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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 October 2005, 16:07 GMT 17:07 UK
The dos and don'ts of surfing
After half an hour of trying to put your wetsuit on you're ready for the waves.

But before you make a complete goon of yourself we got some tips from top Brit surfers Robyn Davies and Sam Lamiroy.

Here are their surfing dos and don'ts.


  • Do check the conditions. Ask the lifeguards about the rips and the currents. The sea might look calm but there are a lot of dangers on every beach.

    Surfing jargon
    A surfer drops in on another one
    Dropping in: Catching someone else's wave. The person closest to the white water has the right of way
    Grommet: A young surfer - often very good
    Kook: A learner or bad surfer
    Tube or barrel: The hollow shape of the wave that everyone is trying to get inside
    Wipe out: Falling off the board big time

  • Do go to a surf school if it's your first time. You can be up and standing in an hour. They can point out very basic things that might take weeks or months on your own.

  • Do surf in a group when you're starting out. Not only is it safer, but it pushes you because you're always checking what your mates are doing.

  • Do tell the lifeguard where you're going to surf. If you don't tell anybody you won't be missed.

  • Do put your leash on your back leg.

  • Do keep your board really straight into the wave when duck diving. The second you go off at an angle is when the wave picks you up and slams you back down.

  • Do get up on the board as if your starting the 100m. That way you'll get up forwards rather than backwards. It's a lot easier.


  • Don't put your leash on until you get to the water. Otherwise you'll run down the beach and stack it in front of everyone.

  • Don't throw your board away to get under oncoming waves. If you do, make sure that no-one is behind you or you'll hit someone with it.

    Duck diving
    Duck diving is one of the most important things to learn first

  • Don't try and paddle out of the way if someone is surfing towards you. It's best to stay still or paddle in towards the breaking wave. It might even be safer to paddle back in towards the beach.

  • Don't drop in on any waves which means if someone's already on the wave don't take it. You might get beaten up!

  • Don't put the surfboard between the wave and yourself. Otherwise when the waves hits the board it'll hit you in the face. Keep the board sideways to the wave.

  • Don't be embarrassed about learning to surf. Even Kelly Slater was a useless kook at one point.

  • And most importantly don't try and be something you're not. The worst giveaway is when someone brags about how big the waves were. Any surfer worth their salt will spot that a mile off - the ultimate kook!

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