Surfing etiquette: how to respect the priority rules

One of the most important things when you learn how to surf is to know and respect priorities, which are the base of the surf etiquette. Priority rules are fundamental, for the security of everybody and for a good atmosphere in the line up.
Most accident or conflicts between surfers are generated by a non-respect of priority rules. So please, do not get into the water if you do not understand the following two rules.

1. The closest surfer from the peak has priority to catch the wave.

To be surfed, a wave must break in a specific spot, called “peak”, and continue breaking to the right or left. If two surfers are paddling to catch the same wave, the closest surfer from the peak has priority.

In this case, the surfer on the right side of the picture has priority; the other surfer should not have made his take off.

respetar las prioridades en surfAs in this picture, it will probably happen that you have already made your take off when you realize that other surfer was on the wave. In this case, let the wave as soon as possible to avoid disturbing the other surfer.

como respetar las prioridades en surfIf the wave is an A-Frame style, both surfers have priority, but they need to be skilled enough to know on which they have to go.

surf prioridades


What I am supposed to do if I have priority but someone is trying to catch the wave or have already jumped my wave?

In this case, you must notify the other surfer that he is wrong, usually with “eh –eh –eh”, which are totally international and works is every place in the world. The first two little “eh” should not be aggressive, but from the third, and if the surfer has not let the wave, you can scream with another voice.

Do I always have to respect this rule?

No, like all rules, there are exceptions to the rule:
– If when you see the other surfer paddling, you notice that he is beginner and there is a high probability for him to wipe out, so you can make your takeoff. If he catches the wave, you will have to let the wave, but if he wipe out, the wave is yours.

– If you see that the other surfer is going to fall because the wave closes out, and you are located after the close out area, so you can make your take off.

– If the surfer who has priority has already jumped two of your waves, you can make your take off.

2. The surfer who rides the wave has the priority over all paddling surfers.

Surfers paddling towards the peak must do everything they can to avoid disturbing surfers who are riding a wave. If the configuration of the beach and waves make it possible, paddle to the lineup avoiding the wave area. You will join the lineup faster, with less effort, and will not disturb others surfers.

mundo surf tutoriaes

If this is not possible, and you find yourself in front of a surfer riding a wave, always paddle toward the foam, you will have to duck dive, but will not disturb the other surfer.

You now have no excuses to jump a wave, or to disturb others experienced surfers, share on Facebook, tweeter, google + please! And if you still don´t understand something, just leave your question in the comments!

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