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Surfing rules help us to stay safe and avoid accident in the water. Some rules are just common sense, and some rules are special for unique surfing situations. Surfing rules help protect you and other people in the water.

  • Always surf with a buddy
  • Check the conditions
  • If in doubt, don’t go out
  • Don’t go out further than you can swim
  • Never turn your back on the ocean
  • Stay away from crowded areas
  • Do not take off is someone is in your path
  • Say out of the surf zone when not surfing
  • Do not surf where people are swimming
  • Share the waves and surf with aloha
a man riding a wave on a surfboard in the ocean
a person riding a surf board on a body of water


When surfing with other people we want to avoid accidents. Accidents happen when too many people try to ride the same wave, or they cross over one another or ride into each other. To avoid these types of accident there is a set of rules that determine the surfing traffic rules. Traffic rules on the water are usually called “right of way rules”. The word “Way” means to go, or move forward, so the term “right of way” means who has the right to go, and who has the obligation to stop.

  • Avoid accidents
  • One person per wave
  • The person on the wave rides the wave
  • Do not drop in



Hi Surfers, here is a short list of surfing terms. Now you can learn to speak like a surfer and get a clue what they are talking about!