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Understanding The Rules Of Surfing

Before we begin, here are a few surfing basics that you should know to get you started! Respect your fellow surfer and respect the ocean environment. As surfers we are ocean ambassadors and have a strong and real  responsibility to promote the health of our beaches and ocean at all times. We depend on a clean and healthy ocean, so always properly dispose of or recycle any rubbish you may encounter on the beach. Take only photos.. leave only foot prints!!!

At times it probably sounds like surfers have a language all of their own, and in some ways we do! Here are a few key words to help you out

Rules of surfing - Close Out

Surfing Glossary:

  • “closeout” – a wave or a large section of a wave that breaks at the same  time, making it impossible to continue surfing the open face of the wave
  • “deep” – the steepest part of the shoulder closest to the peak of the wave is considered the deepest part of the wave.  Often when a surfer is “too deep” they are unable to drop in and make it to the end of the wave.
  • “down the line” – along the face of the wave
  • “duck dive” – a technique used to paddle out past a breaking wave.  Arms push the nose of the surfboard down while the knee or foot pushes down on the tail as the surfer dips below the passing wave and avoids getting dragged backwards by the whitewash.
  • “face” – the open, unbroken part of a wave
  • “green wave” – an open wave allowing the surfer to surf along the face of the wave, going either left or right parallel with the beach instead of straight towards the beach
  • “inside” – when paddling for a wave, “inside” refers to the person closest to the peak of the wave.  “Inside” also refers to the shallower part of the water closest to shore.
  • “kick out” – to surf out of the wave, ending your ride (also called flicking out)
  • “lineup” – the area where the waves normally begin breaking.  Surfers sit on their boards in the lineup and wait for waves to break.
  • “longboard” – a longer, wider, thicker surfboard.  Longboards catch waves much easier than shortboards but are much harder to control and turn.
  • “left” – a left is a wave that is breaking to the left.  The direction “Left” is used by the surfer when describing the direction of the wave while facing shore.  Therefore, from the beach, a “left” is described as a wave that breaks from left to right.
  • “outside” – when paddling for a wave, “outside” refers to the person further away from the peak of the wave.  “Outside” also refers to the deeper part of the water, where the biggest waves break, further from shore.
  • “peak” – the immediately breaking part of the wave.
  • “right” – a right is a wave that is breaking to the right.  The direction “right” is used by the surfer when describing the direction of the wave while facing shore.  Therefore, from the beach, a “right” is described as a wave that breaks from right to left.
  • “section” – a part of a wave.  When a surfer “makes a section” a surfer is staying in front of a breaking section of the wave.
  • “set wave” – a larger wave (the largest waves usually break in sets of 2,3, or 4)
  • “shortboard” – a shorter, narrower, thinner surfboard.  It is more difficult to catch a wave on a shortboard than it is on a longboard, but a shortboard can be controlled/turned much easier.
  • “shoulder” – the unbroken section of the wave directly next to the peak
  • “turtle roll” – a technique used to paddle a longboard out past a breaking wave.  Longboards are generally too big to duck dive.  With the turtle roll technique the surfer turns upside-down and propels the surfboard (also upside down) through the breaking wave.
  • “whitewash” – the broken white water of a wave moving straight towards shore
  • “Snaking” When someone “snakes” you they are knowingly paddling around you in order to gain right-of-way on a breaking wave that you were already paddling for.
  • “Drop In” Dropping in is taking a wave when another surfer had priority,by doing this they are obstructing or interfering with their right of way.

OK, AND NOW FOR THE RULES!.

As surfing continues to gain popularity and people of all ages and skill levels flock to their local surf spots, it is becoming increasingly important for everyone to understand and practice basic surfing etiquette. In short, surfing etiquette is a set of “rules” or a “code of conduct” that is based on common sense and consideration of others.

Rules of Surfing

These are the main 5  rules and important to know if you are surfing with multiple people in the water.. Learn them.  Know them.  Use them.

Rule #1  –  Don’t Drop In On Another Surfer. (this is surfing’s number one cardinal sin!)

Rule #2  –  The Surfer Closest To The Peak Has Right-Of-Way

Rule #3  –  Paddling Surfer Gives Way To Surfer Riding Wave

Rule #4  –  Don’t Ditch Your Board if it could hit someone         

Rule #5  –  Don’t Be A Snake

Maintain a positive attitude! Surfing should be fun for you and everyone else in the lineup. Respect others and share waves.If you remember these basic pointers and respect the ocean that gives us the gift of surfing, you will be guaranteed a safe and enjoyable surf every time you enter the ocean.

 

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Four Winds, Sandy Cove, Kinsale, Co. Cork, Ireland
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