Do’s & Don’ts for your next surf trip
There’s no better feeling than chasing you dreams, learn to surf, dance on the waves, have fun with friends, and become one with nature. So far everything is good and beautiful. Surfing is no doubt sport of kings who gives us the surfers many essential tools for dealing with life and whatever they may bring along the way. Surfing is gaining momentum in the world and becoming more and more popular and the “surf circle” of core surfers is expanding day by day.
Today, more and more people want to be tanned, fit, everyone wants to know how to catch waves themselves and learn how to surf. As a beginner or experienced surfer, reaching a new surf spot or destination will always be accompanied by a little concern or fear. These feelings are usually arising from the lack of knowledge or lack of familiarity with the water and the environment of crowded line ups. For most of us, it is essential to follow social codes and surfing norms in order to get along and enjoy the journey of surfing.
Here are some highlights to help you deal with getting into surfing, deal with crowded lineups and even enjoy it in the most fun way possible:
Behave as an “easy to digest”, kind and low-profile person
Surfing is taking us to different places around the world, whether it is your home break or alternate exotic destinations. Once you arrive at a foreign place, it is very important to keep rules of conduct. If you choose to “stand out” there is a chance you’ll attract unwanted attantion that could lead to unpleasant situations while surfing.
Choose the most convenient location for you to surf based on your skills
Some surf spots offer steep, fast, strong waves, while others offer smaller, slower waves that break for long distances. It is very important to look at the peak and understand where it will be the perfect point for you to spend your time in the water. Take into consideration the paddling distance and the safest path to paddle out to the peak. It is important to choose an ideal paddling route to the peak that will not endanger or disturb anyone who took off and surfing on a wave. The most common way will be around the peak and not in front of the crowd. A convenient location for surfing is usually the one who won’t be crowded or too close to other surfers or surfing schools.
Don’t drop in on other surfers
As a beginner or experienced surfer, everyone’s goal will be to surf all day and catch as many waves as they can. Everyone wants to catch the same wave, but only one surfer will have the opportunity and the right to enjoy it each time. How do you know who has the priority and when to give up to the surfer next to you? In surfing like in life, it’s always important to honor those around you to get respect. The priority to a wave is always with the surfer who’s positioned the closest to the peak of the wave (the absolute position varies in accordance to the waves direction – left or right).
How to avoid from being dropped?
Every surfer, at one time or another, accidentally or intentionally, will drop in on another surfer. A dangerous situation that is best avoided. As soon as a surfer interrupts his friend on a wave, it can easily become a situation we all would prefer to prevent. Such situations should be prevented using a few important elements: Keep an eye on everyone around you in the water so you can always be aware to your surroundings. Communicate with the surfers around you (saying “Hello” or “Good morning” to those around you will help to start the session with positive vibes).
Don’t be gridy
There are several ‘nicknames’ that will always be directed at surfers who are disrespectful to those around them. “Snaking” – a situation that your friend or surfer realize that the next wave is coming in your direction and you have the right to catch it. The “snake” creates a situation in which he unwittingly bypasses the priority holder and starts paddling to the wave in a way that interferes with the first surfer or blocks him. “Gridy” This nickname will usually be directed to a surfer (even good or professional surfers) who decided to go into a warlike session and take everyone’s waves without respecting the priority rules. Of course, there will be situations where the wave will really be his and he will be in the right place to catch them, but most of the time the gridy will be paddling around the surfers, bypassing and stealing the waves insatiably.
Never release your surfboard
The ocean is part of nature; we cannot control it or even understand what could happen in a few minutes. The ocean can catch us unprepared and it is most likely to happen. The responsibility to prevent unwanted situations from happening while surfing it completely yours. You should not let a session or waves surprise you. Once a large set arrives and catches you unprepared – the default reaction will be to release the surfboard and dive below the wave. Such situations will pose a danger to all nearby surfers – the drag from the wave might break the leash and you board can easily hit one of the surfers around you + you will remain in the impact zone without your flotation. A situation in which a surfer endangers himself and those around him. Conclusion: It is important to be aware of your abilities as surfers, it is important to choose the days (wars) you want to participate in, and it is very important to check the equipment before each surf session.
Paddle wide around the surfers in the peak
It will always be easy to follow the pro surfer who catches all the waves and stick to him, hoping his luck will stick to you and help you catch the next set. Right, it is definitely a useful idea for crowded days where the waves do not come frequently, but it will definitely be the worst idea for every session. A surfer who paddles too close to the breaking point is most likely to get hurt or interrupt others! Got a wave? paddle wide around the peak and look for the deep-water channel in order to make sure you are not in anyone’s way.
As a surfer and a human, wherever you go and wherever you’ll choose to surf, it’s always important to interact with those around you. You can find this tip useful at the bar or the upcoming party you are about to attend. When it comes to the water it’s almost a must do thing. Be kind, smile and do be too shy to say “hi” or “aloha” to other people around you. You won’t believe how fast doors will be opened when you’re nice.
Respect the locals
The locals are the people who grow up in the place, who visit those water every day, who care about the place in case something happens. Long story short, they are there 99% of the time when you’re not. It is important to understand that wherever you go, if it is not your natural place the spotlight is on you. You have to behave in a mature and respectful manner, put your ego aside and give up on situations that are too uncertain or ambiguous.
If you messed up, say sorry ..
Life is imperfect and we all mess up from time to time. It is most to keep calm and assess the situation you are about to get in. The most important and most simple way to act when you messed up is to
ask for forgiveness. Say I’m sorry and make sure everything is good so you can continue to enjoy the session.
Yes, we know the list is long and it’s hard to remember everything and memorize all the rules by heart. No worries – no need!
Slowly over time this text will become part of you, as surfers you will learn to be inspired and satisfied with each surf session. Everything mentioned here are elements that you can’t buy in the store or practice only from reading. If it is important to you as it is important to us that you are on the right path to become a legitimate surfer. Surfers who respect the ethical code of surfing are the only way we could all share the water and surf without fear of fights or misunderstandings.
As Dorean Paskowitz once said: If everyone would surf, there will be no wars.