A Surfer's Bill of Rights -- and Lefts

Whether you're just starting out or logging your 40th year, here's the last word on the best way to behave in the lineup:

1. Pick the right surfing spots for your ability and attitude.

We need to be honest with ourselves about our ability, and our intentions. We also need to recognize that some surf zones are not suited to competitive, skills-oriented behavior.

2. Don't drop in on or snake your fellow surfer.


In other words, do not catch a wave once another surfer has claimed it by being in a deeper or more effective position at take-off.

3. When paddling out to, or within a break, it's your responsibility to stay out of the way of riders on waves.

Once a rider has selected and caught a wave, all other surfers should do their best not to interfere with his or her enjoyment of the wave.

4. Thou shalt learn to take turns.


Hey, we're not alone on this planet, which means sharing the wave-catching opportunities during any given surf session.

5. In any surf session, respect the pre-existing vibe in the lineup

This holds true no matter your status, equipment or ability level.

6. Always aid another surfer in trouble.

But don't put yourself in a situation over your head. Two surfers in need of help are in much worse a state than one.

7. When traveling, thou shalt respect the local surfers and their rights and customs, without forfeiting your own right to a wave.

8. Thou shalt not use your surfing advantages to abuse your fellow surfers.


This includes advantages such as surfboard length, surfing fitness and skill, local knowledge and authority, and (lamest of all) physical aggression and strength.

9. At all times, be responsible for your equipment and respectful of others.

10. Relax and enjoy your surfing and that of your fellow surfer.

It can be done! The presence of others in the water is an ongoing fact of life in lineups worldwide. Accepting this is the key to a healthy, flexible attitude in the water.

More: Beginners Guide to Surfing

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