It's important to observe the correct etiquette while out surfing, otherwise things will just descend into total chaos. Most of the do's and don'ts here are explained in more details in the articles elsewhere on the site. Do try to stick by these unwritten rules, keep yourself out of trouble, and enjoy your surfing. Also take a look at the surfing rules for related information.
Observe Right of Way:
Learn who has the right of way on the wave, here is the condensed version:
- Furthest out: the surfer that is furthest out or that has been waiting longest
- Furthest inside: the closest surfer to the peak of the breaking wave
- First to feet: the first to feet or first onto the wave
- Communication: the call of "Left!" or "Right!" if the wave is dual-peaking
For those that are visual learners:
Don't Drop In:
Cutting in front of other surfers who are up and riding is a quick way of getting yourself in trouble with the locals. Observe the right of way and you should be fine.
Repeatedly paddling round someone to get into the inside position on a wave is a no-no. Where would we all be if everyone did this?
If you drop in on someone, run over someone, or breach the etiquette and rules in any way, just apologize. It's just plain good manners. We've all done things that we shouldn't have when out surfing, saying sorry goes some way to smoothing things over. (Obviously snaking, dropping in, hogging the waves and running everyone over will probably end in a beating, no matter whether you say sorry each time or not.)
Help other Surfers:
Always aid another surfer in trouble. Surfing can be dangerous and even fatal, look after each other.
Respect the Beach:
Leave only footprints. Don't litter, graffiti, vandalize, or otherwise impact the beach or surroundings.
After all that, let's not forget this one.