SUP Surf Etiquette

As we all know, Paddleboarding has become very popular. You only need to go to Sumner on a Saturday morning to see how many people have taken up the sport.

Before you think about heading out in the surf, you need to know some basic points regarding the surf, which is why we recommend you have a lesson before hitting the surf, for your sake and others around you.

To be fair to surfers, we are big. Anyone who’s been out on their surfboards when a windsurfer has whizzed through the line up will know just how terrifying that can be. And while we might not be sail-powered, our boards are even bigger.

And, unlike windsurfers, which disappear off out to sea every now and again, we’re always there.  And when we get “worked,” which, happens every now and then our boards fly around looking huge and terrifying – and on long leashes, which gives us an even larger ‘kill radius’.

So we have to police ourselves. Obviously, it all starts with proper surf etiquette. Don’t snake people and don’t surf dangerously. On top of that, there are four simple courses of action that are easily followed, don’t hurt, cost nothing and will make a big difference.

Don’t Go There: Avoid crowded line-ups if there’s another option easily available.  If there are multiple peaks, head for the less busy one. If it’s a beach break with lots of peaks, find yourself your own bit of space. Even if the wave isn’t quite as good, you’ll have more fun anyway.

Give Way: Be really conscious around your fair share of waves and don’t take more.  Especially when it comes to the set waves.

Positive Discrimination: Make a point of giving waves to the surfers on occasion. Tell them to go.  Sit out a few sets and watch the action, do a bit of hooting.

Social Skills: Talk to the other surfers. Call the sets. Congratulate a great ride. If you get in anyone’s way, apologise.  Be friendly.  If you get stink-eye in return, don’t bite back – let it go. You tried.

It’s all so easy to do and it’s so well worthwhile if it changes the mood in the line-up.

Remember when everybody hated longboarders? Likewise spongers, goat-boaters, etc. etc. We’re just the latest new addition to the line-up, and in a few years time we’ll be part of the picture if we act considerately.