Snaking: some surfers are smarter than others | Photo: Shutterstock

Snaking is one of the darkest facest of surfing. Humans aren't perfect, and, occasionally, they're not willing to share the ocean with people like them.

We've got to have manners. One of the most important unwritten rules of surfing is absolutely explicit: "You shall not snake." And there are only two options: to accept or to reject.

But some surfers still don't get it. Just because there are no signs in the water doesn't mean you shouldn't wait for your turn, avoid being a wave hog, and drop in on everyone.

There are consequences for those who break the rules. Sooner or later, karma will hit you back in the face, and you will understand why surfers need to respect themselves in the water.

Snaking can be especially dishonest in crowded lineups, where everyone is trying to enjoy a peaceful time on the water.

After all, all surfers want the same thing - a couple of perfect waves and a dozen entertaining ripples.

If you've just ridden a 100-yard-long wave, why don't you let a fellow surfer take the next one?

If you're on a longboard or stand-up paddleboard and know you'll catch more and better waves, why don't you let some go unridden?

Ladies and gentlemen, respect and be respected. And even if one or two breaks the surfer's code, resist and keep your surfing values intact.

Snaking Temptation

There are four main reasons why some surfers opt for snaking as a way of increasing their share of waves:

  1. They're locals;
  2. They're physically superior;
  3. They think they are smarter than everyone around them;
  4. They believe that just because they're advanced or pro surfers, they have the right to all waves;

Lineup: wait patiently for your turn, and a wave will come for you | Photo: Shutterstock

Snaking is Unethical

Now, from a civilized perspective, let's dissect why snaking is not a wise move:

  1. Snakers Are Greedy: The more they surf, the more they want, the more they steal from others, the more they ignore everyone else, and the more they live in a self-centered world;
  2. Snaking Is Unethical: Why do you think you should hold priority over someone who is waiting for a good wave for 15 minutes when you've just ridden one to the beach?;
  3. Snakers Are Rude and Impolite: When you just don't care about others and will not respect those around you, you are nothing but an insolent creature with primitive behaviors;
  4. Snaking Is Cheating: When dozens of surfers wait patiently and quietly for a wave, and someone disturbs the balanced environment to gain an advantage over them, that isn't very ethical;
  5. Snakers Will, Sooner or Later, Be Punished for Their Actions: There is always someone bigger, tougher, and stronger than you. And life always has an unexpected surprise for you;
  6. Snakers Purposely and Erroneously Invoke the Priority Rule: However, they will never hold priority over someone who was in the right place, at the right time, waiting for his turn;

If you're a snaker by nature, remember that you're an offender, not the victim. One day, you will, too, suffer the same fate.

Come on - think twice.

Don't try to catch every wave you see. Don't jump in the queue. Don't paddle around other surfers. Don't steal the fun from your fellow sportsmen and women.

Patience is a virtue. Sharing a wave with a stranger can be surprisingly entertaining, and you will certainly become a better and more interesting person.

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