Before paddling out, it’s imperative that you know the rules of the lineup aka “The Surfers Code”. This will keep everyone in the water safe, including yourself, and overall express a level of respect to the locals.
1. Never ‘snake’ or drop in on someone else’s wave. Be respectful and wait your turn.
2. The right of way is given to the surfer closest to the peak of the wave.
3. When paddling out, be sure to paddle wide (from the breaking wave) to ensure you don’t get caught on the inside. If you are experienced, this shouldn’t matter as you can duck dive (dive under the breaking wave).
4. When taking off on a wave, be sure to communicate with other surfers which direction you are going.
5. Be sure to surf your ability. Therefore, if the waves are too big for your skill level, it is recommended that you don’t paddle out.
6. Don’t let go of your board! It is an extension of yourself out in the water and YOU are responsible for avoiding contact with others. Don’t assume that because you are learning, that it is not a big deal if you find yourself in an accidental collision. This is NOT okay, nor is it respectful.
These rules might be overwhelming at first, but fear not! The Surfers Code is often posted at beaches that are heavily inhabited by surfers. So if one, or all of these rules seem to escape your mind before paddling out, keep an eye out for this sign and refresh your memory! Surf safe!