Who has the right of way...

Not trying to stir up wave riding vehicle choice debate - but since the SUP thread got locked and moved, I thought I’d take a chance…

So, regardless of what/how one rides a wave, who has the “right of way” -

The person riding the wave, the person paddling out?

Here’s my story from the other thread.

I was in side, watched a buddy pull in to a full on deep disapearance
tube, another buddy is paddling like mad to make it over the shoulder,
the guy comes out of the tube and and runs over the guy, who, in my
“book” should have sat back and taken it on the head so as not to ruin
the other guys ride…  Well, the guy who sort of got run over (The nose
went over this legs as best I could tell, as he and his board were
unharmed, and the othe guy kept riding) went off on the guy who came out
of the tube for not bailing out…

       Howzit sharkcountry, The way I see it the guy in the tube may not even be able to see the guy paddleing out but the the paddleing out can see exactly wht the guy in the tobe is doing and he is the one who can get out of the way. I learned a long time ago that going into the white water is the safest and easiest way to go. since the guy on the wve is headed towards the shoulder anyways. I always paddle towards the white water and over the years found it was the wisest choice. The guy in the tube might not be able to change his anle of attack since he is locked into the tube and for those that have been there you know how it is not that easy to change your direction so my vote is for the guy on the wave. Aloha,Kokua

Person surfing always has right of way....period.


But nice people don't run other people over on purpose.

Nice people don't race the guy surfing to the shoulder. If they do, nice people turn to dicks and run other dicks over.


Don't be a Dick.

Rule #1 in surf/ fight club is donʻt be a dick…so true…running people over on purpose is an extreme thing to do and can only lead to trouble and injury; most everyone knows, get OUT of the riders way if at all humanly possible; thatʻs common sense; another one is donʻt drop in on a 300lb moke who can surf; but it still happens; unfortunately shit happens and we gotta face the consequences if we fuck up…if in doubt…quit surfing!!!

if it ever ends up in court due to medical bills, it’ll be who ever had the most control to avoid the collision.

there’s no right of way in surfing. its only in the last 50-70 years where someone decided you had to surf laterally across the face of the wave.

prioir to the 20-30’s everyone just pointed their boards straight ahead and aimed for the beach, and even then there still were collisions when it got crowded.

in some spots the phrase the locals use is “jus go!” in others it’s “hey!” or “mine!”

my rule of thumb is if you are sitting on the inside of the pack just to snake me and the others patiently waiting their turn outside by dropping in then getting run over is part of the price you pay. If you are an idiot beginner then it’s my job to find a way around you. But if you plan on running into me on purpose or because you are an out of control idiot on a SUP then be fore warned because i will always flip my board upside down and face all five of GG’s nicely sharpened G10s straight at you and your big board, Odds are the G10’s won’t have a scratch on them. Its amazing the face people make when I do that to them ie tail and fins out of the water pointing straight at them…I rarely get run over by punks these days with that warning message. You wanna self impale yourself on my fiberglass version of a cong bamboo booby trap then go ahead and help yourself. I guess that’s why CMP always puts those rubber tipped surfco fins on all the boards he sells.

here’s a good recent example of how to surf among crowds and beginners




here's a good recent example of how to surf among crowds and beginners




One of my pet peeves is the guy paddling out that is just gunning for the shoulder, almost insuring that you're gonna have to deal with him one way or another.

Check the guy at about 45 seconds into that clip. Paddling out, sees Slater about to turn, adjusts his paddling so that he's aiming for the whitewater. That's how to paddle out! And Onuela, that's a great anti-runover method you have there.

It's funny how easy things can go if both parties try to be decent human beings...heck, I even started using a leash just so the clueless children sitting inside wouldn't get hurt when I'd lose my board when one of their Bros would pointlessly cut me off so he could do his two turns and wipeout...

If the paddler is trying to get or keep out of the way of the rider, the rider should do the same with the paddler...basic manners. Anything else is total bullshit. Of course there can be extenuating circumstances where it just isn't possible. And sometimes accidents just happen...hence the name "accidents".

IMHO if a rider ever chooses to play games with a paddler who is making an effort to avoid interfering, then the rider forfits all rights. Everybody here who has ridden a point break in the past 10 years can fill in the blanks.


the rider shouldn’t have to look for the paddler. the rider is concentrating on the wave not the people paddling out… i’ve almost

ran somebody over because i was watching the wave then went to carve and there they were… they shouldn’t have been there.

i’ve also been on the other side off that encounter and, i shouldn’t have been there… the correct way to avoid the rider is to be

nowhere near where he/she is riding/going to be riding. that should be common courtesy. WAY out past the shoulder or in the foam…

not picking on you Nels as i think you and i are saying the same thing but,i don’t think that racing for the shoulder is

“making an effort to avoid interfering”…



[Spoken] It’s a very ancient saying, 
But a true and honest thought, 
That if you become a teacher, 
By your pupils you’ll be taught. 

>>>>>>a quite bitchin’ song

[Singing] As a teacher I’ve been learning –

You’ll forgive me if I boast – 
And I’ve now become an expert, 
On the subject I like most. 


[Spoken] Getting to know you.



surfing is the best revealer

of human nature and personal traits.


changing the ‘‘rules’’ to fit  pathos

is chronically nebulous ,yes like a gas star.


[Singing] Getting to know you, 
Getting to know all about you. 
Getting to like you, 
Getting to hope you like me. 

Getting to know you, 
Putting it my way, 
But nicely, 
You are precisely, 
My cup of tea.


surfing as a social tool 

is an uncomparable leveler.

everyone is equal like nowhere before

in all of human interaction.











watching the you shoudas, I couldas;

I nevas ,you always’s,blossom like poppies in may

in a green pristine medow over taken by the skunk weed

or whatever follows the lupine and poppies that make

the seeds that get stuck in your bitchin’ new sox

make you wish it was just winter so you could

see the cycle start again.

the mangos from my tree in the yard

are so bitchin right now.

I ate one may 20  that was better

than a point wave at malibu


that guy that drops in

at the end of the video

freaked with guilt and

K S 's go behind got spoiled

if he just glided out his turn

they woulda rode

the wave to the peir .


if every one knows

each other and work

the spot together

the most waves are ridden

better than if only one 

guy is out.Nothing better

than a hui or ohana.

Surfing was combatative

my friend carlos told me

one time on the topic

of competition in ancient hawaii.

I believe it can also be 

the opportunity for people

to commune with nature

and each other.



pick your poison

I forgot the last verse:

Getting to know you, 

Getting to feel free and easy
When I am with you, 
Getting to know what to say 

Haven’t you noticed
Suddenly I’m bright and breezy? 
Because of all the beautiful and new 
Things I’m learning about you 
Day … by … day.



I feel better now

dont you?

surfing is 

what you want it to be

what you seek you see.



not picking on you Nels as i think you and i are saying the same thing but,i don't think that racing for the shoulder is

"making an effort to avoid interfering"...

No problems, I agree for the most part, way too many variables when considering the entire surf universe anyway...just saying if everybody makes a little effort to "get along" life goes easier. Of course almost none of that works in places that are completely zoo'ed out, although one can get surprised even in those arenas once in a while.

There’s a new breed of surfer that sits on the inside and doesn’t get out of your way. When you bail out or don’t catch a wave they spin around and go. I’ve been tormented by these a-holes for several years now. These days I just go and if I run them over I’m sorry, but hey, you should get out of the way and not try to be in the way on purpose. So far I’ve hit several and missed a couple.

It’s great to have a wood board with a solid nose block, it really does some serious damage to both body and board. I hit one guy who was doing this for a few sets and he complains that my board hit him and it hurt. I just said that it has a solid wood nose and rails and you don’t want to get hit with this board. He stayed out of my way after that. Another older guy was pissed when I just missed him. I had to bail because I had no where to go. When I came up I apologized, but you got to keep doing it or they just take your wave. 

 I’ve been run over by guys accidentally, and I’ve been run over by pricks who could have avoided hitting me. I never want to hurt anyone, but they need to learn that you just don’t sit on the inside and snake waves that way. That’s how we learned when I was growing up.

Doesn't matter ;  Run over him or kick out over his head and save his life.  He's still gonna bitch and whine. 

Shark country

You hit the nail on the head, Surfing etiquette,rules,manors what ever you want to call them many people in the water just have no clue what those are. They might have never been told there’s such a thing while who ever was teaching them how to surf or were taught buy someone who does the same thing so they figured it was the norm to do such things. I thought I had a curse put on me that stopped  two new boards ago. For some reason it always happened at Pupukea’s with a new board I just got wired and having a good time with. I would end up running over someone’s board over because they would turn it sideways and head for the bottom. Leaving me nowhere to go but over there board.  Next time your on the road watch how many drivers actually stop at the stop line before proceeding into the crosswalk area .

Aloha, Hannya  



I think part of the problem is just the whole culture and the “me” mentality that people who are my age have been raised having.  Probably around when I was born (1980) parents started treating their children as the center of the universe, never disciplining their kids or teaching them that they can lose or not be the best at something.

Little League with no score?  C’mon!

Now, these people get out in the water and feel entitled to do whatever they want, regardless of tradition and rules.

Although the “cracks” given in Hawaii sometimes seem a little heavy handed here in California they are probably keeping the peace better than here in the land of the entitled surfer.  Since I moved down here to N. County San Diego from Santa Cruz I’ve noticed less anger in the water, but at the same time a lot more fuckery at the crowded spots

As long as the Surf Industrial Complex is pimping our lifestyle we are going to have to deal with clueless, crowded lineups.  The only thing to do is convey the rules to the new people.  It doesn’t have to be done 70s style, but the gravity of the situations need to be conveyed

Sharkcountry, I'll bet that all those who are sitting inside waiting for the outside guys to wipe out are all wearing leashes... People depend too much on leashes and sometimes hang out on the inside and try to take off too deep or too late and it doesn't really matter to them because they can retreive their board quickly if they wipe out and while they do that they become speed bumps to the guys sitting outside, always in the way...

I like your approach of a wood board with a hardwood nose jejeje...

In the winter time I like to surf a spot down here in Puerto Rico that becomes somewhat crowded, it holds some size and has a channel so my choice of weapon: a big gun or a longboard depending on the size of waves that day. I sit way outside and call waves to the inside guys for them to ride (I let many waves go by). When one of the bigger waves approaches I take off from way outside while everyone in the inside is duckdiving white water since those set waves break too far outside for them to catch. I ride them all the way to the channel and use the channel to paddle back out... I believe that surfing has become more about quantity than quality, everyone at the parking lot likes to talk about how many waves they got... me, I would rather catch a good big one than many mediocre waves...

There are some simple basic approaches that should be taken in order to avoid collision:

1. Always surf like if you were not wearing a leash (don't let your board go)

2. If there is a channel, USE IT!!!

3. When surfing a point, surf the wave all the way, exit the water, walk back to the point, paddle around the point and sit down and wait for your turn.

4. Reef breaks, if there is no channel, swim out where people are not surfing and if you have to take one on the head to save someones ride, be tough and do it or time your paddle for the white water. If the current takes you under the take off zone and you are stil too far inside, head to the beach, walk and try paddling out again away from the take off zone (get to know the currents)

5. Beach breaks: there are usually many peaks, find an uncrowded one, if not do the same as in item 4. (reef breaks). If there is too much current, the break will decide where you get out to the outside.

6. Become a bodysurfer, if there is someone about to run you over, just dive and enjoy the underwater scenery...

Sometimes it’s all about greed.

I notice when surfing crowded Noosa plenty of people paddling back out will not bother to try to paddle out of the way of those riding waves.

Often they will not even paddle forward to duckdive an oncoming wave until the last moment, preferring just to sit still and hope the surfer on the wave will fall off so they can spin around and grab it.

They really don’t care if they get in your way behaving like a speedbump.

I keep searching for answers to the overcrowded lineups, the wave hogging and overblown egos and the us vs them attitude I promote towards SUPs; overblown egos are an individual issue, out of my hands; my attitude towards SUPs. my problem; but overcrowded lineups are the breeding ground for ALL the problems in surfing; we need more waves!!!  Modern day surf industry is a HUGE cash cow; be nice if some of that dough found itʻs way into some “research” in artificial reefs; is this an ugly word and topic to bring up here…aritficial reefs???..not to me; if the technologies were developed and perfected think what possibilities this could open up; why pay $5K for a surf trip if you could ride an Indo/ Kirra/ Tahitian quality wave in your own local; yea, I know there are lots of cons to this idea but what the heck!!! I would pay to surf a “surf park” knowing that Iʻm guaranteed some good waves in uncrowded conditions; fuck yea, heres my money!!! 1-2 hrs a week is all I would need to be content; there are so many sweet spots for  a perfect  A frame peak, a winding point wave, or a slabby barrel;  someones gonna do it…you watch… and not only are they gonna clean up [maybe Laird?] but they will revolutionize the whole industry; hope itʻs pretty soon, would love to spend my retirement at some perfect point break 20 min. from home riding into the sunset,all right!!!

how bout an artificial sunset?