Jon is definitely not to blame.
Jon is definitely not to blame.
depends on where Sean was in regards to the line up.
1.) If Sean was past where the waves were breaking, close to the line-up then... Jon's at fault for not watching where he was paddling.
2.) If Sean was caught inside and Jon connected with him after he had just popped up then... Sean's at fault for being in the wrong place, not getting out of Jon's way.
3.) If Jon had the wave dialed in and was traversing the wave he should have been able to negociate around Sean.
a.) If Jon is not able to turn around an obstacle then... Jon is a kook and should not be out where there are surfers surfing.
b.) If Sean is not able to get out of Jon's way because he does not have the intuition to know where he needs to go in order to be safe then... Sean is a kook and should not be out where there are surfers surfing.
I try to go by two rules: (1) Whoever is on the wave has the right of way, (2) Whoever is closest to the peak has the right of way. Otherwise, it's a free country.
sometimes people get in the way, but i've never hit anybody
In a situation where both surfers are not going for the same wave (such as this), there is no priority... it is simply up to the surfer that is going for the wave to decide whether or not he wants to chance running into someone that happens to be paddling out in front of him. If it were me, I would simply back out and catch the next wave... frustrated maybe, but no big deal. We've all been in the surfer's position that was paddling out and there's really no fault involved... unless of course, your a kook and you keep doing it on purpose or something... that's another situation all together. In my opinion, unless it's a priority situation, the person that initiates the contact is at fault. Case in point: I recently caught a sweet chest-head high session @ Sebastian and found myself standing on the sand bar after a fun little left barrel section that pinched off at the end... I grabbed my board turned around to paddle out only to see this rookie scratching to get into a wave in front of me... I immediatley started shaking my head NO NO... I could tell he had no chance of making the drop from where I stood. Well, numbnuts decided to go anyway and sure enough, he put all three of his fins through my board as he cart-wheeled down the face of a draining closeout into the history book of kooks. So I ask you now, who's fault was that? ...mine?!?! I think not.
its like driving the person on the wave is going "strait" while the person paddleing out needs to yeild
The person paddling out needs to know which way the person riding is going and how fast. The person riding needs to recognize that someone is there and do what is necessary to not hit him. As others have said, if the guy who got hit was caught on the inside, there's not much he can do. Beach breaks like the ones on the east coast don't really lend themselves to paddling around the breaks, since there could very well be surfers for a quarter mile, all of whom are likely to drop in. In this situation where someone's caught inside, the person on the wave needs to do the avoiding, even if that means getting off the wave. If the guy paddling made it outside and is in the break zone, he needs to GTFO of others' way!
And sometimes it's just straight bad luck and inexperience. This seems like one of those situations.
I've always been of the school of thought that it is the responsibility of the person paddling out to take one on the head in order to stay out of the way of the guy that's dropping in. Usually it's going to be pretty obvious which way the guy intends to go. It's the paddleouters (yes, I just made that word up) duty to paddle towards the peak, not the shoulder so he or she doesn't disturb the ride. If that means you get axed in the head, you get axed in the head. Additionally, do NOT ditch your board in this circumstance. Duck dive and hope for the best. If you don't know how, learn.