srilanka surf camp

Surf etiquette

At Layback, we love the ocean and we love to surf. It is our way of life and we are super happy to introduce you to our world of waves. But, to have those amazing days in the water, please take into account the following read. Did you know that there are actually surf rules you need to act by? Not everyone knows … Maybe you only just started surfing and you’re not really sure how to behave in the water? Maybe you are a really experienced surfer, but mainly surf your home break with your friends? Either way, we have put together this page of wisdom for everyone to be safe and have fun out there.


1 - know the SURROUNDINGS

Before you hit the water, make sure you know what kind of break you’re about to surf. Beach break, reef- or maybe even a point break? Are there any hazards to look out for, like rocks or sea urchins? At the hostel we are more than happy to help you pick the best break for you skill-level and give you information on the spot. Feel free to have a look at our overview on different conditions and breaks by hitting the button below.

2 - DON’T. DROP. IN.

An easy yet very important one. The golden rule; one wave, one surfer. 

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3 - who goes when? PRIORITY 

The surfer on the inside - closest to the breaking point of the wave - has the right of wave. We know this rule doesn't apply in every situation, when surfing a crowded beach break for example, but at least ALWAYS look around before taking off on a wave.

Also, don’t snake! Snaking means paddling behind someone’s back on the inside to get priority. 

4 - paddle back out around the surf

If there is a clear channel always paddle out that way, it is less tiring and you won’t get in the way of fellow surfers. Otherwise, always paddle out around the face of the wave. This way the surfer on the wave can enjoy a clean ride. When you do get in an early position and a surfer is approaching, eat the white water and go behind the surfer.


5 - Wait for your turn

Even if you are the best surfer out there – don’t take every single wave. Spread the love, share the waves!


So so so important! Maybe you are next in priority but someone else is ready for take off and you got lost daydreaming – say “the wave is yours”. Sometimes several people paddle for the same wave and there is some confusion about priority – say “this is mine” or “you take it”. Maybe you surf at an A-frame – tell the surfer next to you paddling for the same wave if you are going right or left. 


Never, ever, try a manoeuvre that could hurt a fellow surfer. Keep your eyes on the face of the wave, there might be people struggling to get back in the line up. If you lose control and wipe out - we have all been there - NEVER throw away your board. Surfboards are heavy and fins can be very sharp, bad things can come from this. 

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Always check your gear before you hit the water. Make sure your leash is attached properly and your fins are screwed/clicked in nice and tight. If you rent a board – check the board for dings to avoid paying after.


Please don’t leave any trash on the beach. Give back to the ocean and sign up for a beach clean-up! And last but not least; the best surfer is the one having the most fun! So, smile, be friendly and share the stoke!