As summer starts to slowly swing in and winter ends (we actually seeing a boom of “new riders” now due to the pandemic), so we see a boom of people getting into the water and are hearing more reports of how badly some people are behaving (dropping in, getting in the way, and so on). It is really important that everyone sticks to the rules of surfing/bodyboarding so everyone can have a good time. Failure usually leads to frustration, and in many cases drop-ins or getting in the way to collisions and injury!
Here are few guidelines everyone should stick to:
Respect the locals. They’re the people who regularly surf the spot, know the place inside out,
and in many places look after the environment and help in cases of emergency. When car-loads of visitors start turning up at spots it increases the crowd. Four cars are an extra 20 people, this puts pressure on the lineup in a very short time.
Don’t travel in large groups.
Turning up to a spot with eight of your mates provides an instant crowd and puts everyone on the defensive straight away.
If you are in a large group, go surfing in shifts.
If you’re a beginner, don’t go at it like a mad dog, take the time to sit and watch and you’ll pick up some tips from the better bodyboarders or the locals about how to surf the wave (particularly on reefs and points).
Do unto others as you would have done to yourself.
Never drop in.
Never snake the peak.
Never paddle out and try and take every wave that comes through.
Pretty obvious really, but it’s amazing how many people forget.
Don’t get in the way.
It’s amazing how many people will continue to paddle out even though they’re putting themselves directly in the line of oncoming riders, ruining their ride, and increasing the chance of a collision.
If you are caught inside it’s your responsibility to stay out of the riding area.
If you can, paddle out wide of the peak.
If you find yourself stuck inside with a someone hurtling towards you, paddle in the opposite direction, or towards the whitewater. If all else fails, stop, sit up on your board and let the surfer have a clear path to continue his or her ride.
If traveling abroad, learn a bit about the language. You don’t have to have a degree in it, but if you make the effort you could make a new friend.
Give a hoot! If you’re a good surfer you’re probably going to get your fill of waves anyway, so why not give a few nice ones and some encouragement to others?
Always carry plenty of wax.
Most bodyboarders go on the scrounge for wax before they paddle out.
If you’ve got loads in your bag, you’re everybody’s friend!
Be cool and share some shaka’s that always makes the waves and vibes all the better!
Good times only now go surf!