Who has right of way?

OllieB's picture
OllieB started the topic in Thursday, 11 Jan 2018 at 8:19am

Little surf etiquette question regards who has right of way in the below situation:

Wave is breaking right, I'm furthest inside, therefore, have position for the wave.

Surfer to my right, but slightly further inside also paddles for wave and gets to their feet before me.

I watch him race off and break the wave I was about to become a massive disappointment to...

This has happened a fair few times to me recently - I'm an ok surfer, who likes to take a little extra time when gliding into a wave.


thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Thursday, 11 Jan 2018 at 10:11am

He's to your right, but further inside? 

Don't you mean he's further outside? Is this from the perspective of paddling for the wave?

If it's a case of 'he who gets to his feet first', then it depends on the kind of wave. Most normal breaks would have the surfer closest to the breaking part of the wave as having priority. 

But, some waves - like Middleton in South Oz, which can sometimes allow surfers (particularly longboarders) to pick up the wave much further out the back before the wave technically stands up and breaks - well then it's a little more ambiguous. Even if they're further 'outside' (further away from the breaking part of the wave, as soon as it did break), there'd be occasions when the bloke up to his feet first would have priority.

But in general, as long as the person furtherst inside/closest to the whitewater hasn't snaked his position, he'd have priority.