Surfing Etiquette & Rules
Surfing tends to be pretty free form but there are certain accepted rules, mostly based on safety and common sense, that you should adhere to.
These rules apply to body boarders, short and long boarders, surf skiers and kayakers.
1. Always look inside
Before committing yourself to the wave ALWAYS look inside (toward the apex of the wave) to see if someone is already on or about to take off on the wave. If you don't you could be putting yourself and another rider in serious danger because you may cause a collision.
2. Wave ownership
The person closest to the breaking part of the wave has the right of way.
If someone is up and riding, paddling into the wave behind them does not give you the wave. A surfer taking off on one side of a peak does not have right of way over a surfer who has already caught or is riding the other shoulder. This means a surfer cannot cross under the peak to the opposite shoulder and expect right of way if it is already occupied.
A wave rider must try to avoid all other swimmers or surfers.