Just a reminder to all those surfing for the first time - whether you are old or young, the rules are the same, and use your eyes...



Don't try to catch every single wave that comes through. You will only create animosity amongst the others in the line up and will be seen as a wave pig or hog. If you have the paddling power or a board that allows you to get into the waves a lot earlier remember this, learn to give and you will receive. Share the waves around and learn to give a few to the other crew. Respect gets respect.


Share the ocean, not only with other surfers, but also the marine life which lives in it. Don't practice your competition tactics (if you are a contest surfer) on those who enjoy the surfing for the life style and fun it offers. Leave that form of hassling for contests - not free surfing. The sea is there for everyone to use and share!


Snaking is achieved when a surfer deliberately paddles inside of a surfer who would normally have priority. It's a thin line between paddling for position and deliberately snaking someone. If a surfer for instance took off deeper on a longboard and was up and riding early and you then caught the wave further inside as it reformed and shouted him off, then this would be considered 'snaking'. You might also sit tight until the last second and then paddle across someone who is paddling for a wave and take off deeper thus claiming priority. These are all considered to be 'snaking'.


Do not paddle in front of a surfer who is up and riding or across their path which normally involves paddling for the shoulder or unbroken part of the wave. This can not only ruin the surfers ride but can also put both of you in danger. If you paddle for the shoulder and don't make it in time then you could end up being run over and injured by the fins or nose of the board.


  • Always study the lineup before you paddle out. If the conditions are beyond your abilities, go somewhere else or surf another day.
  • Whenever possible, paddle around the lineup, not through it.
  • Beginners/novices should stay off-to-the-side of the crowd, observe, and only attempt to catch waves that pass through unridden.
  • If a collision between a paddler and a rider looks imminent, paddlers should “keep their line” and let the rider be the one to take evasive action.
  • Try your best not to be a wave hog – wait your turn, and avoid the temptation to back paddle (‘cutting in line’ by paddling around a surfer and dropping in behind).
  • Unless the threat of injury is a distinct possibility, never ditch (abandon) your board.
  • Unless previously agreed to, it’s one surfer per wave, or two surfers per two-way peak.
  • In general, first surfer up, closest to the curl, has the right of way.
  • If you inadvertently drop-in on someone, immediately and safely exit the wave.
  • If you lose your board, you are responsible for it. This includes any surfboard damage or injury that may result.
  • Don’t be a fool. Apologize if you drop-in on someone. Explain firmly yet kindly when an unknowing novice breaches etiquette. Do your best to share. Help other surfers in trouble. Always pick up your trash.