SUP Surfing

‘Give Respect To Gain Respect’

Don’t be a wave hog, don’t snake waves, don’t ever drop in, always wear a leash, read the surfing etiquette rules (scroll down), know your limits. We all know that SUP’s catch more waves but that’s doesn’t mean you should, let some go and be respectful to others Also, and this is something people don’t do enough of, when paddling into a wave, make sure you look to the inside of the wave to check that you are not dropping in on someone.


This is the busiest break in the area and will always have people surfing when there is the smallest chance of a wave. When the forecast is good, it’s completely over crowded and this can be a hazard. Both sides of the pier break so have a look around and don’t just surf the place where everyone else is! Free 2 hour parking at Westcliff by the Marriot Hotel.


Similar to Bournemouth this is a busy spot but usually a little quieter that Bournemouth as it holds less shelter from the prevailing SW winds. There is more room at Boscombe too so you have a better chance of surfing without crowds. Works better on a lower tide.




On a good swell (mainly in the winter) these areas can get great waves. The piers can have zooed out on the good days and just 5 mins away the chines can be breaking  just as good with only a few people out, if any. Go explore and you could be pleasantly suprised. Branksome Dene Chine can hold some excellent waves on the lower tide.


Worth checking out on the good days. Can be a little dumpy but great when the banks are right. Another spot which is fairly empty so with other surfers.


A great SUP and longboard wave when it works. It needs a solid groundwell or wind switch are a storm. Can be really hard work when it’s windy with a rip which runs towards friars cliff. This spot is getting popular with SUP surfers now so take care and don’t drop in. Water tastes like shit when it flows out of the river.


Tends to pick up more swell than the piers. It’s a big bay and breaks in various places so plenty of room. On the right swell, this break can be superb. Can be a fierce shored dump when the tide is high so take care. Pollution is bad after rainfall.


If you are a beginner, then we suggest you do not SUP surf at Kimmeridge. This break is for experienced SUP surfers only. All the breaks at Kimmeridge are reef with very shallow areas. When this spot is firing it’s quite hard to believe you are surfing the south coast as it’s truly amazing. Yellows and in the Bay are great SUP waves.  The Bench is SUPable but you better know what you’re doing or the reef will hurt you. Even the Ledges can be scary on a big day. Yellow’s and the Bay are great fun. Yellow’s, which is to the east of the Ledges is usually quiet as it’s a long paddle for surfers. Ledges is the most crowded spot in the area and when it’s busy it can be hard work on a SUP. Our recommendation would be to NOT surf here if it’s busy and take a short paddle over to Yellow’s where you will have a much better surf (longer rides, perfect for SUP). If you do decide to surf Ledges, please be respectful to other surfers – don’t snake waves, don’t drop in, don’t be a wave hog and don’t be a hero! You’ll probably get stink eye for surfing Ledges on a SUP which sucks but it will probably happen, some surfers don’t like SUP and need to get over themselves but they won’t. Rather than have agro during your session, just take a short paddle over to Yellow’s. Trust us, you will be so glad you took the 2 mins to paddle over as the wave is superb for SUP. However, if there are surfers at Yellow’s (some can be bothered to paddle over) be respectful again and don’t snake waves, don’t drop in, don’t be a wave hog and don’t try and be a hero. We all know that SUP’s catch more waves but that’s doesn’t mean you should, let some go and be respectful to others Also, and this is something people don’t do enough of, when paddling into a wave, make sure you look to the inside of the wave to check that you are not dropping in on someone. We see so many SUP surfers not looking and they wonder why they get shouted at.

The Bay is also amazing for SUP when it works and has super long rides and is pretty much empty most of the time. If you are new to SUP surfing then the Bay can be ideal as it’s a long mellow ride. But please remember this is all reef


Gets shelter from big south westerly storms. Can be a fun wave but tends to close out on the beach.


Surfing Etiquette is the most important thing to learn before you set foot in the surf.

These rules are not so much “rules” as they are a proper code of conduct designed to keep everyone in the water safe and happy. People who repeatedly break these rules are often given the stink-eye, a stern talking to, yelled at with obscenities, or just flat out beat up.

Don’t worry, if you accidentally drop in on someone they aren’t going to beat you up. However, there are rules of the road out there and this is the real world. If you’re constantly stealing waves or not being respectful, you’re going to have a run in.

With the growing popularity of surfing, the number of people in the water is on the rise and unfortunately surfing etiquette is gradually eroding away. The ocean is a dangerous place, and without proper thought to safety it can become deadly.

New surfers and SUP surfers should memorize these rules, and even veterans should take a refresher course now and then.

Rule #1: Right of Way

The Surfer Closest To The Peak Has The Right Of Way.

The surfer closest to the peak of the wave has the right of way. This means if you’re paddling for a right, and a surfer on your left is also paddling for it, you must yield to him or her. There are a couple variations to this rule:

If someone is up riding a wave, don’t attempt a late takeoff between the curl/whitewater and the surfer. If the surfer who’s riding the wave wants to make a cutback she’ll run right into you.

Just because the whitewater catches up to a surfer riding a wave doesn’t give you permission to take off down the line. Many talented surfers can outrun the section and get back to the face of the wave.

The Surfer Closest To The Peak Has The Right Of Way.A-Frames or Split Peaks: If two surfers are on either side of the peak, they each have the right of way to take off on their respective sides. It’s not generally accepted to take off behind the peak unless there’s nobody on the other side. These surfers should split the peak and go opposite ways.

If a surfer riding a wave gets closed out with an impossible section or wipes out, the next surfer down the line can take off. If you’re a very new beginner I’d hold off on doing this anyway until you have a bit more experience.

The Surfer Closest To The Peak Has The Right Of Way.If a wave is breaking towards itself (a closeout) and two surfers are taking off at each other, yes both have the right of way but this is a perilous situation and it’s advisable to kick out early to avoid a collision.



Rule #2: Don’t drop in

The Surfer Closest To The Peak Has The Right Of Way.

This is related to Rule #1. This is probably the most important part of surfing etiquette. Dropping in means that someone with the right of way is either about to take off on a wave or is already riding a wave, and you also take off on the same wave in front of him or her. This blocks his ride down the line, and is extremely annoying, not to mention dangerous. If you are tempted to drop in remember this: no matter how good the wave is, if you drop in on someone you’ll feel like crap, the other surfer will be pissed, and the wave will be ruined for everyone.

Rule #3: Paddling Rules:

Some common sense surfing etiquette rules that people don’t seem to realize are important. Don’t paddle straight through the heart of the lineup where people are surfing. Paddle out through the channel where the waves aren’t breaking and people aren’t surfing. Sometimes at spread out beach breaks this is hard, but usually there is a less crowded area to paddle through.

The Surfer Closest To The Peak Has The Right Of Way.When paddling back out, do NOT paddle in front of someone riding a wave unless you’re well, well in front of him. You must paddle behind those who are up and riding and take the whitewater hit or duckdive. You’ll appreciate this the next time you’re up on a wave.

Sometimes you’ll just end up in a bad spot and won’t be able to paddle behind a surfer. It’s your responsibility to speed paddle to get over the wave and out of his or her way. If you don’t do this, he or she might just run you over!

Rule #4: Don’t Ditch Your Board

This is important, especially when it gets crowded. Always try to maintain control and contact with your board. Surfboards are large, heavy, and hard. If you let your board go flying around, it is going to eventually clock someone in the head. This means if you’re paddling out and a wall of whitewater is coming, you don’t have permission to just throw your board away and dive under. If you throw your board and there is someone paddling out behind you, there is going to be carnage. This is a hard rule for beginners, but if you manage to avoid picking up the habit of throwing your board you will be a MUCH better surfer.

Rule #5: Don’t Snake

“Snaking” is when a surfer paddles around another surfer in order position himself to get the right of way for a wave. He is effectively making a big “S” around a fellow surfer. While not immediately hazardous to your health, this is incredibly annoying. You can’t cut the lineup. Patiently wait your turn. Wave hogs don’t get respect in the water. Also, being a local doesn’t give you permission to ruthlessly snake visitors who are being polite. If they’re not being polite, well…

Rule #6: Beginners: don’t paddle out to the middle of a packed lineup.

This is kind of open to interpretation, but it still stands: if you’re a beginner you should try to avoid paddling out into the middle of a pack of experienced veterans. Try to go out to a less crowded beginner break. You’ll know you’re in the wrong spot if you get the stink-eye!

Rule #7: Don’t be a wave hog.

Just because you can catch all the waves doesn’t mean you should. This generally applies to longboarders, kayakers, or stand up paddlers. Since it’s easier to catch waves on these watercraft, it becomes tempting to catch them all, leaving nothing for shortboarders on the inside. Give a wave, get a wave.

Rule #8: Respect the beach

Don’t litter. Simple as that. Pick up your trash, and try to pick up a few pieces of trash before you leave even if it’s not yours.

Rule #9: Drive responsibly

The locals who live in the residential areas near the beach deserve your respect. Don’t speed or drive recklessly.

Rule #10: If you mess up

Nobody really mentions this in surfing etiquette lists, but if you mess up and accidentally drop in or mess up someone’s wave, a quick apology is appreciated, and goes a long way to reducing tension in crowded lineups. You don’t have to grovel at their feet (well, unless you did something horrible). Honestly, if you drop in on someone and then ignore them, it’s pretty stupid and disrespectful.