Posts Tagged ‘Respect’

Surfing Etiquette

During the 1990’s the Isle of Wight Surf Club posted a Suring Etiquette cartoon page in their monthly newsletter. As you can tell from the cartoons there was a rivalry between Surfers and Surf Skiers/Kayakers (or affectionately called Goat Boats by surfers) at the time and it is clearly aimed at them. It is quite a comical take on surfing etiquette but some of it is still relevant today.

The cartoon rules were the brainchild of South African artist and surfer Phil Smuts. They were re-drawn here by IOW Surf Club member Carl Dubois.

1. Don’t Drop In

The surfer closest to the breaking part of the wave has the right of way. Always check your inside. To see you didn’t see anyone is inexcusable. This practice is highly dangerous on critical waves.

2. Don’t Hog Waves

With your greater paddling power you’re able to get far more waves than other surfers. Learn to share the waves and give a few. You will get more respect that way.

3. Maintain Control

Never attempt a manoeuvre when failure will cause you to collide with someone. Uncontrolled manoeuvres impress no one. 360s are dangerous in crowded situations. Use a fin at all times as well as seat belts and if inexperienced, a paddle cord

4. Don’t Paddle Out Thru Break

Go around, it’s safe and won’t spoil someones ride.

5. Be Polite

Trading insults and derogatory remarks only creates unnecessary incidents. Keep your cool and be nice.

6. Don’t Endanger Others

Often when you want to take off someone willbe paddling out and be in your way. Alternatively you can see a critical section ahead where, if you wipe-out you will land on top of someone. YOU MUST NOT PROCEED. Let that wave go and wait for another.

7. Share The Sea

If you want to lose the tag ‘Boatman’ you’ll have to play the game according to surfers’ rules. They were there first, so learn to give more than you get. Organised competitions will allow your ability to grow and you’ll learn to share the waves. Join your local club.

On a more serious note Surfing Etiquette signs are going up at Surf beaches all around the world. With surf equipment from body boards to SUP’s becoming cheaper and more accessible and surfing becoming increasingly popular safety and common sense in the water is starting to become an issue.


France 1991

In 1991 I managed to persuade Stuart Jones and Richard Harvey to do a surf trip to the South of France. At that time Stuart and Ritchie in my opinion were among the best surfers on the Island…..

As is often the way the very next day the swell came up and it was cranking. We were all bleary eyed, very hung over and the waves coming through on the left were some of the best I had ever seen. When two guys started to paddle out we could see it was a good size too. We soon got ourselves together. This was what had come for, so we got into our wetsuits and paddled out…..

The swell lasted nearly all week and it was soon obvious that we were staying at one of the best set ups along the coast as one day a load of pros including Tom Curren, Lisa Anderson, Michael ‘Munga’ Barry, Paul Russell and others turned up with Maurice Cole and a few Surf Photographers to surf our left hander.