Gots a question. I have been surfing a few spots in DE for about 4 years now. Been sticking to one area because the IR has just become too crowded with too many a-holes. When paddeling out or if I am in closer than some other I paddel like hek to get out of people way. I generaly do not paddle to the point or the main local line up and generaly stick somewhat on the shoulder. I try my best to not drop in on people, if someone is on the wave I will pull right out. However, sometimes when I am paddeling for a wave and other people are as well I get looks like I am not watching for them or something. My theory, especially during tourist season is I might as well paddle for a wave becasue 3/4 of the time they don't get in. I am generaly quiet and do not talk to alot of people, just a few. My question is when or how should I start mixing into the lineup. Also do others recognize those who work hard at staying out of the way/path, should I be more social and start chatting to more people, or just grow some bigger balls follow the rule of the line up and charge. Rules of the linup is a hard call though because it seems that not that many people are that polite and just go anyways??
im not a local but generally when its big people are pretty poliet. during the summer its just a **** show.
last 2 times ive been out, you generally have 2-5 people charging the wave, those who feel that they will catch it keep going and those who know that they arent in the best spot back out. i know ive been in the spot to catch but was beaten down the line so i back out.
manners go along way and dont be afraid to chat it up a bit.
if youre not the first person on the inside dont paddle for it unless each of those guys are riding the oversized boogey boards and have really rediculous rash guards on. Also, you dont have to tell the people out their your life story, but a good morning or how has it been type of small talk is legit and they may give you a little more respect. i wouldnt say you should appologize after everytime you accidently do something either cause it makes you look like a pansy with no balls. hopefully that helps
There is a dance that goes on out there to get into the pack. I grew up in NJ but moved to Delmarva 7 years ago. When I first showed up at the place I now surf on a regular basis I would go super wide, literally way down the beach. The regulars would see me do this every swell. Sometimes when the swell angle was right they would see me getting some good rides and would coment on them when I got on the beach. I would say thanks I saw some good ones of yours and would walk away. When the waves were good in one particular spot I would sit way out on the shoulder and take a left when it was 90% rights or hop on the shoulder after a wave was missed and so on. I never paddleed right to the prime spot. Some of the guys would recognize you and shoot a hello as they paddled back out after a good wave. Then you get to the beach one day and you are first there and you paddle out to the "spot" and get a half hour or so before the regular crew gets there. Inevitably they paddle out and say hi, let you get the next set wave and your off the spot and they take over. In this case you hang closer to the "spot" and move away when the crowd gets to big and go down the beach again. This kind of back and forth can take years before you gain full access to the spot and a slot in the pecking order. You need to catch the waves and do well though or at least be showing improvement before you will be let in. Even now even though I consider myself well ingrained in the regular group I get pushed out when a good swell shows up and a bunch of unknowns paddle out like they own the place. On these days it's just not worth the trouble to sit and fight and ruin a great day trying to defend that spot. If you politely sit on the shoulder and catcha few good waves you will be noticed and let in over time. Once you are let in you can comfortabley sit out there with 10 guys and get waves and not feel any of the stress of surfing in the middle of a bunch of strangers.
Yea that is how it has been pritty much working. I have found alot of time on the outside the goods set may be few and farther inbetween but they are your when they come in. Sitting n the pack you still end up waiting for your wave. It has been going exactly as described just kind of working your way in over time gaining the respect of other as well as giving it to them. Just was not sure on the time aspect since I am here year round, out all winter, and back off some over summer.
In my experience, the Delmarva lineup is not very heavy or threatening. But when there is a crowd, you will always run into some hierarchy in the lineup.
If you can hold your own in the conditions, then I think its good to make sure you get in there and get a wave. Or else you might be sitting on the shoulder all day. Get to the take off area you want to be, and be polite and give some waves to others. Give them a head nod or something to tell them to take the wave. Small chat is always good - just a hello goes a long way. But, after you have given a few waves to others make sure you paddle for yours.
Then hopefully, you will establish some sharing in the lineup, however, sometimes you will run into those that think they own the spot and will paddle for every wave.
I've surfed every spot in delaware and o.c since the late 80's and one thing I know is this, you can be seen all spring, summer, and fall, you can be a ripper or a nose walker does not matter, if the die hard's of that spot don't see you out ALL YEAR, you won't get as much respect as you could or should, besides our best swells are thru out the winter anyways.
basicly if your good and dont act like a di** while your out there..like dropping in one someone or just pissing someone off..you will be fine..also to gain respect try to get out there as much as possible so locals can know that your not a kook..but if ur suck and just have no clue what you are doing..u just stay right at that shoulder and watch us all pass you