Surfing Rules & Etiquette


surf spots in the iconic style of the National Parks posters.

You can find all sorts of lists that go on and on about surfing rules, but at its core it really just boils down to 3 things:

  • Be aware.
  • Be respectful.
  • Use common sense.

That’s it – if you can do those 3 things, chances are you’re going to have a good time in the water no matter where you’re surfing.

For the Wave Arcade take on the rules of surfing and surf etiquette, here you go:

  • Know Your Limits: Surfing in conditions that are way out of your experience and skill level will put yourself and others in danger.
  • Respect the Right of Way: The surfer closest to the peak has priority. Get to know how a wave breaks and where you should be taking off. Communicate your intentions so others can split the peak if possible.
  • Don’t drop in: If someone is deeper than you or already surfing the wave, don’t drop it.
  • Don’t snake: Snaking is when you deliberately paddle deeper than another surfer who was in position and is already paddling for a wave and take off.
  • Avoid paddling in front of a surfer’s line: When you’re paddling out, try to take a wide route to avoid going in front of a surfer on the wave. If the space doesn’t allow for that, paddle behind the surfer towards the whitewater rather that trying to beat them to get over the shoulder.
  • Don’t ditch your board: Hold onto your board at all times. If you wipe out, get control of your board as quickly as possible.
  • Don’t be a dick: Be respectful of others, share waves, and don’t be an asshole.
  • Stay calm, have fun, and enjoy.