The 10 commandments of surfing by Tom Morey

Surfing: only a surfer knows the feeling | Photo: Rip Curl

When Tom Morey speaks, we should all listen. The inventor of bodyboarding (or boogieboarding, as he prefers to say) notes that he is "neither Moses nor Neptune's spokesman," but he accepted SurferToday's challenge to write down the ten commandments of surfing, with three extra bullets. Take it away, Mr. Morey.

Surfer, think royally. Surfing is not democratic. Majority does not rule. Only royalty rules. Royalty as in Kings, Queens, Jacks, Aces; all the rest is basically flotsam and jetsam.

Surfing is not even a sport. Has no established borders, court, time period. There are no agreed upon rules nor goals: Regulations be damned!. Surfing etiquette? Get real. Not.

Rather, you are involved in royal ascendancy of the highest kind. Better surfers are reigning elders, regardless of age, who took off first, closest to the curl or any other supposed game rules.

You learn best by honoring and thus more closely observing your betters. This is the royal way - weakness learning from strength.

In other words, if you're not that good, everybody who is better and/or thinks they are or can get away with it is going to drop in on you. So, no whining. Either get out of the water, get used to it, or craft your art.

Tom Morey: the inventor of boogieboarding

However, regardless of your stature, in the pecking order:

1. Surfer beware, O clumsy defenseless meat! You are trifling with the alien citizens of another world: shark, jellyfish, eel, stingray, barracuda, barnacle, coral, and urchin;

2. Behave, O threat to some. You are only slow moving food to many. Behave, otherwise pain teaches its awkward uninvited guest better manners;

3. All surfers come to ride, neither to save the inept nor dodge the inconsiderate. Stay out of everyone's way. All of the time! It is a surf zone, not day care;

4. Pay for the driver's gas, lunch and drinks. S(he) is already out for vehicle insurance, maintenance, wear, tear and as captain of the vessel, is held accountable for your safety and behavior;

5. Pack out your trash and then some;

6. Bring aboard neither gossip, backbiting, foul speech, loud noise nor offensive odors such as sour towels, stinky trunks or wetsuits;

7. Be careful not to endanger the welfare of fellow travelers via obnoxious acts;

8. Before dropping in - whether into simple beach break, business or marriage - plan for its end as well;

9. Abandon each wave at some point before at the end it will unceremoniously dump you;

10. The danger of even the biggest wave is only about two feet wide, the width of your body. All else is an illusion;

11. A wave itself is seldom dangerous. Rather are the rocks, reefs, and beaches on which it breaks;

12. One of the most dangerous things you can do in a breaking wave is turning your head 90 degrees to it. Broken eardrums often result;

13. Stay down an extra five seconds after every fall. Your board may just now be coming down point first or sling shooting back your way. Typically you are leashed elastically to a bouncy hard board having: a) 3-6 sharp fiberglass points; b) 3-5 sharp fiberglass edges; c) 2 long heavy fiberglass rails; uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more on our About section.