General River Surfing Etiquette

In response to my ‘No Locals.’ post I wanted to write one based on what I’ve known to be commonly used river surfing etiquette guidelines. There are always going to be waves where beginners do not belong, but again, I believe it is no excuse to be an asshole. There aren’t many resources out there for people to refer to, such is the purpose of this post. As you can see, there’s not much too it, very basic guidelines to maintain peace and an aloha spirit at the wave.

Surf Time - Know the acceptable amount of time to stay on the wave. Nobody likes to stand in line. Everyone is anxious to get back on the wave. A commonly understood surf time is 2 minutes. Use your time to carve, have fun, and then when it’s the next persons turn try a new trick or just exit the wave. People are there to surf, not watch you surf. And no, being a local does not entitle you to take as much time as you please. If you want five minute surfs get there before everyone else. 

Throwing your paddle - Stand up paddlers after falling off the wave will sometime throw their paddles into the eddy to make sure they can swim quickly into the eddy; to avoid getting washed too far downstream. Sometimes this is ok, if there aren’t a lot of people in the eddy and you don’t risk hitting anyone. You must be confident you can retrieve it yourself. Don’t do it with the expectation of someone chasing after it for you. (Practice swimming with your paddle, my friend Nikki Gregg showed me a trick of using it as an actual aid to get you back in the eddy by reaching the blade across the eddy line or using it like a kayak paddle propelling you back into the eddy.)

The Line-up - If the line-up for the wave is crowded it can get really confusing on whose up next. Shortboarders, stand up paddlers, or body boards all can wait their turn on shore; making a very discernible line. Kayakers have to wait in the eddy. It’s up to all of us to communicate with each other on who goes next. I always try to get a visual confirmation from kayakers that it’s my turn and I’m not snaking someone in line. Everyone deserves  a fair shot and everyone’s time is valuable. 

 Pick up after Yourself. - We all enjoy snacks and  a cold beverage in-between surfs…pick up after yourselves. Respect the river and your natural surroundings. 

 If you see someone in trouble, help them. - We’re a community and we have to look out for each other. Be aware of what’s going on around you.

 Crafts Moving Downriver have the Right of Way - Get off the wave or out of the way of people moving downstream.

The river is a wild and dangerous place. It’s up to you to have the proper equipment and knowledge before getting out on the water. Being unprepared not only puts you in danger but puts your fellow surfers in danger. Take a lesson or have someone who is experienced help you. You should do the same thing when going out surfing in the ocean for the first time. 

The 'Can I Surf That' Trailer!

Yesterday myself and the rest of the 'Can I Surf That' ladies rang in the New Year by launching the film's official trailer. It's been two years in the making, we're getting closer and closer to the finished product and we couldn't be more satisfied with how it's turning out. I say it all the time but I can't believe we got this far. Not that I didn't believe we could do it, it just seems like yesterday when it was nothing but an idea. Now here we are, making a movie! 

Heather Jackson, who shot and edited the film (my best friend), amazes and inspires me. She is one of the strongest people I know. This woman is finishing up her degree in video production while simultaneously editing an entire film basically solo. I remember when she would tell others in the same field as her about this project and her role in it. They all thought she was crazy and in over her head. At times, she believe them. There were many moments of self doubt but she pushed through it like a fucking champion. She's a visionary and flawlessly captures the things we tend to overlook highlighting their beauty helping us see the world in a new light. I love her with my entire being and can't express how proud I am of her. Thank you Heather (wifey) for being such a tremendous influence in my life and being by my side through all the crazy crazy shit. Enough of my sappiness, here's the trailer...PLEASE ENJOY!

Me and my Wifey. 

Me and my Wifey.