Surfing 101: Etiquette

How to Fit In With the Real Surfers on the Oregon Coast (and Not Get Your Tires Slashed)

Critical surf etiquette, according to Oregon Surf Adventures’ Lauren Algren

By Benjamin Tepler July 24, 2019 Published in the August 2019 issue of Portland Monthly

Image: Jack Dylan

DON'T throw your board. A giant, nine-foot beginner board comes with an equally long leash. That means you’re attached to an 18-foot ball and chain. Hold on to that surfboard!

DO enter carefully. Paddle around the wave, through a side channel, when coming from shore, not straight towards the lineup or the peak—essentially oncoming traffic.

DO know the right-of-way. The person who is closest to the peak of the wave (the place where it’s starting to curl over) has the clear path. Jumping onto a wave someone is already riding, or “dropping in,” is a cardinal sin.

DON'T be a wave hog. Longboarders, with their smooth, stable rides, will have an especially easy time catching set after set. Take turns, especially with the shortboarders doing complicated maneuvering.

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