Kim Akrigg


Hometown: Vancouver, Canada

Current Residence: Byron Bay, Australia

Social Media Handles: @kimakrigg

Personal Website:

Avoid an Accident in the Surf

Surfing is super fun. It can also be pretty dangerous if you don’t obey a few rules that are pretty universal in the surf. No matter what line up you find yourself in, there’s some general guidelines to keep in mind so that it remains as safe as possible and fun for everyone. Some of these may seem like common sense. However, the amount of times I see people ignoring this etiquette and accidents, or near accidents happening because of it, is fairly frequent. Keep these rules in mind, and be respectful every time you paddle out and it should help you have more fun, in a safer way. Breaking these rules can lead to a lot of animosity in the water, or an actual beating, so try to abide them at all times. Accidents happen, but try not to let them happen too often.

Surf Etiquette Tips

LOOK – Look where you’re going, always. Look behind you as well. Like driving, whenever you’re going somewhere it’s important to check where you’re going to, as well as any blind spots(behind you) to see if anyone is coming up there. If there is someone, don’t go. If someone is directly in front of you, don’t paddle into them. Any time you’re paddling for a wave, always check over your shoulder to make sure no one is coming.

RIGHT OF WAY – Generally the rule of thumb is that whoever is closer to the peak of the wave, or is already riding, has right of way. Don’t paddle for a wave if someone is already on it. If a wave closes out, or the rider wipes out, you have permission to take over. If you’re surfing an A-frame, it’s generally accepted to split the peak as long as you’re both going separate ways. It’s good to communicate which way you’re going when doing this.

DON’T DROP IN – This is possibly the most important rule of surf etiquette. Dropping in is when you take off on a wave that someone else already is riding, or the other surfer has right of way and you take off anyways. This blocks their ride, and is frustrating not to mention dangerous.

PADDLING OUT – As a common courtesy, don’t paddle out in the line up where people are trying to surf. Try and find the channel, or a spot where the waves aren’t breaking. This can be challenging sometimes, but try and find a spot where less people are surfing. If you’re paddling back out, NEVER paddle in front of someone who’s on the wave, unless you’re far far in front of where they’ll be going. Paddle behind, and sometimes you’ll end up in a bad spot but it’s your responsibility to get out of the way, lest you get run over.

HOLD ONTO YOUR BOARD – This is a big one for beginners. While it may seem easier to ditch your board and dive under, this is extremely unsafe. Especially in a crowded line up, surfboards are big, heavy, and painful if they hit you. Always try to maintain contact with your board, whether duck diving, or doing a turtle roll.

RESPECT THE OCEAN – This goes for the beach as well. Don’t litter, don’t leave cigarette butts, you’re here because you want to appreciate the ocean and everything that goes with it. So is everyone else, and they can’t if it’s covered in garbage. So don’t leave any behind, and take some with you if you see it on the beach.

DON’T BE GREEDY – Just because you can catch every wave, doesn’t mean you should. Sharing is caring, and we’re all here to have a good time. If you’re on a longboard and it’s small, don’t catch every single wave just because you can over someone on a shorter board.

APOLOGISE – Everyone makes mistakes. Apologise if you have a run in with someone, even if you don’t think it’s your fault. It goes a long way to creating a more positive relaxed environment in the ocean.

WAIT YOUR TURN – Give respect to gain respect. Don’t hog waves, don’t snake(paddling around someone so you’re in the takeoff spot for a wave they’re waiting for). Treat others how you’d want to be treated.


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