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16 October 2014
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Features: surfing etiquette
Long time surfer, Sam Christopherson, with some pointers to help everyone get along whilst in the water:

1) Learn about the sea.
This is so important. The sea is dangerous and so many people underestimate its power. Add the cold temperature of the water into the equation, and you have potentially fatal combination. Take time to learn about the waves at your local break - trying a small size before building up to larger waves. Most experienced surfers would tell you that they took five years (or more) surfing beach breaks before tackling reefs. Wave knowledge counts for a lot – avoid short cuts. Every beach has a different rip (body of water moving out to sea) and other dangers, so make sure you know where these are on your beach.

2) Study waves. Dumping waves are great for experienced surfers and bodyboarders, but poor for beginners and intermediates. Spilling waves are much better for learning on, so find out what type of waves your beach has.

3) Always look for alternatives to really busy breaks.
So many people are sheep. Why surf with fifty others if you can surf with five down the road? If you pick waves that have no-one on them and are appropriate to your level, you will improve quicker. What’s the point of surfing if you don’t catch waves? Especially in winter.

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