Basic Rules Of Surfing and Best Surf Tips For All
Just like any other sports have rules that everybody should follow while learning, and continue to follow even as an intermediate or advanced surfer we bring you the Basic Rules of Surfing and Best Surf Tips to better prepare you. Everybody started the same way and everyone was not a pro surfer from the first time they started. It is impossible to just be good; you have to go through the process of learning slowly and improving over time. Yes, some are more athletic than others.
As you learn these basic rules of surfing and surf tips you should follow them every day you plan on paddling out. In a quick run through you will need to focus on the priority of the surfer paddling for the wave, holding down your board, duck diving, turtle diving, the rips, controlled beaches, staying in your comfort zone, great conditions, lots of sunscreen, no alcohol, being aware, eating some food, be respectful, courteous, surf with a buddy, always warm up before surfing, being safe, and most important….having fun! There is also a surfing etiquette which covers the right of way, how to paddle out to the lineup, and how to stay safe at all times.
Basic rules of surfing and best surf tips break down
Let’s go over the rules of surfing one by one so you can have a better understanding of each one individually and you will see that it is not that hard to follow and make surfing a lot more fun. When everyone in the lineup, follow these rules so it can make all surfers safe and a more fun and welcoming environment for everyone.
How Are The Surf conditions?
Making sure the surf is safe at the beach you want to go out is the best way to have a fun surf session. When surfing an unfamiliar spot, make sure to get some advice from the locals and maybe even following them to the lineup is a good idea. When learning how to surf, look around at where the surfers are and where the surfers around the same level as you are placed. Is it raining, Lightning, or Thundering? It might not be a good idea to surf in those conditions, the risks of you getting struck by lightning in the ocean is very high. There will not be any good visibility, and big fish such as sharks can use that to their advantage since they have an acute sense of smell and a very sensitive olfactory system.
Another thing is to avoid surfing at dawn and dusk especially when nobody else is surfing. Lastly, make sure the waves aren’t too big for you, and you will be able to handle it. The waves always look smaller when you are standing on the sand looking at them versus on the line up with the other surfers.
Rips are dangerous currents that suck out everything from shore and close to shore into the deep ocean and far away from land. A rip can be recognized with sand washing up to the surface, where the waves are not breaking and will have a channel that I’ll go far away from the shore and waves. If ever stuck in a rip, remember not to panic and staying on top of your board (this is your floatation device, do not let it go).
Never swim or paddle against the current, always paddle to any side until you are out and where the waves are breaking better. A lot of surfers also use rips to their advantage to paddle out to the lineup, it makes it easy since the current is taking them out and the waves are not breaking. Once in the lineup, they paddle to any side to get out of the rip and be in a safe zone. As long as you understand how rips work, there is no need for concern.
Currents and Drifts
Be aware of the currents and drifts. To determine that look in which directions the water is going. Is it going towards the south or the north? If it goes south, paddle out a little bit more north so you can have a longer session all the way down. Vise verse if the drift is going north, start south. Currents will take everything along the way and you will go with it if stuck in one. Just like rips, if stuck in one paddle to the sides of it.
Always wear sunscreen when surfing. Even if the weather doesn’t look the best, trust me you will get burnt even on overcast days! Most surfers use a type of zinc sunscreen on their face so that it doesn’t run in their eyes. Also if you are not wearing a wetsuit, it is a good idea to wear a UV-proof rash guard for your protection of UV light rays.
For those who have been surfing for a while now, they are aware of how strong the sun can be with the reflection of UV light hitting the water. Make sure that you do not add too much to your belly as this will make the board very slippery and hard to stay up. It will be like playing in a bounce house with baby oil!
Guarded Beaches and Areas
If you are surfing at a guarded beach where lifeguards are present, make sure you know where the surfing area is and where it ends as well. In Australia, never surf in between the red and yellow flags; it’s a swimming area. In America, look for the yellow flags with a black ball in the middle (black ball flag), when these are up you are not allowed to surf in between them for a certain period of time.
For more information on where to surf exactly, ask a lifeguard on the beach and they will let you know where you can and cannot surf. Take note of where you are allowed to surf and make sure to stick to it when you are out in the water. And if you get out of the area set, go in and walk over to where you started.
Crush Some Food
Just like any other physical activity, especially like surfing; do not paddle out for at least 45 minutes after you have eaten. It will make it very easy for you to get a cramp and impact the ability of you surfing that day. Remember if you crush too much food, you will be laying on your belly for a long time and that is very uncomfortable.
Surfing under the influence is not the best idea. Surfing after drinking can also increase the chances of risks when surfing, such as drowning, losing consciousness, and so on. Save it for after your surf session and then you can tell how many barrels you got that day and not how many times you hurled on your surfboard.
Bring A Friend Surfing
Just like diving, you do not want to go surfing by yourself, always have a buddy with you. Not only will it be a lot more fun to share waves with a friend but there will also be somebody there in case of an emergency and they will be able to help you out.
Get Your Surf Fitness On
Make sure that you are physically fit to surf and that you work on surf specific workouts. On flat days you can go to the swimming pool and do some laps. You must be able to swim to shore if you lose your board after an exhausting session where the waves are overhead. If you also have a longboard, on flat days you can work on in and out paddles for about 100 yards out from shore and back.
Before going out into the water, you should do a quick warm up and stretches to get you ready. This will reduce the chances of you getting a cramp and potentially pulling a muscle while surfing. It will also give you more time to analyze the rips, conditions and where the best spot to paddle out are.
Stay In Your Comfort Zone
Always remember to surf in waves that you are comfortable with. Don’t try to impress your friends or the local girl at the beach. Don’t let it be too much and then panic and put yourself and others in danger. When you are in doubt, then stay out!
Be Aware Of Your Surrounding
Be aware of the surfers around where you are surfing, and potential hazards in the water. While learning how to surf, it is easy to drift to areas that you did not paddle out for and not made for your abilities. Look back at the beach often to see how far you are from where you paddled out and if it’s out of the area you had set for yourself to be, make sure to paddle back to where you initially planned on surfing. If you have a hard time paddling back, go in and walk back. Remember to be aware of the other surfers surfing as well; being friendly to everybody will help too.
Priority On A Wave
Always make sure you are not stealing somebody wave. Priority simply means who caught the wave first or who is the in the best position to catch the wave. Somebody will have priority when they are closest to the breaking wave (whitewater). In the image above, as you are looking at it, the surfers to our left has priority.
Another way would be that if you see somebody on the wave already, they have priority and you will have to wait for the next one. Somebody that does not follow this simple rule will be in great chances of getting hurt and will be in trouble with the person who had priority. No one likes to be cut odd in surfing, so please pay attention.
Holding or Throwing Your Surfboard?
It is very important to be able to recognize when to hold on to your surfboard or when to let go of it. If you are paddling out, you should hold on to your surfboard despite the temptation of ditching it and diving under the wave. By keeping your board and holding on to it, you will be able to get out in the lineup faster and will not put anyone at risk paddling behind you. If you are about to fall, or a surfer call wipeout; ditch your board and jump in the water. You are way more likely to get an injury if you are on your board.
Now that you know the Basic Rules of Surfing and Best Surf Tips and what to look for; you are ready to go out and have an awesome session! Just remember one special tip… safety first.