ADROIT= Having or showing skill, cleverness or resourcefulness in handling situations.
Pack a few extras; water, wax, extra leash, extra string, fin key.
Recon – what is going on out there, is it crowded, what is the ocean doing, which way is the water moving, where is it breaking, is there a rip to help you get out?
Evaluate – How do I feel about it? Is it in my comfort zone? Set a point of reference on the beach so you know how far you drift. Can I swim in if I were to lose my board?
Paddle out where there’s less people even if the break is straight out. Remember surfers go right and left from the break, so if there’s a clump walk down a bit past the last surfer in the group. Paddle ASAP to the line-up. Control your board. Meet the wave with force when turtle-rolling.
Basic priority- Person closest to the peak. Look both ways. Sometimes no clear peak.
Etiquette when crowded – If you just paddled out and a wave comes, be mindful that some may have been sitting there waiting a long time. If you paddle for a wave and miss it- ASAP get out of the impact zone as other surfers are still trying to catch waves. Don’t go right for the next one – it’s someone else’s turn. Same, if you just caught a wave. Take one – Give one.
Awareness in the line-up. Who’s in front, behind, and beside you? It will change often but keep a scan going throughout the session.
Do Unto Others as you would have them do to you. Unless you are a pro, wear a leash.
Respect others– Don’t be a Turd- Turdy activities- Wave Hogs, Back Paddling and snakes. Dealing with this behavior- Make direct statements. “Please don’t back paddle me again… Cut me off again…” It’s just a wave, don’t put yourself or others in danger. Enjoy other folks riding!
Open communication- Are you going Right? Left? Or if you have dibs you can say, “I’ll go right”, giving permission for the other surfer to grab the other side of the wave.
Initiative- Take initiative and don’t be timid. Like when a shortboarder sits right behind you and when you stop short because he is in the way, he turns and guns it. After it happens once, I encourage you to look right at him as you paddle for the wave as though you will run him over. Don’t run him over but look unstable and make them question what you will do. Or you are coming down the wave, clearly up and riding and another surfer begins to paddle into the wave. Whistle or yell, “Hey” until they stop.
Travel- All the above applies but add to it- extra courteousness, stay low-key, don’t show up with a big crowd, stay off the peak and if possible, go with a local.
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