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How To Be A Good Surfer

Pay attention. A good surfer pays attention. Small children, newcomers, and people wearing denim sprint unknowingly into the surf. A good surfer pays attention. Don’t operate by guesswork. Check the surf. Know where the waves will be breaking, where they will not be breaking, where you’ll catch waves before you ever become wet, then paddle out.

Surf cameras, surf apps on your phone (cell phones in general), websites, blogs: If you must. But check the surf. Everyday. In person. Surfing is a practice, and it is to be treated as such.
Take care of your equipment. Fix your dings. Change your wax. Learn what works for you, and learn how to ride it. Learn when to ride it. Know how you want to ride a wave before you do it, and choose your board accordingly.

Think. About your waves, about your boards, about your place in the lineup. A good surfer thinks.
If you’re not a kid, let the kids be. Kids are shitheads many times, but they are kids, so don’t get mad at them for being kids.

To that end, a good surfer is a good steward. Of the break. Of the spot.

Shut up. Realize that there’s not a whole lot to say. Yes, the weather’s fine, and yes, the waves are good, and yes, we all hope the wind stays off of it, and yes, it’s really crowded. We all get it. So let it be. A good surfer shuts up.

Let a few go. As much for yourself as for the rest of the people who eventually catch them. Duke said it first: “Wave come, wave go.” The sooner you learn that, the better off you’ll be.

Oh, and this: There’ll always be a better wave. Than the one you missed, the one you just rode, whatever. There’ll be a better wave. The sooner you learn this, the better off you’ll be.

Know how to deliver a good stinkeye, but don’t do it unless necessary. Let your surfing do the talking, operate with the understanding that you are going to get waves because you can.

On this point: Surf at a spot that suits your skill level. A good surfer does not get in the way, does not insert himself into a lineup where he does not belong. Instead, he surfs at a spot where he can get waves, because he can.

Pro tour, competition, surf celebrities, star-studded movie premieres: Okay. But don’t get too excited by any of it. Know that the great aim of all of these entities is to promote “industry” and that the great aim of industry is to get you to buy things. This is truth.

If you have allowed the purchasing of products to become a major part of your surf experience, put this magazine down, sit in a quiet place, reflect.

That said, don’t be overzealous. People try to make money. Understand this, come to terms with it, participate in it where appropriate, but mostly ignore it. Realize it has nothing to do with your experience of surfing, and move on.

Buy surfboards. Know what’s involved in making a board, even if you don’t make the board yourself. Know that it’s a product of craftsmanship, a skill that requires precision to a sixteenth of an inch, a skill that is honed over time. Appreciate this. Also appreciate that you likely don’t have these skills, and find the best person who does that you can have a relationship with.

Pay full price for you board. Because it’s worth it, and because shapers are surfers who don’t get paid enough for what they do. Bring a six-pack when you pick up the board, discuss its making.
Claiming waves is for kids and pro surfers who have been taught to believe that the rest of us are impressed when they grab their genitals after pulling into a tube. We are not.

On that note, insert tube, exit tube. Arms below the shoulders. You are not a wide receiver, you did not score a touchdown, and this is not the Super Bowl.

But: experience some joy. If you feel like you can’t contain that self-congratulatory hoot, don’t. Hoot. Holler. Laugh. Smile. That’s why you’re out here.

Whatever you do, you do not flip off the wave. You do not stick your tongue out. You do not look back to the lineup like an excited puppy dog waiting to see who saw you get pitted. You’re happy. You’ve done well. Good for you. That’s enough, now. Paddle back out, try again.

Speaking of which, stay humble. If surfing hasn’t taught you this by now, keep paddling back out. It will.
Helmets, unless surfing a treacherous slab reef: no.

Clean lines. Know what you can do, but more importantly, know what you cannot do. Surf top-to-bottom, cleanly. That is the aim.

Airs, unless you can do them in a manner seamless with the riding of a wave, are ill-advised.
Airs, that is, are ill-advised for 99 percent of us.

That doesn’t mean, by the way, that we shouldn’t try. It’s okay—good, even—to do things that are ill-advised sometimes.

Always pull in, even if you cannot make it, even if you do not know how to ride the barrel. A good surfer pulls in.

There are women in the lineup. Let them be surfers. They do not want to be hit on when they’re going surfing, and they do not find this attractive. They want to go surfing, same as you. Respect this.
That said, if you want to sneak a peek, go for it.

There is a pecking order, and it is to be respected. Know where you fit in the lineup, and respect this. Wait your turn, because it will come. When it comes, when somebody tells you to go, go. If you don’t make this wave, know that you will be waiting a lot longer for your next one.

A good surfer knows he doesn’t need to fight, but he also knows he doesn’t need to move aside for anybody. Respect, sure, but not fear.

Paddle out to crowded alpha-surf spots with the understanding that it will be crowded, that you will not get waves. Expect this, deal with this, participate in this. Do not complain.

On travel: Put in work. Find a spot. Score it. Be quiet. No Tweets, no Facebook, no pictures, no blogs, no braggadocio. Surfing can teach you how to experience joy and excitement, and how to keep that joy and excitement to yourself. Allow it to do so.

Sometimes you mess up. Sometimes you fall. Sometimes you fail. Don’t punch the water. Don’t scream. Get back on your board, paddle back out.

Always paddle back out.

Surfing is not golf. It is not tennis. It is not to be pursued on the weekends, or in the summer. It is a lifetime commitment. A good surfer knows this.

Phosphate mining project threatens world-class waves of Scorpion Bay

The perfect surf at Scorpion Bay, in Mexico, is being threatened by a deep ocean phosphate mining project.

Scorpion Bay is one of the best surf spots in Mexican waters, but the perfect peeling right-handers may have their days numbered because of "Don Diego," a mining adventure led by Exploraciones Oceánicas.
"The mining permits allow for phosphate exploration off the coast of Mexico in the Bahía de Ulloa, between Abreojos and San Lázaro. Phosphate is exploited for its value as an agricultural amendment and is used in large scale applications in the USA and around the world," explain Save The Waves.
If "Don Diego" gets green light, dredging activity will be up and running 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for 50 years. As a result, the ocean ecosystems will be severely affected, including endangered species of turtles.
World-class breaks will also be destroyed: First, Second, Third and Fourth Points. Save The Waves invites everyone to participate in the public discussion, and show their concerns and opposition to the mining project.
A public information meeting for the "Don Diego" marine mining project will be held on November 5th, in the auditorium of the Valley of Santo Domingo Local Agricultural Association, in the city of Constitucion.

What is Surfer's Eye?

We call it surfer's eye and red eye, but the scientific jargon is pterygium. So, what are the causes, symptoms and treatments for a fairly common problem in surfing?

Blame it on the elements. Sun, sand, wind and salt are responsible for the surfer's eye. Although the exact cause is still unknown, scientists believe the problem is twice as likely to occur in men than women.
Itchiness, irritation, eye redness, inflammation, burning and tearing are the most commons symptoms of pterygium. In the worst cases, patients refer vision problems that may lead to surgery.
Surfers who spend a lot of time in the water, exposed to long hours of sun, will start feeling irritation in the eye or both eyes. Lubricating eye drops will soothe the inflammation. Hats, sunglasses and shade will also solve mild cases.
Curiously, pterygium usually appears on the side of the eye closer to the nose, which seems to prove that the benign growth of the conjunctiva is the result of sun's rays passing laterally through the cornea.
Learn what are the most common diseases in surfing. Get "Sick Surfers Ask the Surf Docs & Dr. Geoff."

Eye Safety Tips for Surfers

Conjunctival pterygium is also known as "surfer's eye," and for good reason. Caused by prolonged exposure to sunlight and irritation from sand, wind, and other irritants such as seawater, a conjunctival pterygium is damage to the mucous membrane of the eyeball that eventually grows a fleshy membrane. Though the membrane itself is benign, it can impair vision if left untreated, and can cause a burning, itching sensation. This condition is common in people who spend a lot of time outdoors, and especially in surfers. Read on for some eye safety tips to keep in mind before hitting the surf.

Wear UV-Blocking Sunglasses

The number one way to help prevent surfer's eye is to wear sunglasses that protect against both UVA and UVB rays 100 percent. Regular sunglasses without UV protection won't keep your eyes safe. It's important to wear sunglasses even on cloudy days, as clouds do not actually block the UV radiation. Wrap-around sunglasses provide the best protection.

Wear Eye Protection While Surfing

It is important to keep your eyes safe while you are on your board. There are a variety of goggles available, many of which offer UV protection. This will serve the purpose of protecting your eyes from the sun while also protecting them from the saltwater, wind, and sand that are part of the surfing experience. Getting well-fitted, high-quality eye protection gear is a worthy investment for any serious surfer.

Wash Your Face after Surfing

After getting in from the beach, wash your face with warm water. This will help flush any irritating particles out of your eyes and off of your skin.

Keep Your Eyes Moisturized

One of the causes of pterygium is dry eyes. If you notice your eyes are dry and itchy after a day out at the beach, use eye moisturizers, such as artificial tears, to keep them well-lubricated.

Wear a Hat

For added protection, when you're out of the ocean and on to the beach, wear a wide-brimmed hat to shield your eyes from the sun. It is also a good idea to seek shade whenever possible during the brightest hours of the day.

Stick With Fresh Air

When it comes to keeping your eyes safe, humidity can actually be a good thing. Dry air can dry out your eyes. While indoors, let in fresh air as often as possible. Don't let the air get too dry, especially when using air conditioning. A tip for adding some moisture to the air without turning on a humidifier is to set bowls of water around the house.

Wash Your Face Regularly

It's not enough to rinse your face off in the shower, and you shouldn't just scrub it down after a trip to the beach. Get into the habit of using a washcloth and mild soap to briefly wash your face every day. This will help keep your eyes clean and moisturized.
You don't have to be a surfer to get surfer's eye, but it does increase your chances. The sun, sand, and waves are trademarks of the beach, but they are also the leading causes of eye irritation. Being vigilant about eye protection is the best way to stop the problem before it starts. Always keep your eyes protected when outdoors, both on the shore and in the waves, and keep them moisturized whether indoors or out. Following these tips will help you maintain your eye safety no matter how much time you spend in the sun.

Rip current kills three surfers in Cornwall

Three surfers have lost their lives in a rip current off Mawgan Porth Beach, near Newquay, Cornwall, in England.

Two men and a woman, with ages between 42 and 52, were surfing in challenging conditions, with powerful three-to-six foot waves hitting the Cornish shores.
"The waves were bigger, they were quite big. And it wasn’t the safest of days to be in the sea. But it wasn’t particularly dangerous. There were lots of safe places to be, and they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time," explained the owner of a local surf school.
A total of seven surfers were caught in a rip current, including four children. The three adults were taken unconscious from the water but were later pronounced dead in hospital. It is not clear if the victims were trying to rescue the younger group fo surfers.
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) confirmed that lifeguards patrol Mawgan Porth Beach between March and September, and that lack of cover is clearly stated in signs on the beach.
However, the RNLI believes that the lifeguard patrol at the beach may be extended into the autumn half-term holiday because Mawgan Porth is one of the most popular surf breaks in the region.
Learn how to survive a rip current. Assess ocean conditions before entering the water, especially if you're not an accomplished surfer.

Some Pretty Insane Teahupoo Footage!

Denpasar police believe that a 56-year-old Melbourne man who died while surfing Kuta Reef Friday afternoon may have suffered from a fatal health issue.

Kuta Beach – Photo:

The man, identified as Malvern resident Peter John Surman, was surfing Kuta Reef Friday when two fellow surfers reportedly found him unconscious and unresponsive in the surf line.
Lifeguards on jet skis brought the man ashore and attempted CPR before transporting him to Bali International Medical Center for further treatment where he was pronounced dead two hours later.

Denpasar Marine Police Chief I Wayan Redip said that the victim appeared to suddenly fall unconscious or faint and believed that the victim suffered from some form of medical emergency.

According to Chief Redip, the victim, who was on holiday with his wife, was alone at the time of the incident.
The body of the man is currently at Sanglah General Hospital awaiting an autopsy.


Kelly Slater, less guarded than you’ve seen him

It feels a little like Kelly Slater is getting closer to something he has rarely allowed himself through surfing’s most amazing career: Satisfaction. It’s always been win a contest or a title and then onto the next. But perhaps now, finally, he’s starting to allow himself more reflection on and pride in his past accomplishments. Or maybe not! But either way, here, he’s less guarded than you’re used to seeing him – for whatever reason, the champ always opens up more for the mainstream media than he does for the surfing media. In this CNN-produced profile spot, he talks about things you’ve rarely heard him speak about, including religion, his definition of success and

Is Polyurethane the Best Material for Your Surfboard?

Surfboards weren't always the sleek, custom-made models they are today. In 1947, a scientist and surfer named Bob Simmons started experimenting with polyurethane. The old wooden boards were quickly replaced by polyurethane ones. By 1956, Dave and Roger Sweet were selling the new foam surfboards in Santa Monica, CA. Although boards can be made of other materials, like polystyrene, polyurethane remains a popular choice for surfers. A quick review of the facts can help you decide if polyurethane is the best choice of material for your board.


Polyurethane foam is made up of polymer chains connected by urethane links. The foam is low-density; it is produced in blocks and cut into shapes. Surfers (and surfboard makers) cut the foam into the desired size, shape, and thickness. After smoothing it, they place fiberglass over it and brush hot polyester or epoxy resin on it. When it has dried, been sanded, and the fins and leash added, the surfboard is ready.
The polyurethane foam absorbs water; the fiberglass and resin help to coat the foam and keep the water out. Combined with the foam's tendency to turn yellow in sunlight, polyurethane foam boards may not have as long a surf life as boards made from other materials. If there is a crack or soft spot in the board, it could crack and fall apart. Polyurethane boards cost less to shape and finish, which is one reason they are so popular among surfers.


Between polyurethane and polystyrene, polyurethane has the better reputation for performance. It has better flex energy than polystyrene. Polyurethane boards are easier to make and shape. They can be glassed over with either polyester or epoxy resin; some boards take only epoxy resin.
Polyurethane boards may be cheaper, but for a reason: they break down more easily than other kinds of boards and may need to be fixed or replaced more often. Polyurethane foam contains carcinogens, which are cancer-causing agents. When it is in surfboard form, polyurethane can't be recycled. It is not as environmentally safe as other foams, like polystyrene, which releases less toxic gas.


Polyurethane is easier to work with when making a surfboard. It can adhere to various resins. It can be shaped and finished nicely. Surfers believe that is has a better flexibility and feel than other foam boards. Because they take less time to make, polyurethane boards are inexpensive, making them affordable to surfers.


The carcinogens in polyurethane foam, and the fact that it can't be recycled, are less attractive to the environmentally conscious. Polyurethane boards fade to yellow over time, requiring touchups and refinishing. They also absorb water, making them more prone to breaking apart. The costs may rise, depending on how often you scratch or crack a surfboard.
Since its discovery in the 1940s, polyurethane has found a home in the surf community. Surfers continue to use polyurethane to make their boards. Polyurethane boards take less time to shape and finish; they are less expensive to make than other boards. However, they may break more easily, and need to be replaced. Polyurethane foam is not good for the environment, as it could release carcinogens into the air. Considerations like your budget and your eco-concerns are factors in deciding if polyurethane surfboards are the best pick for you.

Learning to Surf Online

Sure, part of everyone's dream of paradise includes surfing, but have you ever tried to learn how to surf? If you live too far from the ocean, or live close but don't want to go to a surf class, what can you do? Many sites on the Internet are dedicated to solving that very problem. If you want to learn how to surf, but are more familiar with surfing the Web, you should think about taking a surf class online.

Are There a Lot of Options Online?

There are literally dozens of options for someone looking for a website to help them learn to surf. This variety is great, because some sites may not be clear to you, while others present information better than others. Another helpful thing about having so many online surfing classes is that you can choose which teaching style suits you best. One downside about having so many is that you need to eventually choose one.

How is Surfing Taught Online?

Some sites work like any instructional site, and offer a wealth of articles to look through. Article-based sites will often have a display of common tags as well, to help you find what you need faster. Other sites work through instructional videos, for those who prefer a visual learning format. Some sites may claim to teach surfing, but are really just surf shop stores either hoping to loop you into a purchase, or have their lessons well-buried.

How Do I Find the Best Site?

What you consider the best is open to interpretation, but a good idea is to look for what you expect to find. If you already know that you will learn best through videos, search YouTube for the lessons you want, for example. Such a search will come up with videos from surf instructional channels. If you like a video's teaching style, check to see if there is a site associated with it that can help you. Another good thing to have in mind when looking is to avoid shopping-oriented sites.

Are There Scam Sites to be Aware of?

There may be a few scam sites that just want to cheat you out of your money and won't teach you about surfing, but the Internet is mostly safe on this front. Again, it is best to find sites that are oriented primarily toward teaching someone to surf, with videos, links, or guides on their front page. If you find a site that lists surfing gear closer to the top of its list, you should look for a different site. While they may have the least detail, some general instruction sites, such as About and eHow, will have articles on surfing with no prompting to make a purchase.
Learning to surf is not for everyone. If you want to get online surf lessons and find out for yourself, the Internet has schools ready to help you. Not every site is going to be the best for your needs, so look around until you become comfortable. Surfing the Internet can help you learn how to surf the waves of the ocean, if you pay close attention to your classes.