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Surf Etiquette - Is It A Social Status!

Sep 16, 2008
Of course, that will vary from one surf location to another. But in general, most surfers will agree on most of the basics.

The beach belongs to no one and everyone. That means, anybody can surf, but not in a way that makes it impossible for others to surf. We've all heard of surf Nazis who push anyone away who isn't part of their gang. Violence is their common method when threats aren't enough. Definitely, not cool.

But there are more peaceful rules, like who surfs first.

The surfer closest to the breaking wave has priority, he or she surfs first. Others wait. That doesn't mean the others have to wait forever. Sometimes they wait until the next wave. Other times, they wait only until that surfer has popped up and caught the wave. Then they in turn can pop-up and catch it, provided they don't interfere with the first surfer. If two surfers can't decide who is on the inside, the surfer who pops up first has priority.

Some waves break both left and right. But surfers can surf across a wave as well as on the front of it. That opens the possibility of collisions. Not fun. That creates the next big rule of surfing etiquette: communicate.

Make eye contact, signal which way you plan to go. Avoid crossing over another surfer's path. No complicated hand moves need to be devised. A simple nod in the direction you plan to head will be recognized by anyone. A shout is ok, but not everyone will speak your language. Do both if there's any doubt.

But to communicate, you have to be alert. These days, on most days, it's rare to surf alone. In fact, it's not a good idea. You should always have a surf buddy to watch your back. But even when (as is usually the case) the other surfers are strangers, you have to watch out for them. You're watching out for rocks, high reefs and jellyfish. This is just one more thing to look out for. Good surfing takes awareness of every thing at every moment. Not easy.

But surfing etiquette goes beyond what happens in the water. Don't kick sand on someone's board when they're waxing. Be aware of how you are carrying your board so you don't injure someone. Simple, common sense rules like that. Easy. Fair. Everyone enjoys the beach and the waves that way.

Eventually, everyone gets to surf about the same amount. There are plenty of waves and, in most places, not too many surfers. The beach is large and the ocean is larger. No need to be rude. No need to push your way to the front of the line. Nature provides plenty of wind and waves, enough to satisfy anyone who is reasonable and fair.

Be cool and you'll be rewarded. Even if others are rude, you'll feel better inside your own skin. That's the ultimate state for any surfer.

Another important matter affecting your safety is the needs to protect your skin. Wear sun protection swim wear each time you are on the beach. After all being safer when having is rewarding later in life with a healthy sin.
About the Author
J Edmond have been working in the sun protection clothing industry for several years. The main aim is to raise awareness of the sun' UV radiation and it's effect on human skin. Click here for more info about sun protection swimwear and UV protective clothing.
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