Like any sport, riding the board does require you follow surfing etiquette. Straight from our favorite surfing website, SurfingHandBook.com, here are some of the rules you need to know.
The surfer closest to the peak of the wave has the right of way. This means if you're paddling to the right and a surfer on your left is also paddling for it, you must yield to him.
Related to Rule #1, this important rule is about yielding a wave to someone if you take off on it at the same time. Never block someone else's ride – not only is it rude, it's dangerous.
Do not paddle in front of someone riding a wave unless you're well, well in front of her. Sometimes you'll just end up in a bad spot and won't be able to paddle behind a surfer. It's your responsibility to speed paddle to get over the wave and out of her way.
This is important, especially when it gets crowded. Always try to maintain control and contact with your board. Surfboards are large, heavy and hard. If you let your board go, you run the risk of knocking someone in the head.
"Snaking" is when a surfer paddles around another surfer in order to position himself to get the right of way for a wave. While not immediately hazardous, it is incredibly annoying. So patiently wait your turn. Wave hogs don't get respect in the water.
If you're a beginner, you should avoid paddling out into the middle of a pack of veteran surfers. They're experienced; you're not. Paddle out to a less crowded beginner break.
Just because you can catch all of the waves, doesn't mean you should. This generally applies to longboarders, kayakers or stand-up paddlers. Since it's easier to catch waves on these watercraft, it becomes tempting to catch them all, leaving nothing for shortboarders on the inside. Give a wave, get a wave.
Don't litter. Simple as that. Pick up your trash, and try to pick up a few pieces of trash before you leave, even if it's not yours.
The locals who live in the residential areas near the beach deserve your respect. Don't speed or drive recklessly.
If you mess up and accidentally interrupt someone else's wave, a quick apology is appreciated and will go a long way to reducing tensions in crowded lineups.
Watch Kulia and her sister Lani surf in Maui, Hawaii.
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