To become a great surfer, it’s important to not only master the art of riding waves but also understand certain rules and etiquette in the surfing community.

Whether you’re a newbie or an experienced surfer, knowing the dos and don’ts while riding the waves is crucial not only for your own safety but also for the safety of others around you. We have a look at some of the fundamental rules of surfing that every surfer should follow before hitting the water. So, whether you’re heading out for your first surf lesson or just looking to brush up on your surfing skills, keep reading to learn more about the essential rules of surfing.

the rules of surfing etiquette

Lets have a deeper dive on the rules of surfing etiquette:

Good Vibes

Sharing the stoke with other surfers is essential! Whether you get to see someone on an awesome wave or encourage a fellow surfer onto a wave. Everyone enjoys surfing with good vibes. Depending on your company, acknowledgment of an impressive wipe-out doesn’t go amiss!

Right of Way

If another surfer is already on the wave, then do your best to stay out of the way and don’t paddle for that wave. However, do not let this panic you. In the water, it takes awareness from all surfers to try to surf alongside each other.

No Snaking

This is when a surfer consistently paddles around other surfers. It means they either aren’t ‘waiting their turn’ or positioning themselves in a way that always places them in priority. Whether you are a more experienced surfer or beginning your journey this is not the way to behave.

Know the conditions

Checking the forecast and knowing the tides are essential wherever you are. Understand the layout of the beach and any currents or hazards. Always look to surf at a lifeguarded beach. The lifeguards know the beaches they patrol extremely well so don’t be afraid to ask them about the beach. Understand what type of conditions you are comfortable in and able to surf. If you put yourself in a dangerous position, you are also risking the safety of those looking to keep you safe.

Be helpful

Be aware of surfers in the line-up and what is going on. It may be that someone needs some help returning to shore if the conditions are not what they expected, or if they are experiencing some difficulty. Checking in with fellow surfers is never a bad thing.

Respect the environment

As surfers, we have the ultimate playground! Enjoying some of the best backdrops in the world we can all help keep it that way. Picking up litter when you come across it and leaving the beach with everything you arrived with.

Paddling out

As you paddle out don’t head directly for the peak you are surfing, paddle out wide to allow the surfers already in the water the space to enjoy the waves. If another surfer is coming towards you then you look to paddle out behind them so as not to interrupt their rhythm.

The drop in rule

One to cement in the memory. The drop-in rule gives some order in the water. The surfer closest to the peak (the highest point) of the wave has priority, if they are on the wave then leave them to enjoy it. Party waves are great if that is the vibe, just make sure you are not a gate crasher.