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Etiquette for a surf boat trip

Going on a surf boat trip is one of my favorite ways to travel. When you are on a boat you have everything you need wherever you go. You will always have the right board because your quiver is always with you. You can get to some extremely remote spots and potentially surf with only your friends.

Here are some simple rules of boat trip surf etiquette that come in handy wherever you may travel to:

  • When your boat pulls up to a break and there are already boats there with other surfers, it's best to watch it for a little while & scope the scene.Take some deep breaths and control your frothing. TWO people at a time can paddle over, but NOT your whole boat of surfers at once. Relax, you are on a surf trip and you have all day. This is the perfect opportunity to do some yoga & meditation to get warmed up for your session.

  • You're out surfing and have been waiting for that perfect wave, you are sitting on the peak and you are definitely up. A wave comes to you but you decide it’s not the one you want. With bent elbows lift your arms so the people down the line know right away that they can go for it.

  • Do not Snowball! This happens when you paddle for a wave that someone else is already on. It is extremely important in the tropics where the waves are so perfect that any ripple can change the face of the wave. Snowballing causes the wave to crumble down the line of the surfer and can completely ruin the barrel section.

  • You have one chance: If you paddle for a set wave and last minute you pull back or are unable to get in. Maybe the wave closed out, dropped out, got funky or you simply didn’t have enough umph to get into it. You get ONE chance and you better go on the next wave you paddle for or to the end of the line you go. This is a general rule and it shows that you understand the line up and have good etiquette. There are different views on this but I believe ONE chance is fair. This happens to everyone. Even pros occasionally pull back from waves that don’t shape up properly. Sometimes the only way to know is to get to the ledge of that breaking wave before you make that last minute decision not to go. Choose your waves wisely and DO NOT paddle for everything.

  • You’ve been sitting out the back, you catch that set wave you’ve been waiting for. Please maximize the ride and take the wave as far as possible. DO NOT paddle directly back to the peak! Remember there is a lineup and everyone wants to get a set wave. After each wave, take your time paddling back to the peak, enjoy the moment, find stoke for the others catching good waves. You may even get the opportunity to catch an insider on your way back out. Enjoy the moment, you are on a boat trip in warm water!

  • Communicate - You can make a game where each surfer has a number and when you're #1 you have priority. It rotates through as you catch waves and you eventually will have priority again soon. It’s pretty fun and takes out the stress of jockeying. But everyone out there has to be into the game.

  • Respect others, Surf Happy & find the joy for others when they get good waves.

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