The 10 Surfing Commandments by Roxy Davis

Unlike many of your mainstream sports such as rugby, soccer and cricket, surfing remains fairly unique when it comes to the so called "rule-book"! In fact, surfing doesn't even have a rule-book per say. It has unwritten rules that are expected to be followed. For beginner surfers and those new to the sport, it's kind of like being expected to be a mind reader!

As we head into Cape Town Summer, we anticipate busier beaches and more surfers in the water - which is great for sharing the stoke and introducing more people to the joy of surfing! But for some, the non-existent "surfing rule-book" may be a deterrent, which is why we enlisted the help of 9 x South African Surfing Champion, Roxy Davis. 


Photographed by: Graeme Field

Photographed by: Graeme Field

Although growing up surfing Kommetjie, Roxy has been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to surf all over the world! After experiencing all these different types of surf spots, one thing remains true. Regardless of your surfing level, whether you are paddling in the foam or out back, Roxy believes we all need to respect these rules. Have a look at Roxy's ten surfing commandments below.

1.     Don’t drop in: Stick to one person per wave direction only.  If someone is already riding the wave don’t paddle for it.

2.     Know your limitations: As you progress, you will want to take on new breaks and challenging waves. This is how you will learn and improve. Remember if in doubt don’t paddle out. If something doesn’t feel right or you are not sure, follow your instincts.

3.     Never paddle through the peak: Always paddle back out through the designated channel or paddle wide, staying well away from the main peak and from riders enjoying the waves.

4.     Don’t get aggressive: You can ruin your surf as well as everyone else's.

5.     Don’t be a snake: Paddling around a surfer to get yourself into the better priority position will only leave you as the least liked surfer in the water.

6.    Right of way: The surfer closest to the peak (breaking part of the wave) has right of way.

7.     Wait your turn: Regardless of whether you are waiting out back for the set waves  or in the foamies up front, always wait in line and for your turn. If you paddle for a wave and miss it, you go to the back of the queue and are not entitled to the next wave.

8.     Caught inside, stay inside: You may find yourself caught with a big set of waves about to pound you and it looks mighty inviting to paddle up the face of the wave.

9.     Hang onto your board: Never let go as taking someone for stitches or swimming to shore with a snapped leash are never fun.

10. Help others: Surfing is about mutual respect, the roaring waves, and still quiet back-line waiting for the next's there for everyone to enjoy and so whether it's helping someone in distress or subtly showing someone a leash strap is better on your ankle than around  their neck all makes a huge difference...

Why not book a lesson at Surf Emporium and enlist the help of our professional Surf Coaches to take you through all the basics and surfing etiquette! To book your surf lesson, click here or head on over to: