Surfing is hostile. Ask any surfer if they have ever experienced some form of hostility while surfing and chances are, they will say yes. It’s a wild game out in the ocean, surfing is not just paddling out, catch a wave or two, then head back home. Some unspoken rules are tougher to crack than the enigma code. No one will sit down with you pre-surf and give you all the do’s and don’ts you learn them through two ways, read about them, or let the old snappy sea locals shout them at you in a fit of rage.
It can get messy, say or do the wrong thing and it can lead to many outcomes from punch ups in and out of the water, being constantly dropped in on, people getting their cars wad (when someone doodles on your car in surf wax), to straight-up being told to “FUCK OFF!”. It’s all good, we are not experts. Through some trial and error, we have learnt a thing or two and will pass our ‘knowledge’ and ‘expertise’ to ensure your not the kook at your local break.
Arriving at the Beach
If you are picturing yourself turning up to your local break, open roof car, surfboards sticking out, and relaxed vibes from the get-go, you’re in for a shock. It’s a tense situation, especially if you are not a local. To ensure you don’t give off the wrong impression and stick out like a sore thumb, here are a few reminders to see you blending in with the crowd.
Don’t Get Into Your Wetsuit at Home
It’s the ultimate kook move. Sadly it happens a lot. Driving in your wetsuit may seem like a quick option to save time, but it’s also a strong statement that lets everyone know you’re inexperienced. Keep it professional, you wouldn’t wear shorts to an interview and the same rule applies here, wetsuits are for the water and for the water only.
Talking all the Talk in the Car Park
You see the posers so many times who may have read an article or two on surfing somewhere on the interweb, rock up with all the gear, and just don’t surf. Instead, they want to just portray being a surfer to fit in. Although it rarely gets called out, other surfers note who’s looking to head into the water. If you are seen just sat in the car parks running your mouth about surfing, you will be frowned upon.
Suiting up Properly
Seriously, you would be amazed at the number of doughnuts not wearing their suit properly. You zip up from the back, not the front. If that is confusing you, don't purchase a chest entry suit for fuck sakes!
Fin Placement and Board Waxing
For those new to surfing, the placement of fins can be potentially confusing. Just make sure they are on the right way. As for putting wax on your board, it goes on the top and not the bottom. Waxing the bottom of the board will affect your board's performance in the water.
There’s nothing more awkward or embarrassing than having a photoshoot pre-surf. Influencers and wannabes, this applies to you. In reality, no one gives a shit and it just screams poser. If you feel the need to get that dream photo carrying your board, staring at the ocean, while the waves break in the background to let everyone know you’re such a swell dude, you shouldn’t be surfing. This is a massive kook move and guaranteed to give a few of the old boys something to laugh at!
We get it, there is a lot to take in and you haven’t even entered the water, yet. This isn’t to humiliate, belittle, or shame those guilty of committing any of the above. This is just a quick guide to help those potentially see the error in their ways and keep it together when out in the water. Most surfers are lenient and can turn a blind eye to some kook moves, but there is always the chance someone could make an example of you. As always, be safe, respectful, and caring to everyone in the water!