Surfing Etiquette | Surfer’s Code | Who has the right of way?


This guide will teach you the right of way.

Always remember to be respectful in the water.

Wait your turn for waves.

Surfer A is nearer the shoulder and has right of way. B must give way to A. If B does catch the wave he/she is “dropping-in” on surfer A. NEVER DROP IN! Share waves with those waiting longest, furthest out, furthest inside, and closest to peak.

Surfer A has right of way. B must give way to A who has already caught the wave.

Surfer B is not entitled to catch the wave that has already been caught and being ridden by surfer A.

Surfer A, having already caught the wave, has right of way over surfer B. First to their feet on, on the wave.

Surfer B’s progress toward the unbroken wall has halted. Surfer A is then entitled to take-off.

Surfer A, riding in or in front of the white water toward the unbroken shoulder has right of way. Surfer B must not take-off.

Surfer B, attempting to take-off in a broken section of a wave, has no entitlement to the shoulder occupied by surfer A. Surfer B should KOOK OUT and go staight towards the beach.

Surfer B wipes out. Surfer A may ONLY then catch the wave.

Surfer A has right of way on the right hand shoulder while surfer B has right of way on the left hand shoulder. Call out, “left” or “right” as appropriate, communicate.

Where there is a clearly rideable left and right shoulder, surfer B is not entitled to cross under the peak to the shoulder already occupied by surfer A.

Surfer A may cross under the peak to the unoccupied right-hander shoulder. In doing so the left hand shoulder will become available for other surfers to catch.

Both surfers are entitled to take-off and ride the unbroken wave section but neither has right of way over the other one or both must pull off the wave before a collision occurs. Use common sense.

Surfer A, riding the wave, should try to avoid surfer B who is either stationary or paddling out. A has priority and B must try to paddle away so as not to interfere with A.

Surfer B is paddling towards and inside A. This is a ‘Snake’ DO NOT SNAKE!

Surfer B has ducked dived the wave and has thrown the board. NEVER throw your board. If you don’t know where it is, it’s a danger to you and others around you.

Respect the beach, the ocean and other water users.

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