ocean difficult, so make sure that you spend some time practicing.
Don’t paddle out until you’ve determined what type of water you’re dealing with. If you’re not confident in your techniques yet, don’t risk it if the water looks dangerous. You’re not only putting yourself in danger but also the other surfers in the ocean. At popular surfing destinations, there should be a few locals that you can chat to if you want some advice.
Paddling Out Safely
Only paddle out when you feel comfortable. It’s also important for you to know how to paddle out correctly – always paddle out around the wave and not through the middle. If there’s already a surfer on the wave, and you don’t go around the peak, you’re going to collide with them, and they certainly won’t be happy.
Keep Your Board Under Control
It’s imperative that you keep your board under control to avoid putting other surfers at risk. Never bail; this means don’t let go of your board. If you were to release your board without taking in your surroundings, there could be someone behind you and the board could cause them to get injured.
Looking Both Ways
When it finally seems like it’s your turn to catch a wave, don’t let your adrenaline take over. Stay focused and look both ways before you paddle to catch the wave. If you notice that a surfer is already standing and they’re close to the break, this individual has the right of way. You don’t want to get labeled as a ‘drop in,’ so if you do happen to go for a wave and someone is already ahead of you, drop out immediately.
Don’t Hog The Waves
No one likes a wave hog, so don’t let yourself become one. If you want to enjoy your surfing experiences, you need to show others respect. It might get tempting to catch every wave that you can, but you need to let everyone have an opportunity by appreciating the fair rotation system.
Know How To Paddle Out After A Wave
If you’ve just ridden a wave, when you paddle back out, watch where you’re paddling. Don’t get in the way of others surfers; if you end up in their line, expect to be surfed over. You’ll also most likely spoil their wave so you might experience some hostility.
Being a part of the surfing community is great, but if you don’t follow the rules, you might not get accepted. Show respect, and you’ll get respect.