SAFE RIDING CULTURE
This article is mainly for beginners, but I advise you to re-read it to surfers with experience in order to refresh your knowledge about the cultural aspect of your favorite sport. Surf etiquette is an important component of surfing, a base that everyone needs to know. There are many articles on this subject, but the trouble is that if you basically don’t know that such a concept exists, it wouldn’t occur to you to google something like “surfing rule”, it’s not football, it seems that everything is intuitive understandably.
I like the phrase “Safe Skating Culture”, because it accurately reflects the essence. Firstly, these rules were invented in order to make surfing safe, and secondly, we are civilized people, and surfers, like any other community of people, have their own standards of behavior.
So, below I will list the basic rules of surf etiquette and explain why they exist both in terms of security and in terms of mutual respect. Remember.
One wave – one surfer
In the old days, when surfing existed only in Hawaii and took its first steps into the big world, skiing was straightforward. Surfers on long, clumsy boards, the whole crowd raked into one wave, drove straight or slightly to the side, no one interfered with anyone. One sheer fun. But over time, the boards became easier and more maneuverable (for more details, see the article “A Brief History of the Surfboard Evolution”), and surfers wanted to ride more extreme. For aggressive maneuvers, and especially for short boards, a fairly narrow part of the wave, called the Critical Section, is suitable. Several riders on it fit with difficulty, and active turns suggest the need for space for maneuvers. Therefore, surfers decided that it was more profitable to ride one person on a wave – so as not to interfere with each other and not create a danger of a collision.
How to choose whose wave it is? It was decided this way – the priority for the surfer with the potentially longest passage. In other words, the one who is closer to the peak of the wave, the place where it begins to close. If this is the left wave, then the one who sits to the right of all. If the right – at the one to the left. If someone rides along the wave, and another surfer starts in front of him, cutting the trajectory, this is called Drop and is considered the biggest sin.
Dropping is very dangerous, because the surfer who is traveling along the wave has already gained speed, plus it is closer to the peak, where the wave pushes the board more strongly, which means that it has higher acceleration than the one starting in the opposite direction. Even if a dropping surfer can immediately turn onto the wall, the first one will catch up with him according to the simple laws of physics. The potential danger of a collision is great, and these are damaged boards and bodies.
From an ethical point of view, dropping is also ugly, because in this way you deprive the surfer of the opportunity to freely maneuver on the wave, or, more simply put, break off his buzz. Of course, when friends ride together, sometimes they take the same wave, but agreeing on it in advance. In the people it is called Party Wave – Wave Party.
In addition, if someone has been waiting for a wave for a long time, you can skip it. This often happens with newcomers who are afraid to swim at the very peak, as a result, they sit on the side and never appear in priority. Not to be greedy is a good habit not only at the table, but also in the ocean. If you just left a good wave from the peak, do not immediately return to the priority position, sit a bit from the edge, and let others leave along the wave.
Also, do not be cunning. If the surfer sits not in priority, but at the last moment swallows the second from the bottom to get closer to the peak, this is called Snake (Snake. The name refers more to the trajectory than to the motive, but it’s still a cold-blooded snake receiver.) The danger is that you don’t have time to get right under the start of another surfer, but more importantly, this is meanness. At competitions, a snake is punished by taking half of the points for the best wave.
This is not a very common situation, so I did not find a photo or video, the scheme of what is happening is this.
Don’t be in the way of other surfers
Thanks to the films, surfing is shrouded in a halo of romance: in the surfer’s fantasies there is only him and the wave. In reality, there are dozens of other people who also want to ride. In addition to not dropping, it is also important to try not to interfere with the one who rides. To do this, you need to constantly monitor what is happening around and not be on the potential path of travel. An experienced surfer may go around you, but he will be unhappy. Inexperienced can get confused and crash.
After your wave, you need to return to the lineup via the channel. (A channel is a flow into the ocean, which is away from the collapse of waves. For more details, see the article “Reverse currents.”) Usually, when you pass a wave to the end, then you find yourself in a channel and everything is simple, but if you fell somewhere halfway, you must swim first to the side to the channel, and only then up to the start area. This is logical from the point of view of energy consumption: breaking apart you will only waste your strength overcoming closing waves, and in a roundabout way the reverse flow itself will help you to swim out.