SUP Surfing etiquette


Surf etiquette for us SUP Surfers is something that we should all be paying a bit more attention to as it seems that even though we may not know each other in the line up the assumption from team prone is that we are all related, crazy but true.

With the ever-increasing amount of SUP Surfers, which is great to see, team prone are pretty much giving any SUP surfer heading out to the waves that look of “o here we go, hogging waves, going to get whacked by a board etc”. I am not preaching here by any means I just can only pass on what I am seeing that I hope can make that little difference that will make it all good for the future.
Take time to scope out where the channels are and where Surfers aren’t congregating.

DO NOT head directly to the take off zone as you’re getting in the way of other riders.

DO head out through the empty zones via channels and away from the crowd.
Have a little paddle up and down and scope out where the sets are coming through, who is where, who is fluffing take off`s etc.

This is also giving you the 15 minutes or so needed to dial into the days condition without making a complete arse of yourself.

This is also a nice and more friendly approach to the line up.



  • For sure team prone are keeping an eye on you so pick a wave on the outside that no one is going for as is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate your ability.
  • If you fluff it no prob just hang back for another 10 min`s or so as you know you can do better!
  • Next wave your on it and now the surfers will see you are in control – job done.
  • Head in for the better waves.


From the “tower” we have a huge vantage point as can see whats coming from quite away off.


You see a set coming and you start to paddle towards surfers that have been waiting patiently. Remember sets tend to come in 3 or 4 waves.

  • DONT – Paddle directly in front or “snake” around a surfer who has been sat patiently to get a better position in front of him or her and sneak a wave.
  • DO – Choose your spot and position yourself between surfers or slightly further out but still with the same gap / courtesy.
  • Wave 1 – Surfers are now making their move, paddling to the shoulder for right of way and off they go = fine, one less in the queue!
  • Wave 2 – You have now moved up the queue and are now better positioned to take the 3rd or 4th wave will be rightfully yours. If this wave has changed direction and you are nearest to the shoulder, its yours. However if you have just arrived, gesture to the nearest surfer for them to take it = all good things come to those who wait Bla bla blaaa :o))
  • Wave 3 – If there are still a few surfers in the queue make a positive move and then back off as if to say “I am here, being courteous but my wave is coming soon.”


As above you’ve waited, positioned yourself and have spied a good set coming.

Make your move = Paddle so that you are side onto the wave ready for take off, it`s yours, ride it like a banshee – woop woop


  • Yes it is maybe your turn but your positioning isn’t right for this wave ie; you not the nearest to the shoulder = it’s not really your wave and you are now dropping in.
  • DON’T  – Snake someone = ride around someone to re-position your self closer to the wave.
  • DON’T- take the wave because you’ve been waiting for ages.
  • DO – Gesture to the nearest surfer to take the wave, it works and you`ll get a good nod, happy days.
  • DO – If you go for the wave and you’re not nearest to the shoulder DO break away with a hands up acknowledgment which kinda keeps you in second place as opposed to fluffing the wave and go to the back of the Q.
  • DO – Quickly re position yourself as the next wave could be yours.


So you have nailed you wave and riding it like a banshee, woop woop

  • DO – Be aware of surfers paddling back out.
  • DONT – Ride in front of them as the chances are you will slip an edge / fall off = hitting the surfer with your board – not cool!
  • DO – Ride around the tail of the Surfer who actually has been a tw*t for surfing straight out but hey ho.


We have all done it, bagged 2 or 3 waves straight away purely because of the excitement – oops. Keep on catching waves and your HOGGING – not cool and really pisses people of big time.

The vast majority of surfers are probably on the same wavelength as you, just out to have fun and get their fair share of waves. So don’t be an arse. If you’ve had a few good ones, sit in the channel for a while and carry on observing what’s happening in the line up. If someone has a good wave give them a hoot and nod; trust me it works!

  • DO – Acknowledge your over excitement by sitting down on your SUP, hang out for a few sets and let team prone catch a few.
  • DO – Hang out in a good position so when you are ready to ride you have actually kept a virtual positioning as such.

This does seem maybe a bit like we have to be over polite to team prone but with the world of SUP Surfing growing super fast it is a good thing to set an example out there as at the end of the day it is all about having fun.

Team prone look on with envy as we shred a lot more waves and get longer rides in a session, for sure there will always be a proper grumpy so and so in the line up but they are like that to everyone and maybe they need a large cup of “*&%^ off” but hey ho we can always find ways to have a good time in crowds, even if we just paddle away to the another break that they can’t be arsed to paddle to and do you know why?