The 15 most common excuses for dropping in on fellow surfers

Surfing
Drop-in: a critical violation of the surfer's code | Photo: Shutterstock

Surfing has an informal compendium of rules and guidelines that one must follow to be accepted, respected, and considered in the line-up. Dropping in on another surfer is a critical violation of the surfer-gentleman's rule.

The surfer's code of conduct should be followed whether you're catching waves at your local surf break, or in a far, distant country.

It's a universal, unspoken set of principles; a protocol that ensures everyone enjoys their time in the water safely and pleasantly. Believe it or not, a surfboard is a dangerous weapon.

However, there will always be disrespectful individuals who just do not respect some basic rules of coexistence in the waves, and will put their fellow surfers' health in danger.

Unfortunately, dropping in on another surfer is one of the most common examples of bad surfing etiquette. It's a sign of greed, impatience, and lack of respect for others.

When a surfer drops in on another wave rider, he is setting a dangerous precedent for the future. Because it's inevitable - what goes around comes around.

Remember: there are no ethics in the drop-in. Ideally, whenever possible, and in crowded lineups, surfers should take turns.

And when the damage is done, the offender will come up with plenty of excuses. The most common excuses for dropping in on fellow surfers are as follows:

"I Didn't See You"

This is the most common excuse given by infractors. Although it may happen, it shouldn't be repeated often; otherwise, consequences will follow.

"I Didn't Hear You"

In 99 percent of the cases, the surfer who has the right of way is not riding a surfboard equipped with a horn. Besides, the rider with priority doesn't have to yell or whistle to enjoy his wave.

"I Thought You Were Going Left/Right"

In A-frame peaks, it is generally quite clear who's going left and right, and in all other cases, it is also not a valid excuse because the wave is only breaking in one single direction.

Crowded surf spots: taking turns is not always easy in breaks like this | Photo: Shutterstock

"I Thought You Weren't Catching That Wave"

A weak excuse because the infractor must always check whether the surfer with priority is going on that wave before attempting his luck.

"I Thought You Wouldn't Make the Section"

A surfer should always have in mind that there are accomplished wave riders who master the foam climbing technique.

"I Thought The Wave Was Closing Out In Front of You"

If it's closing out, the surfer with right of way could've backdoored the tube.

"I Thought It Was My Turn"

The sport of surfing doesn't have a ticket dispenser system implemented in each lineup.

"I Was Sitting in the Peak"

A poor excuse to be given in intermediate and advanced surfing spots. Peaks shift, and surfers should know that.

"I Thought I Heard You Say "Go," Not "No"

An interesting, creative, and rather laughable excuse.

"It Was My Last Wave"

And why does the last wave of someone's session should get special treatment?

Dropping in: bad surf etiquette generally comes with consequences | Photo: Shutterstock

"I Thought You Were Paddling In"

Since when does the infractor read other surfers' minds?

"I Thought We Could've Shared That One"

Party waves are fun but have to be previously agreed between the parties.

"I Have No Peripheral Vision"

If someone suffers from tunnel vision, surfing is the last thing he or she should be doing.

"I Am Not Wearing My Contact Lenses"

If someone is unable to see surfers, he or she can't also see waves coming, and shouldn't be in the water.

"I Wanted That One So Bad"

Right. So did the surfer with priority.


So, if someone invokes one of the above excuses, you know he or she has dropped in on you.

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