Surfing is never a solo sport, although you might think so since it’s just you surfing on a board. That means there are a few rules to follow to avoid accidents, arguments and improve everyone’s surfing experience.
You will learn it by surfing and taking surf lessons. Make sure to remember them as those etiquette rules are extremely important for all levels and will follow you wherever you go.
Without further ado, here is the list of unwritten rules for surfing in Lanzarote and the world:
Right of Way
The surfer closest to the peak has the right of way. It’s that simple. If not, the priority order goes as follows:
- Furthest out: the surfer that is furthest out or that has been waiting longest
- Furthest inside: the closest surfer to the peak of the breaking wave
- First to feet: the first to feet or first onto the wave
- Communication: the call of “Left!” or “Right!” if the wave is dual-peaking
If person 1 fails to catch the wave, it will be person 2’s turn and so on.
Dropping in while surfing waves of all levels is a huge DON’T. In most cases it will be only one person surfing a wave (observe the right of way to see who that will be). If you disrespect the right of way and drop in, you can cause injuries, damaged boards and conflicts with other surfers like you, who just want to enjoy the waves.
This becomes especially important during surf season, when tourists meet local surfers.
Patience, there are enough waves for everyone in the lineup. To snake means to paddle between the rest of the lineup trying to get closer to the peak and skip the queue.
This behavior is utterly disrespectful and can be seen easily in any lineup, especially if it’s a crowded one like the ones you will find while surfing in Lanzarote during peak season.
Don’t monopolize the waves
You can hog the waves by paddling furthest outside and catching the waves first every time you reach the lineup, but try not to do it often to give everyone a chance to enjoy the sea.
It might happen that you drop in on someone or break one of the etiquette rules. Don’t worry, you might have realized it too late and can’t do anything about it anymore. In these cases, saying sorry can go a really long way and might keep you out of trouble for a good while. Remember, surfing goes hand in hand with being polite.
Respect the Locals
They have been surfing in that surfing spot every day for the last few years. So, we highly recommend to be patient, not to rush, earn respect from the locals and not to mob the place in large groups.
Learn how to paddle out
Paddling towards the wave is as important as paddling away from it. While paddling out, be mindful of other surfers, don’t get in their way and make sure you observe your surroundings and calculate timings first.
Go to the right surf spot
While surfing in Lanzarote you will be able to choose between dozens of different surf spots. And these surf spots might be some of the best surfing spots of the Canary Islands, but, and there always is a but, make sure you choose a location that fits your experience and surfing level. If you are not an experienced surfer, try places like “Playa de Famara” (Famara beach) or “Playa Blanca”, surf spots in Lanzarote suitable for all levels.
This will help you hone your technique and will guarantee you don’t get in the way of more experienced surfers.
Take care of the beach
Nature is astonishing and we want to keep it that way. Don’t litter, leave only footprints and help collect waste and garbage if you can. This way we can all ensure a better environment for us and for all the people to come.
Follow these few rules and we can guarantee you will be out of any trouble and will enjoy the sea, the waves and the rest of the surfers much much more. And remember, the only thing you need to start surfing is a beginner lesson like the ones we offer at Kaboti Surf. Let’s talk about it and get you catching waves in no time.