Surf Etiquette: How to treat people in a line-up
Pro surfers don’t have nine-to-five jobs; they set their schedule based on swells, competitions, and training. Surfers can chase a swell in the blink of an eye, follow the forecast just by booking a flight, and catch the best surf no matter where it hits. For those with a desk job, finding the perfect wave takes a lot more effort. We have to complete our monthly to-do list, ask for vacation time off, save money, and cross our fingers hoping the waves will be ready for us when we arrive. If you want to chase and score a perfect swell, booking a flight well in advance is very risky. Of course, most people plan ahead to make surfing work with their schedules.
If you have the chance, your best bet is to book your flight to hit the high season of swells in Central America. Each south swell that comes from the Pacific lights up the coast from Mexico to Panama. These waves come from different directions, with different degrees of difficulty, sizes and winds. Often, these south swells are easily found but not easily predicted. In some places the swell may be epic, but head up the coast a ways and you may be disappointed. Luckily, once you’re here, it’s easy to hop from place to place by car or short flight.
For those of us non-professional surfers, the best solution is to save money by landing in a places that has a solid high season: Puerto Escondido for example. Stay there for a while to increase your chances of having a great surfing session. My suggestion is that when you book this kind of trip, make sure it’s a place that can offer you epic waves and book it during the right season. Like any surf trip, there will be days when the waves are just not firing right. Do a little research before hand to anticipate the forecast and give yourself a better chance to catch perfect swells.
Surfing is a very popular sport – it’s growing fast, with more and more people starting to surf each year. As more travelers become addicted to the adrenaline and culture of the sport, they are traveling further afield to find the best waves no matter what their level of surf experience.
We sometimes forget that when we are entering a new surf spot – even if it’s in our own country – we must respect others, beginners and pros, tourists and locals.
Remember is to respect others: when paddling into the line up, say hello to everyone, be friendly, and know the rules. Every surf spot has mix of tourists and locals, and you can never be sure who is who. One of the first things we teach at Selina Surf Club is to understand the lineup and know your place in the water. Respect is so important, whether you are a beginner or pro. We all know how frustrating it can be when you aren’t catching a lot of waves and many people are paddling around you and hustling in the water for each wave.
Let’s work together to keep positive vibes on the waves!