15 Need-to-know Surfboard Etiquette No-No's
It’s OK to have an ‘Anything but 3’ policy and ride singles/bonzers/twinzers/Mystic Meg’s broomstick, but it’s not OK to think that anybody else gives a fuck...
Some surf spots have those signs up with a funny cartoon about wave etiquette don’t they? But factories/surf shops don’t do the same for boards. Well, muddle on in uncoded, anarchic darkness no longer...
1. Inside the vehicle is always preferable over roof rack. Roof racks are the last resort, even if that means compromising safety/comfort/upholstery.
2. Respect cultural differences: In Europe, it’s never boards on roof rack fins forward, (apart from longboards). In California, it's quite the opposite, ALWAYS fins up and forward on ALL boards. If you ever happen to attach a board to roof rack fins down in any part of the world, it's OK for fellow surfers/secret police to flash you, pull you over and punch you in the face.
3. It’s OK to carry two to the beach, one under each arm, with girl/boy friend 3 paces behind like a pro, but bear in mind it’s also OK for anyone witnessing to think ‘What a cunt’.
4. Waxing the tail pad is OK if you’re not on one of the ASP tours, so long as you rip. If you’re not sure if you rip, you don’t. If you are sure that you rip, you don’t.
5. If you swap boards by your own suggestion, you have to let them swap back after one wave if they want. Conversely, if someone asks to swap with you but then immediately wants their own board back, it’s OK to say ‘one more’ but get at least three.
6. It’s preferable to use the Australian term ‘Chinese wax job’ in reference to unwittingly waxing the underside of a surfboard in transit rather than the ‘Irish wax job’, when on a surf trip to Ireland. If on a surf trip to China, use either.
7. You should always take beer upon collection of custom to the factory, to be shared among workers. If the spray isn't exactly what you were after, it’s OK for that beer to be Grafenwalder from Lidl. Wine or whiskey specifically for the shaper can alienate glasser/sander/etc, which is never a good for future orders.
8. Despite the irrefutable truth of the statement, looking at the signature on the stringer of a friend's new off-the-rack stock board and then announcing, 'This isn't an actual Merrick/JS/DHD/Rusty' means you will forever be considered bad company.
9. Please don’t post your quiver’s dimensions on Facebook, particularly when it’s the ‘About to leave for Indo’ quiver post. No one cares. There must be someone famous that just died, can’t you RIP post them, instead?
10. It’s OK when someone asks ‘How big is that one?’ to not know, flip it over and read off the stringer, but don’t feel too smug about not knowing, like, ‘Oh I got so many’.
Furthermore, it’s OK to not know between six somethings (or five somethings), but
you should always know that it’s one or the other. Thus "It’s a six....er... oh no wait, 5’11" is not acceptable.
Tyler Warren's bar of soap was inspired by the Mini-Shhhhhh. Photo: Burkard
11. Borrowing a board from someone with the opposite stance and putting a massive front foot heel pressure ding is an offence. A pressure ding is still a ding. However, front foot heel pressure dinging a board ridden by someone with the same stance is fine... like, what were they expecting? You not to rip? Fill yer fucken boots.
12. It’s never OK to borrow one, ding it and then put it back in the rack without coming clean. Never.
13. When borrowing: if you ding it you fix it, if you break it buy it. End of.
14. The person whose car it is should be in charge of putting them in. He or she knows the lines or the angles. Never be afraid to ask for help.
15. Try to go through the rest of 2014 without saying ‘Mini Simmons’ ever, at all, even if you surf one every day. Thanks.