As surfers we’re pretty laid back, especially when it comes to our lifestyles. But what many don’t realise is that we do follow our own set of rules, a set that keeps the peace in the line-up and others to stop you embarrassing yourself.
Just like all rules, there are those who either never got the memo and those who love to break them. These surfers have either embraced a life of discord, disrupting the peace or are just complete embarrassments to themselves and the surfing community.
Here’s the seven deadly sins of surfing:
Greed isn’t an attractive quality in any environment and dropping in is definitely not cool under any circumstances. Why people do it? I don’t care. It’s a dangerous habit and it disrupts the peace.
Similarly, surfers who drop in are risking not just their own safety and wellbeing but others too. We may not have a priority like on the WSL, but understanding dropping in is pretty basic… If there’s someone on the wave already or on your inside going for it, it’s taken! So let it go and wait for another one, and there will be another one.
Just because a person isn’t a rig like you, and you know you can out paddle them to the inside when they’re almost there doesn’t mean you should. There’s words for people like you but let’s just settle with snake to keep it PG rated…
There are plenty of waves to go around. Who knows you might even make some friends in the process for a change.
Snaking and dropping in are not ok, so if you can’t help it, get out the water because no one wants you there!
Surfboards make you look “cool”?
This one also applies to the line-up “tanners.”
There’s nothing healthy about a tan and laying on your board in the line-up or next to your board in the sand makes you a fool. Why not try catching a wave? You’ll look cooler for trying to surf over a tan any day of the week. After all, you get a better tan after being dumped a few times making your bikini give you a major wedgy.
Respect the ocean
It’s great when we push ourselves to new and higher limits. But let’s take baby steps to get there. Because diving into the deep end when it comes to surfing is not the best idea. Other surfers in the line-up don’t want to play life guard or fish your body out from the depths. I’m not saying don’t try, just take your time getting to your goal. This way you will not only be able to look after yourself to reach your goals, but you’ll also not embarrass yourself getting there.
Respect is a key element in all successful line ups. If you take note of the locals and let them get a couple of set waves before you swoop in with your cutting edge surfing, you will get their respect. Sharing is caring and you will make friends not enemies. They may even point you out to a few of their favourite breaks if you’re nice to them
Respect goes both ways. As we know local pride can get out of hand at times… But don’t forget, we visit other breaks too!
No one wants a broken nose and no one wants to be responsible for breaking someone else’s nose.
These days everyone wants to be a surfer which is cool, but make sure you learn the basics first. For instance, practice getting under waves before you try and catch one out the back.
I’ve sat at Torquay beach in Victoria countless times and watched the wild west of surfing. Hundreds of learners with no idea bailing under every single wave. After each and every wave at least a dozen people are clenching their heads after receiving a blow.
If you can’t get under the waves don’t go out in waves that size!
Adding additional clothing over your wetty
Adding boardies or t-shirts over wettys is not only a serious fashion crime, but it’s severely embarrassing for all.
Yes, surf school instructors and competitors wear rashys over their wetsuits… but this is not because they want to, it’s so you can identify them in a crowd.
Wetsuits are tight and often revealing, but they keep you warm and everyone is in the same boat. By trying to hide whatever insecurity you may have about your body you become a laughing stock so for your own sake don’t do it!
Do you have a pet surfing peeve I haven’t covered?
I’d love to hear them, so feel free to comment below