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LEARNER SURFERS: Do not venture out the back to where the take off zone is, unless you are capable of controlled take offs on a main peak situation. You should not be out in the lineup where more experienced surfers are as it is not only dangerous to yourself, but also to the more experienced surfer especially if you are unable to control your board or manouvres. Utilise the white wash when learning to surf.
To practice take offs out the back, look for a section of beach where you will not interfere or get in the way of other more experienced surfers and do not rely on your legrope or wristrap as a lifesaving device that attaches you to your board. If you can not tread water for 5 mins or swim at least 100 metres comfortably, then you shouldn't be out in the water. As you will need to be able to do this incase your legrope, wristrap snaps and you are sucked out in a rip that may require you to tread water for 5 mins or swim at least 100 metres comfortably.
DON'T DROP IN: The surfer closest to the breaking part of the wave (the inside or the peak) or the first surfer to their feet has the right of way/priority.
Before taking off on a wave make sure no one is on your inside, always check behind you before taking off.
DON'T PADDLE OUT THROUGH THE BREAK: Do not paddle out through the lineup or where the breaking area/impact zone of the waves are. By paddling around the breaking or surfable part of the wave you will not interfere with another surfers ride and will also reduce the risk of getting hit by the surfer on the wave. No one likes having their ride ruined. If you get caught inside, stay in the white water and always paddle around the break or go in and paddle out again.
DON'T HOG THE WAVES: Don't try to catch every single wave that comes through. You will only create animosity amongst the others in the line up and will be seen as a wave pig or hog. If you have the paddling power or a board that allows you to get into the waves a lot earlier remember this, learn to give and you will receive. Share the waves around and learn to give a few to the other crew. Respect gets respect.
KEEP CONTROL OF YOUR EQUIPMENT: Never ever attempt a move,manoeuvre,turn or Arial that will cause you to land or smash into some one else and always keep an eye on crew paddling out. Usually when you are about to take off on a wave someone might be paddling out right in front of you, avoid the hassle or possible injury to you or the other surfer and just wait for another one.
DON'T SNAKE: Don't paddle up inside someone as they are trying to catch the wave. This is known as "snaking" when a surfer who is nowhere near the point of takeoff where the other surfer is taking off, paddles over and tries to steal the wave from the surfer at the peak. "Snaking is a no, no and one that will get you little respect in the lineup. The surfer who has been sitting out the back waiting ages for that boomer while everyone else is on the inside always has the right of way. It's just common sense and courtesy.
GIVE A YELL: If it looks like someone is going to drop in on you, let them know you are on the inside or have right of way by calling out and letting them know you are taking off or already on the wave. Sometimes crew drop in because they think you haven't made the takeoff. A friendly reminder of a shout like "Mine" or "Going right" or "Going left" helps clarify the situation.
CHECK YOUR EQUIPMENT: Always check the state of your equipment. Try and get all the dings (damage) fixed on your surfboard that have fiberglass protruding to avoid damage to yourself and others. Check the back edge of your fins, if they are sharp lightly sand the edge off them with a bit of wet and dry sand paper to dull the sharpness. Nose guards are relatively inexpensive to buy and can save you a lot of time and pain from receiving stiches because of the wound that some surfboard noses can cause. Buy one, their cheap and easy to put on.
SHARE AND RESPECT: Share the ocean, not only with other surfers, but also the marine life which lives in it. Don't practise your competition tactics (if you are a contest surfer) on those who enjoy the surfing for the life style and fun it offers. Leave that form of hassling for contests not free surfing. The sea is there for everyone to use and share.