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Why you should surf

Sarah Kelsey is a lifestyle writer, editor and spokesperson based in Toronto. She was the editor of AOL/The Huffington Post Canada’s StyleList, Style and Living sites. Today, she's a freelancer writing for some of North America’s top pub...

Get fit on the surf

Mainstreamed by Hawaiians and sung about by The Beach Boys, surfing is one of the most physically demanding sports of the summer season. Surfing not only improves cardiovascular and muscular endurance, this popular water sport also boosts lower body and core strength. Isn’t it time to get fit by Hangin' Ten!

Rules of the waves

Like any sport, riding the board does require you follow surfing etiquette. Straight from our favorite surfing website,, here are some of the rules you need to know.

Surfing Rule #1: Right of way

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.

Surfing Rule #2: Don't drop in

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.

Surfing Rule #3: Paddling rules

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.

Surfing Rule #4: Don't ditch your board

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.

Surfing Rule #5: Don't snake

"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.

Surfing Rule #6: Don't be overzealous

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.

Surfing Rule #7: Don't be a wave hog

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.

Surfing Rule #8: Respect the beach

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.

Surfing Rule #9: Drive responsibly

The locals who live in the residential areas near the beach deserve your respect. Don't speed or drive recklessly.

Surfing Rule #10: If you mess up…

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.

Get inspired by talented tween surfers

Amazing surfer girls

Watch Kulia and her sister Lani surf in Maui, Hawaii.

More on surf fitness

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