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Surf etiquette – For the Novice in the Lineup
Surf etiquette – For the Novice in the Lineup
Surf etiquette – For the Novice in the Lineup
Surf etiquette – For the Novice in the Lineup
Surf etiquette – For the Novice in the Lineup
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Surf etiquette – For the Novice in the Lineup

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If you want the best quality water equipment. Earn your salt and check out Original Waterman!

If you want the best quality water equipment. Earn your salt and check out Original Waterman!

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  • 1. Surf etiquette – For the Novice in the Lineup Lets face it, stand-up-paddleboards are in water everywhere, it is an issue that cannot be put aside any longer. The emergence of the modern SUP began when surfers like Laird Hamilton and Dave Kalama brought it mainstream in the early 2000’s, in just over a decade, SUPs have appeared in every lineup across the globe. Unless a little education is given to those folks new to the lineup or those lacking a little common sense, there will be continued resistance from surfers toward SUP’ers until a happy medium is met. Novice SUP’ers who have no idea about basic surfing etiquette, will continue to paddle out on their fresh Costco SUP’s and further give reason for the prohibition of SUPs on all beaches north and south. While stand up paddleboards are looked at with loathing from the die-hard traditional surfers, there are many who convert to SUPs in-order to maximize wave count and stoke in otherwise flat and slow conditions. The issue with SUPs in the lineup has gone to the local governing board to reconsider the long standing US Coast Guard (might want to check facts on this! I don’t think the coastguard got involved with CA beaches.) Vessel rule in Cardiff, San Onofre, Hanalei Bay and many other beaches throughout California and Hawaii. There have been Coast Guard crackdowns in other states as well, requiring all stand-ups to have a lifejacket on board or on the operator. We have all heard the derogatory words used to describe stand up paddlers; sweepers, janitors, oar dorkers, wavehogs, etc. While these comments are aimed at SUPers, you can almost bet that the mouths they are coming out of have
  • 2. never set foot on an SUP. There seems to be an overall consensus that SUP's take over lineups and infect the youth of future generations. A big issue with SUP’ers in the lineup is the general lack of any basic etiquette; this is the root of all evils directed toward standup paddlers. Below are some issues that arise in any lineup where surfers and standup paddle boarders congregate, and some good advise to those who wish to be accepted in a predominately surfer oriented lineup. *Disclaimer* some spots (i.e. locals) do not take kindly to SUP's, (i.e.: Honaloa Bay, Maui) so do your research and find a spot suited to your ability and local acceptance. Know your limits. Beginners are a fact of life. Call them what you will, but don’t forget that you were there once. Like beginner surfers, most of the SUP crowd appears to have missed the memo that you do not go to the best waves around to learn how to surf or standup. A lot of people that have never surfed before see standup paddle boarding in their fitness magazines and cheesy celebrity television shows and think they can have a piece of the action at the best breaks in town. The big difference is the beginner standup paddlers do not realize they are handling a dangerous weapon that could cause serious injury or even death to those wielding it inside the shoreline. SUP boards are quite a bit heavier then traditional surfboards and carry significantly more momentum and danger to the inside surf zone. If you love to stand up paddleboard and know that you are going to be bailing a lot, please do not practice around surfers or inside on a crowded public beach. This could be devastating to
  • 3. those in the line of fire. Crowded lineups are hard enough to navigate with surfers and Joe public on the inside. Surfers and the unsuspecting swimmer or kids don’t need to be dodging small ships in the surf line while enjoying a sunny beach day Wait your turn ~ Just because SUPer’s can catch every wave, doesn’t mean they should. If a skilled SUPer is going to wait out the back for the next big bomb, he/she must keep a sharp eye on the inside to make sure all the surfers have ridden waves before they catch your boom. Respect others in the lineup and remember you the SUPer have 5 times the advantage over any surfers sitting or lying pone on his/her board. Because of the size of board, the flotation advantage and paddle advantage are 5 fold any surfers. Keep in mind, surfers ride relatively smaller boards that do not provide anything close to the floatation of a typical SUP board. Standup paddlers also have a greater visual advantage while in the water. Standup-paddle-boarders are four to six feet higher off the water and can see waves coming long before prone or sitting surfers have even the slightest hint of any incoming set. Try this approach; while realizing your advantage, inform others in the lineup of an incoming set and let them take a few before you make your move. Be vocal and ask permission if you are paddling into a bomb and it looks like other surfers are hungry for the same wave. You might be surprised at the acceptance that is thrown your way if respect is sensed in a crowded point break. You might get snaked a few times, but eventually the rest of the sit-down lineup will realize that you are trying to be respectful and
  • 4. might wave you into a few. Everyone knows you can catch more waves than the traditional surfers, but this doesn’t mean you should. Whether you are surfing or standup paddling, no one likes a wave hog. Stay out of the way of other surfers or beach goers. Any surfer that has surfed a season in Southern California knows the feeling of waiting all day for that one perfect wave just to have it ruined by a bunch of people in your way. This is especially true for standup paddlers. Be conscientious of surfers or swimmer, most know it’s impossible to duck dive a standup board, so move down the beach where waves are to be had with less of a crowd. Know the priority system~ Respect the rotation Please do not expect to paddle out when it’s firing and score wave after wave and expect everyone to be okay with it. Instead read the above rules and be patient. Are you searching for Da Fins? A surfer closest to the breaking wave has priority. The surfer who stands up first typically has priority, but there is a grey area with this rule because of longboards and the recent SUP explosion. The surfer on the wave has priority, so get out of his/her way by any means possible, be sure to look behind you and if you must bail know your surrounding and yell to those in the line of fire if danger in coming their direction. Wait your turn, be respectful, don’t be greedy, or scramble for
  • 5. position and you shouldn’t have any problems at most breaks. Have fun. Use common sense in the water, don’t abuse the stand up advantage, respect each other, relax and have fun. And remember that the best person in the line up is the one having the most fun. Please check out originalwaterman.com for more insights on SUP, Surfing, Lifeguard and all things water related! Earn your salt!

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