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Who has priority ? Wave manners and Peak rules #1

Surfing is getting more and more popular.  Meaning surf breaks are getting more crowded.  So "Who has Priority ?"


The "simple" explanation is :   THE RIDER CLOSEST TO THE PEAK AND UP FIRST HAS PRIORITY.  Rider A is already standing up and riding and also closest to the breaking curl of the wave.  Rider B is dropping in on the shoulder.


Easy to understand when there are just two riders going the same direction.   Rider B DOES NOT have priority.  He is in the way of rider A.  


Rider A is already coming up from his bottom turn, while rider B is still going down.  Rider A has priority.  


In a pefect world, everyone shows proper manners and etiquette.  They wait in line for their turn.  


But some people DON'T play by the rules.  They cut in line in front of others.  DROPPING IN is the same.  


Things get even more difficult to understand as surf spots have more than two surfers and waves (most times) have a right and a left.


Here IF the longboarder took off, either the rider on the left or right would be dropping in on him.  But the wave is too steep or the longboarder is too inexperienced to go. So he loses priority.  


Sometimes the board you're riding determines where is best to take off.  If you wipe out on the take off too many times,  other surfers will notice that and take priority away from you.   


Also if you SHOULD go Left but chose to go Right instead, you are coming from behind the peak.  Riders may not know you are there. Plus you will probably get hit by the lip anyways if you are not that advanced.  


More worse is when one rider is going Left and the other rider is going Right right into each other.  Who has Priority here ?  Hard to say.  Both riders look like beginners and can't control their boards anyways.  


At a surf break where there is Lessons, surf instructors, Longboards, Shortboards, Locals and Tourist all mixed together, the rules of Priority kind of go out the door.  It's every man (woman) for themselves.  


If you sitting for waves and you know someone is waiting closer to the peak, make sure to check or glance to your side when paddling to see if it's okay to take off.  Here the rider on the red board has "blinders" on.  


He blocks the rider who had priority and makes him straighten out and lose the wave.  Very bad !


Just because you can catch a wave doesn't mean you SHOULD catch the wave.  Wait your turn !


So be aware of your surroundings and who is closers to the peak.  The rider who is up to his feet and closest to the curl has priority ( usually, that is the rule, but we'll explain more next week )


please check out Hope Cheng and Philippine Surf Report on FB to see more. 







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