SUP Etiquette for New Surfers

Paddling out in the surf can be intimidating when you’re new to the sport of stand up paddle surfing. But sometimes, it’s not the waves that are the problem. It’s you! Follow these simple guidelines to avoid the cold shoulder in the lineup.

Stand up paddle boards were once feared by many a shortboarder, until those shortboarders gave it a try themselves. Now, may can see the virtue of standing on top of your board out the back, picking off the best waves before anyone else can paddle into them. Watching a SUP go cruising past on all the best waves does tend to get on peoples nerves though, which brings us to Etiquette tip number one.

1: Learn to share!
There’s plenty of waves for everyone. Sharing the stoke of a great day on in the surf is just as much fun as dropping into a sweet wave of your own. Standing up out the back gives you a great vantage point too, so consider letting a few waves roll past for the shortboarders, and give them a hoot if you like what they’re doing.

2: Be mindful of your board size.
That SUP you were standing on a second ago, which is now being flicked backwards by the wave you just got hit by; weights a lot! Combine that with the razor sharp fins, and you have yourself a deadly projectile. Take two things away from this mental image. Wear a leash. Be mindful of who’s paddling out behind you. Consider choosing a wider route when paddling out the back, to let the shortboarders struggle their way out closer to the critical sections.

3: It’s called a lineup for a reason.
If you’re on a point break, or a beachie that has a defined take off point. Get in line and stick to it. Taking off from out the back and snaking shortboarders is very uncool. But what do you do if the takeoff is too fast for your 12ft SUP? Easy. Line up, and when its your turn, paddle out a bit, or go wider. Both give you a softer take off, and keep good vibes coming your way.

4: Even if you take off outside someone, it’s still snaking them!
Many a paddler has been spotted paddling into a wave that a shortboarder is already on. Even if you’re surfing way out on the shoulder – it’s still snaking, and just because you can (ride the wave that far out on the shoulder), doesn't mean you should. Your board is wrecking the wave for the shortboarder by chopping up the water surface and possibly collapsing the lip in front of them.

Know any other great etiquette tips for new stand up paddle surfers? Share them in the Seabreeze Stand Up Paddling forums!