Author Topic: The Official Unofficial Rules of Surfing  (Read 500 times)

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Offline SeaCliff

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The Official Unofficial Rules of Surfing
« on: May 03, 2010, 08:54:33 PM »
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  • New to surfing or an old salt, this is worth a read and is pretty spot on:


    Unlike other organized sports, surfing doesnít have  a universal rulebook or referee system that enforces everyone to surf  under the same rules (unless you are contest surfing).  There is nothing  that anyone ďhas toĒ understand in order to participate.  In football  you canít play unless you understand the rules like offsides, out of  bounds, illegal hits or that each team has four attempts to get a first  down, etc.  In order to try surfing, all you have to do is buy a board  and try to catch a wave.  There are no official fouls that cause you to  lose yards or sit in the penalty box.  This is what makes surfing unique  and special, but at the same time can make surfing frustrating.

    Iíve compiled a list of things that can be  considered the DONíTs of surfing. You donít want to do  these things while in the lineup because they will either end in you  having a bad session, someone yelling at you, someone sending you in,  someone cracking you over the head, or someone getting hurt.

    - Donít paddle out in conditions you arenít  ready for.  This happens too often and is not only dangerous for the  surfer paddling out, but for the other surfers also.  While it is good  to have that desire to improve and get better at surfing, make sure you  keep things in perspective.  I have personally paddled out and realized  the waves were just too big for me and had to kick my pride and tell my  friend (who was comfortable with the waves that day) that I didnít feel  comfortable and was heading in.  A bit embarrassing, but Iím alive to  surf another day.

    - Donít paddle out with a crew of people.   This is a donít you will want to follow before you are even in the  water.  A crew is an unpleasant site for those who are already in the  water. Imagine you are out having a great time and you look to shore  and see a crew of 4-8 guys about to flood the lineup.  If you paddle out  with a crew you are automatically putting a sour taste in everyoneís  mouth and no matter how good you surf or how respectful you are, they arenít going to like you.

    - Donít disrespect the locals.  Love it or  hate it, locals deserve respect in the lineup.  If you like to play  basketball, would you drive to a basketball court across town and just  start demanding to play?  No.  Surfing is no different. If  you are new to a lineup, take some time to get a feel for the wave and  the crowd and earn your spot at the peak.  You should start by surfing  the shoulder for a while. There is nothing worse then a  random guy coming out and acting like he owns the place.

    - Donít drop in on other surfers.  This is  hopefully an obvious ďdonítĒ.  If someone has caught a wave and you are  paddling for it, stop paddling and wait for the next one.  Never drop in on another surfer.  This will keep both you and others safe.  If you  drop in on others you are bound to get yelled at, sent in, or beat up.   Many times you will get all three.

    - Donít take all the waves.  It is not ok to  catch a wave, paddle right back out to the inside of the pack and take  the next good wave.  A pack of surfers in the lineup is like the DMV.   There is a lot of diversity and you have to pretend that everyone has  taken a number. Sharing the waves will allow you and everyone else to  have a much more enjoyable session.

    - Donít get in the way.  If you just caught a  wave and are paddling back out and another surfer on a wave is coming  towards you, it is your job to get out of the way.  If you canít get far  enough down the shoulder you may have to paddle to the inside, straight  at the white water.  Although this isnít a favorable decision, it is  the right one.

    - Donít make a ton of noise in the water.   Yes, surfers want to have fun while they surf, but nobody wants to hear  that one guy who is super loud and annoying throughout the session.   There is nothing wrong with a hoot for a buddy getting barreled or  smashing the lip, but donít be a barney making a ton of noise throughout  your session. 

    - Donít let go of or ditch your board when  duck diving waves. This is extremely important. If  you have to let go or ditch your board while duck diving, you are out  in conditions too big and shouldnít be out there. This is  an automatic way for other surfers to gauge your ability.

    If  you do this you will be yelled at and sent it. Guaranteed.  It is very dangerous because once let go of your board it flings  towards other surfers and can cause serious damage. 

    In all, these rules of surfing will help you  enjoy your session more and keep you safe.

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