THE RULES IN PRIORITY FOR SURFING AND BODYBOARDING
Surfing is all about reaching your limits, in contact with nature and it is, of course, a free sport. However, with the popularity of surfing, there are few spots where you can surf as you like. In order to start surfing or simply practice safely, you need to learn more about the priority rules.
Surfing and bodyboarding are well known to be sports that celebrate freedom and independence - however, the beginner surfer should know some rules so they are safe in the water. The aim is to avoid accidents and respect each other's waves. Of course, the most important rule is good manners and courtesy.
RESPECT SWIMMING AREAS
It is strongly discouraged and in some places prohibited to surf with a bodyboard, surfboard or stand up paddleboard in areas reserved for swimmers. These areas are often monitored by lifeguards and are marked by the presence of coloured flags. Avoiding these areas prevents the risk of accidents and injuries.
WHO HAS PRIORITY OVER THE WAVE?
The surfer with the green board who is closest to the spot where the wave breaks, called "peak", is considered to have priority over the surfer with the red board. This priority will be maintained for the length of the wave, other surfers like the one in red must not paddle the same wave.
SIGNAL YOUR DIRECTION ON THE WAVE
When a wave breaks both to the left and to the right, then both surfers have priority. The key is to communicate with each other to indicate your intention to go left or right. The ideal is to signal to other surfers wishing to surf the same wave the side towards which you are heading. Once again, the key words are good manners and courtesy.
When two surfers are surfing towards each other on a wave which breaks inwards, that is to say on the left and on the right, neither of the 2 surfers has the priority. In this case, both surfers are advised to get out of the wave as quickly as possible to avoid the collision and therefore the accident - again, it’s all about manners and courtesy!
HOW TO GET BACK TO THE PEAK SAFELY?
Once you have finished surfing your wave, always paddle around the waves, without disturbing the people still surfing. When the "lines" of waves are long, always pass where the wave is the least hollow (wait until there are no surfers in the way), to avoid any collision and injuries.
FALLING IN THE IMPACT ZONE
If you fall in the "impact zone" (where the waves break), do not try to go straight back out towards the "peak". First wait for the set to pass, staying in the white water while holding your board and then you can go back out to the "peak", paddling around the waves, on the shoulder, as previously explained.
AND WHAT IF I DROP IN ANOTHER SURFER'S WAVE?
If you accidentally take another surfer's wave, it is recommended that you get off the wave as soon as possible - to avoid further risk of a collision, pull off the back of the wave, leaving the face of the wave free to the surfer with priority. When you get back to the peak, apologise clearly and humbly, the atmosphere in the water will immediately get better again. You will often find these priority rules on boards at beach entrances or in surf schools.
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