The bodyboarder in this photo has the right of way on this wave, and he is getting dropped in on by the other two surfers. They did not yield to him
1. Right of way/dropping in – The most important, and the most common violation of etiquette. It is imperative that you know who has the right of way when paddling for a wave. Rule: The surfer closest to the peak of the wave has the right of way. If you are paddling for a wave and want to go right, down the line, and a surfer on your left is paddling for the same wave, then you must yield to him/her. Make sure to always look both ways down the line when you are paddling for a wave. Bottom line: don’t drop in on a surfer coming towards you.
2. Paddling – When it is crowded, sometimes just paddling can be dangerous. Rule: If a surfer is going down the line on a wave while you’re paddling out to the lineup, paddle behind him/her. Sometimes you have to take a whitewater hit, but it is better than colliding with another surfer. Other times you’re just in the wrong spot. Then, it’s your responsibility to speed paddle and get out of the way however possible. Just remember: don’t ditch your board when paddling out. Surfboards are big, hard and they hurt when you get hit with them. So, always try your hardest to hold onto the board.
3. Beginners don’t paddle into the middle of the lineup – Rule: First-timers or surf school students, avoid the main “pack” out there. Instead, find yourself more room on another part of the beach. Playa Guiones has waves up and down the bay, so head for the less crowded areas. Ultimately, it will benefit you because you will catch more waves and learn faster.
4. Respect the beach and HAVE FUN! – Surfing is fun and that’s why we’re all here right? So, enjoy yourself out there and keep the beach clean!
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