New to surfing? While you need to learn the basics of the sport it is also important to get to grips with surfing etiquette. Don’t worry – it’ll become second nature to you.
We have some fantastic and very simple rules which will help you stay safe to yourself and others.
1. Right of way: Pretty simple; whichever surfer is closest to the peak of the wave has the right of way. If you’re paddling for a right but another surfer on your left is also going for it – you have to let them go first. There are a few exceptions to this rule but that’s for later.
2. Paddling rules: As we said before quite a bit of the etiquette is common sense, and this completely is. NEVER paddle towards someone riding a wave. You have to paddle behind them and take the whitewater hit or just duckdive. If you get stuck in front of someone by accident, paddle away – unless you want to be run over of course.
3. Don't dip in: We’ve had this happen to us a few times and it’s extremely annoying and dangerous. Never, ever be tempted to ride a wave in front of someone already riding it. You’ll ruin the wave for both of you and you’ll more than likely make an enemy.
4. Don't paddle out to a rammed line-up: If you’re a beginner this is one for you! Try to avoid paddling out into a group of surfing veterans. Yeah the beach gets pretty packed but if possible try and get to a less crowded spot to practice in.
5. Don't ditch your board: It’s pretty dangerous especially as beginner boards are big and heavy. If you let your board go, you’ll more than likely clock someone in the head and it’s more painful than it sounds! If you’re paddling out and whitewater is coming towards you it’s tempting to chuck it and dive but really try not to. It’ll make you a better surfer in the end!
Bonus rule: Show respect: Another common sense one, but a happy surfer is a good surfer. Respect the people in the water with you (say sorry when you mess up, stay out the way, recognise who has right of way etc) and respect the beach! Never leave litter strewn about of if you take your dog clean up after it.
If you want to learn more don’t hesitate to contact us, Tynemouth Surf Co or Northside Surf.
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Just remember our quick rules and have a good time!