Local Guide to: Surf Etiquette
If you’re a Benny (out-of-towner) keen to get frothy, take five to read these ten surf do’s and don’ts that’ll have you catching salty beach breaks with the locals in no time.
1. If you’re just starting out or still learning, then stay out of the way of more experienced surfers. Don’t paddle out into the middle of the pack. Learn to surf in quieter, less crowded waters.
2. Be aware of surfers around you and others in the water. Always check surf conditions before you head out and if you’re visiting an unfamiliar spot, ask a local.
3. The surfer riding the wave first has right of way and has priority over the surfer paddling out. Don’t drop in on a surfer already riding, or about to ride a wave – not only will this make you unpopular with the locals, it can be dangerous.
4. If you’re paddling out, make sure you’re well clear of the surfers riding waves. Never paddle in front of someone. When you’re heading back out, paddle around the break.
5. Don’t hog the waves. Even world champs take a moment to chill out on their boards and watch others rip it up too.
6. Stray boards can cause carnage – for you and for other surfers. Hold on to your board, especially when it’s crowded.
7. If you get caught in a rip (a strong current that usually goes straight out to sea) it’s important that you don’t panic. Paddle across the rip (not against it) until you’re clear of it.
8. Don’t drink and surf. Period.
9. Respect the locals and remember that they share a connection with their beach patch and breaks. Make sure you are respectful and leave the beach as pristine as you found it.
10. Surfing etiquette is important. Apologise if you find yourself in the wrong, and have a great time out in the waves.
Find some of the best swimming and surfing beaches here.
Photo credit: Carlin O’Driscoll
Destination Gold Coast