Check YOUR behaviour

wingnut2443's picture
wingnut2443 started the topic in Friday, 6 May 2016 at 5:11am

Hey crew,

Two surf events in the last couple of days have me thinking about how our personal approach to respecting others in the surf can either increase or massively decrease the stoke we get from surfing.

Event Number One - I was watching kids getting a surf lesson at Kingscliff, up near the North wall. Lesson underway, all on softboards. A bloke, I assume the kids 'father', brings his son done for a surf - using a fibreglass board, and proceeds to head out in the middle of the other kids. The bloke pushes his son onto a few waves, and it's obvious the kid has no control of the board, just gliding along and going where the wave pushes him. Up until here, it was one kid per wave, but oh no, the bloke pushes his son onto a wave with another kid (who was riding a softboard) and as you'd expect, fibreglass riding kid ploughs straight into the other kid. The bloke was oblivious to the danger. Softboard rider kids mum on the beach, rushes down to check on her son, bloke offers a mild apology. I couldn't help myself, I yelled to the bloke and said, "hey mate, why don't you take your son up the beach a bit - he's got no control and the fibreglass board is dangerous" ... Old mate replies "I don't see any signs to say this area is only for softboards - it was just an accident" ... exchange of words continued, old mate just didn't get the issue of the danger. Made my blood boil that this bloke was teaching his kid to be a total dick - lacking respect for others in the water.

Event Number Two - I was out surfing a peak early, on my own, on a stretch of beach away from known crowds when a bloke walks down, board under arm, looking at waves, conditions, and paddles out in the gutter leading to where I was sitting... I start thinking, OK, it's only the two of us, but, geez, I hope he doesn't start being a dick, wants to sit on this peak. Nope, bloke, sat a bit away from me, pick off a couple of waves and waves back as I offered a 'morning mate'. Eventually we floated close enough to exchange a few words. Turns out, old mate is from WA, Margies region and s doing a trip down the coast from Cooly to Coffs. Stoked with his approach to joining me, I offer a few suggestions of surf spots, places I know that have sand at the moment, options for forecast winds etc ... made me feel great to share a few waves with a bloke that respects others in the water.

wingnut2443's picture
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wingnut2443 Friday, 6 May 2016 at 5:16am

Two totally different events and totally different outcomes all due to the respect shown for others.

Hope your scoring waves heading South my WA surfing buddy :)

The other bloke, well you're just a fuckwit.

dandandan's picture
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dandandan Friday, 6 May 2016 at 8:27am

I'm definitely guilty of being a dick in the second situation - I blame it on growing up surfing in uncrowded areas. If there's a string of beachies at home and only one bloke out, people down here will generally head over to say g'day and the other person is always a little stoked to have his or her chance of being hit by a shark halved haha. I could imagine it'd be different growing up elsewhere though, or on a crowded day.

I had to check my own behaviour recently. I had a crack at a bloke on Instagram who is running boat tours for unnecessarily promoting some quiet corners for his own gain. Him or someone else must have done a bit of stalking around and saw that I had a picture of a wave on FB and said if I can do it so can he. There's a big difference between an unnamed photo on a private FB page, and telling 22k frothing surfers to ditch the Ments and go to spot x with him. But he had a point: I deleted all traces of anything surf related from FB and I'm clawing desperately back up to the moral highground.

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming Friday, 6 May 2016 at 10:18am

I don't have a problem with anyone joining me if im surfing alone, most times i actually like having someone to surf with and it helps mark the take off area, in my experience 99% of surfers are well behaved when its only 2 or 3 guys, its once it get above that that bad behavior normally kicks in, surprisingly I never got injured too bad ad dont think i got injured anyone else....but i do remember the rash wetsuits use to give you on the neck, not sure why we never worse rashies don't even think they existed or maybe we thought we were cool because they looked like hickeys.

It sucks though when more than three guys in group paddle straight out or in Indo when you are surfing a wave alone or with a mate or two and a boat load of surfers from either a charter boat or resort turn up and all paddle out in one go instead of coming out in a slow trickle...not so bad when they all piss off in one go though especially when condition change and the waves get better.

I don't know about the beginner surf thing when i was a grommet learning to surf there was no soft boards (foamies were not cool) and straight after school we would all hit the local popular beach break all trying to show the girls from school swimming in the shore break how good we were and almost running them over in the process.

I must say i am embarrassed that as a grommet we did wear our wetsuit's half down to go into the local shop to get a after surf feed and play space invaders, wasn't a good look then and is even a worse look now, but i guess when you are 13 you have an excuse.

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Sheepdog Friday, 6 May 2016 at 11:33am

The only behavioral problems one has in the boondocks are; no one seeing your waves lol.......... And shark paranoia.... Just one in the ocean makes the odds a little worrying..... Butterfly guts can ruin perfection....

Flawless 3 foot somewhere west of Melbourne......

dandandan's picture
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dandandan Friday, 6 May 2016 at 11:53am

indo-dreaming wrote:
I must say i am embarrassed that as a grommet we did wear our wetsuit's half down to go into the local shop to get a after surf feed and play space invaders, wasn't a good look then and is even a worse look now, but i guess when you are 13 you have an excuse.

I wouldn't feel too bad. I bought a sausage roll from the bakery just last week with my wettie half way down with a down jacket on - driving between spots and I knew if I took my wettie off I wouldn't put it back on. No shame either - it was the best sausage roll I've had in ages.

wingnut2443's picture
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wingnut2443 Friday, 6 May 2016 at 6:47pm

indo-dreaming wrote: ... I don't know about the beginner surf thing when i was a grommet learning to surf there was no soft boards (foamies were not cool) and straight after school we would all hit the local popular beach break all trying to show the girls from school swimming in the shore break how good we were and almost running them over in the process ...

Hahahaaaa ... and how old were ya though? High School age?

Situation per above, kid on softboard was maybe 6, 8 at pinch ... kid on fibreglass about same age. No control, no hope of avoiding a hit in the head (either of them). Just a dickhead fuckwit dad with no clue ...

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wingnut2443 Friday, 6 May 2016 at 7:19pm

indo-dreaming wrote: ... in my experience 99% of surfers are well behaved when its only 2 or 3 guys, its once it get above that that bad behavior normally kicks in ...

Agreed 100%. So true.

I also find the attitude and behavior changes when the "I'm going to be the next surf star" type paddle out. The vibe, energy, whole feel of why we are out there changes instantly. We get a lot of those around here due to the HPC.

Also, if waves are inconsistent. Everyone wants a wave each set then, and if not enough to go around, the inside paddling, subtle hassling starts and then it erupts ... its funny to watch and read the dynamics.

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thermalben Friday, 6 May 2016 at 7:26pm

Nice photo SD, I reckon I know where that is and haven't seen it as well lined up as that before!

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thermalben Friday, 6 May 2016 at 7:28pm

Surfed a mixed bank this morning with a few blokes, later in the session three fellas rocked up at the beach but they fortunately decided to paddle out at another bank down the beach. 

Was pleasantly surprised... Almost every other session I've had lately, they would have paddled straight out to the peak with surfers on it.

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finback Saturday, 7 May 2016 at 7:16am

True story. Peak holiday season on north coast holiday town and two dads pushing their 6 year old sons onto waves. One a local the other a holiday maker. Local kid protests to his dad when he pushes him onto the same wave as the holiday kid. Local dad says to his son " Don't worry mate he is not a local"

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udo Saturday, 7 May 2016 at 7:56am

Newcastle parent / olympic swimming medallist ....pushing 3 groms into waves

Check your behaviour !

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Wharfjunkie Saturday, 7 May 2016 at 8:31pm

finback wrote: True story. Peak holiday season on north coast holiday town and two dads pushing their 6 year old sons onto waves. One a local the other a holiday maker. Local kid protests to his dad when he pushes him onto the same wave as the holiday kid. Local dad says to his son " Don't worry mate he is not a local"

Visiting Dad says to Son don't worry young lad his not a fuckwit but his dad is.

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floyd Sunday, 8 May 2016 at 10:14am

bullshiting in the lineup pisses me off ... no mate that wasn't a barrel ok.

dads calling kids into waves on the shoulder while someone is on the inside isn't good social practice either.

mums or dads loading up the SUV with frothing groms during school holidays ....... school holidays, the little mites should get less time off ....... right i'm starting to sound like a grumpy old man

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toneranger Sunday, 8 May 2016 at 10:13am

ever had the reverse.ya paddle out to a break with a few crew on it and pretty soon you realize you can have any wave u want coz of the gulf in ability.[not trying to be patronizing but some times it happens].anyway here u are calling them into waves because you feel guilty about taking them all.mind u in forty years i could count on my finger someone else calling me in.god,i'm getting too old and soft.

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blindboy Sunday, 8 May 2016 at 12:50pm

toneranger wrote: ever had the reverse.ya paddle out to a break with a few crew on it and pretty soon you realize you can have any wave u want coz of the gulf in ability.[not trying to be patronizing but some times it happens].anyway here u are calling them into waves because you feel guilty about taking them all.mind u in forty years i could count on my finger someone else calling me in.god,i'm getting too old and soft.

If it looks too crowded on first impression it is always worth watching for a while to see the ability level.

wingnut2443's picture
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wingnut2443 Sunday, 8 May 2016 at 3:27pm

thermalben wrote:

Surfed a mixed bank this morning with a few blokes, later in the session three fellas rocked up at the beach but they fortunately decided to paddle out at another bank down the beach. 

Was pleasantly surprised... Almost every other session I've had lately, they would have paddled straight out to the peak with surfers on it.

Maybe the crew on the "mixed bank" have a reputation? There's a crew near here who are known to slash tyres and smash lights if (when) others disrespect the vibe of the lineup. They all live inland a bit (i think) and surf together on remote sections of the local beaches. Funny bunch, shared line ups and peaks with them and never had a problem, but know a a few locals who have come undone.

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Craig Sunday, 8 May 2016 at 3:42pm

Toeranger, totally.

Had plenty of surfs like that at Manly, a lot of people just floating around and unable to read the incoming waves. Some times you do start feeling guilty and then call them in on a couple.

PS great looking lineup SD!

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jesse Sunday, 8 May 2016 at 9:49pm

wingnut2443 wrote:
Agreed 100%. So true.

I also find the attitude and behavior changes when the "I'm going to be the next surf star" type paddle out. The vibe, energy, whole feel of why we are out there changes instantly. We get a lot of those around here due to the HPC.

That bloody HPC bus hey? Heartbreaking seeing that thing in the carpark when you pull up for a surf - 8-10 frothing groms with super paddling powers!

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dandandan Monday, 9 May 2016 at 12:32pm

Craig wrote:

Had plenty of surfs like that at Manly, a lot of people just floating around and unable to read the incoming waves. Some times you do start feeling guilty and then call them in on a couple.

I've had a lot of that lately. The swell has been pretty small here the last few months, so I've had a different problem: capable surfers on shortboards in small weak waves, while I'm on my log.

I'm very conscious of not being the longboarder getting every wave, so I'll let multiple sets go through despite being the only one in position, and I'll make it clear to everybody I'm not going: put my hands in the air, lay on my board, eyeball them and nod and let them know it's theirs etc. And nobody will take them! So eventually I think 'this one is mine' and I'll paddle for it, then every bugger sitting inside decides they want this one too. It's to the point that I'll actually say to people "I'm just going to sit out here but you know, the next one is yours...". Even that doesn't seem to work.

I'm starting to think that being the longboarder who hogs all the waves is better than nobody catching them at all.

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mk1 Monday, 9 May 2016 at 3:08pm

That's cause you only let the shit ones go throw Dan.

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mk1 Monday, 9 May 2016 at 3:44pm

*through.

no-eye-deer's picture
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no-eye-deer Monday, 9 May 2016 at 5:59pm

jesse wrote:
wingnut2443 wrote:
Agreed 100%. So true.

I also find the attitude and behavior changes when the "I'm going to be the next surf star" type paddle out. The vibe, energy, whole feel of why we are out there changes instantly. We get a lot of those around here due to the HPC.

That bloody HPC bus hey? Heartbreaking seeing that thing in the carpark when you pull up for a surf - 8-10 frothing groms with super paddling powers!

That bloody bus! I've lost count the number of times I've been surfing a bank by myself or with a mate only to have the HPC bus show up and send its load of frothing junior pro-wannabes straight out on to the peak I'm on. I once overheard one of the HPC coaches telling half a dozen groms in the carpark to "paddle out and treat it like a heat, catch as many waves as you can in 30 minutes". I can only imagine what that did to the vibe of the line up as half a dozen kids went straight out and paddled for every single wave that came through. I'm just glad I was on the way back to the car at the end of a session when I heard that one.

wingnut2443's picture
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wingnut2443 Tuesday, 10 May 2016 at 2:16am

no-eye-deer wrote:
jesse wrote:
wingnut2443 wrote:
Agreed 100%. So true.

I also find the attitude and behavior changes when the "I'm going to be the next surf star" type paddle out. The vibe, energy, whole feel of why we are out there changes instantly. We get a lot of those around here due to the HPC.

That bloody HPC bus hey? Heartbreaking seeing that thing in the carpark when you pull up for a surf - 8-10 frothing groms with super paddling powers!

That bloody bus! I've lost count the number of times I've been surfing a bank by myself or with a mate only to have the HPC bus show up and send its load of frothing junior pro-wannabes straight out on to the peak I'm on. I once overheard one of the HPC coaches telling half a dozen groms in the carpark to "paddle out and treat it like a heat, catch as many waves as you can in 30 minutes". I can only imagine what that did to the vibe of the line up as half a dozen kids went straight out and paddled for every single wave that came through. I'm just glad I was on the way back to the car at the end of a session when I heard that one.

The busload is a whole other issue.

It's the "I'm shit hot" attitude that continues into every session. Watching them think they're"entitled" to every good wave is hilarious, especially when I'm kooking past 'em on a mini mal!

Now, the bus, simple solution. Just go up to the coach with them and remind them the HPC government funding is subject to ongoing review and renewal. Keep up the shit attitude, sending frothing groups out, the heat strategy bullshit, and you'll find some serious political pressure for decreased funding. Especially since there isn't a single world champion from the HPC program.

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prothero Tuesday, 10 May 2016 at 10:26am

Bus loads of frothing grommets shaken up and let out into the ocean......they are noisy and the little buggers are into every wave,,,changes the surf somewhat.........but then I was a grommet once and ( i cringe remembering this) I dislocated my shoulder the doc cut my short john and put my shoulder back in , then I went and hung around the local shops with my mates with my arm in a sling and my wetty still on !......
........surfing a reef on the south coast about 7 guys out plenty of waves everything cool then 5 guys paddle out together straight on the peak with the I dont give a fuck that you guys have been taking it in turns attitude......nice session became a shit fight.

surf schools and competition surfing are a small part of surfing....and not aways a positive

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wingnut2443 Thursday, 12 May 2016 at 5:41am

OOPS, somehow double posted...

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wingnut2443 Thursday, 12 May 2016 at 5:39am

Surfed with a few dudes yesterday, nothing special, but having shared waves now a few times with this one semi known shaper, muso, pro surfer it was again a contrast in respect. The young up and coming, I'm the next surf star bunch can learn a thing or two from him and his mate.

Taking waves in turn, bit of friendly chat, good vibes and genuine stoke.

Happy to share a peak with a crew like that... Everyone else, well, I've now concluded you need to be pulled into line. So, be warned, there is a growing crew around here who've had enough. Disrespect the vibe, and you will be spoken too. Repeat your behaviour and a few enforcers in this crew are ready to step up.

Do the right thing and all will be cool. Enough is enough.

The difference in fun from good vibes and stoke, to the froth and agro from fuckwits is light and day. Fuck, its time to take the good vibes back!

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hem-stret Friday, 13 May 2016 at 9:38am

I have been laughing at this thread and the all too common smothering that comes with hordes. Ive been juking them but the homing pigeons were rife today. No look paddle out by 6-8 dudes. 2km of beachbreak. Id already gone to the b grade end but not enough. Straight to the inside. Paddle out in the way. Push the lip over. And then tell me they werent any trouble. Ive cruised here for two years working out whos who in the zoo. Not getting a lot of the better set waves but enough. But a surf camp entitles crew and manners go out the window. When i mentioned etiquette they laughed. Whats worse is most of them know it was bad sheeping at best. Even more disappointing they were aussies. If they carry on like this up in the northern countries they will be made very accountable. This is a mellow for now but semi known spot , another one just about to blow!! Aussies are getting a bad rep here. Do i even need to mention the crew last week with cameras and all the glitz....messing up the dunes then walking down nude like the joint was their bathhouse. I guess some people are just unreal. The new norm. I could only imagine the carry on with the clowns in indo etc. I travelled a lot over the years and i was always wary of heavy handed localism but it seems to work better than anything else.

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freeride76 Friday, 13 May 2016 at 9:01am

I surfed a semi-crowded spot yesterday. Waves were pretty good.
I saw zero drop-ins.
Heard zero harsh words.
Going deep and late on one, a bloke who was about to drop in on me (and was probs in a better spot) pulled back and let me have it.
Another bloke called me into a nugget.
two or three times I split the peak with someone by communicating.
Had a nice chat in the carpark with a bloke about surfboard design.

Reflecting on it, thats probs 90% + of the surfs I have around here.

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zenagain Friday, 13 May 2016 at 9:29am

Sounds sweet.

I reckon that's the kind of surf most of would like to have on any given day.

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hem-stret Friday, 13 May 2016 at 9:37am

Last good bunch i surfed with were in tassie. All of freerides mentioned good vibes. Like old south oz. Mix of friendly and unfriendly. I guess some assured old hands who encourage rather than regulate can work but it often loses the vibe quickly when the respected crew move on.

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thermalben Friday, 13 May 2016 at 10:14am

Good craic in the water this morning. Just a handful of blokes, everyone taking turns, hooting into waves. That's what it's all about to me.

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dandandan Friday, 13 May 2016 at 11:52am

A bit of of an over-hyped swell yesterday gave a good chance to observe behaviours in the water. A big swell swung wide of the points, so set waves were about twenty minutes apart with not much in between. This is what I saw...

1) Early birders are kindred spirits, even if we don't speak to each other that much.
2) Younger shredders are wave hogs, until you start a conversation. They tend to fall in line after that.
3) Nobody is teaching the learners about etiquette, surfing or safety. Bloke learning on a longboard, paddling for everything with wildly flailing arms, ended up taking a dumper straight onto the rocks. Entirely clueless, but ten points for frothing so hard.
4) People who've crafted 'lifestyle careers' are always easier to surf with. The guys who knew they had 40 minutes to surf before having to be at work were there most hungry.
5) The happiest times to be in the ocean (based on the hoots and smiles given yesterday) are when you are under 12 and over 60.
6) It's still strange how the presence of a few women, particularly women that can surf well, change how the line up moves around.
7) Surfing is a ridiculous and wonderful way to spend your time, and despite crazy differences between us all, most of us will form friendships quickly while standing half naked in the car park.

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tonybarber Friday, 13 May 2016 at 3:02pm

Good summary there dandandan...