friggin old guy wrote:I mentioned previously my three wave rule. I generally don't get aggravated unless somebody burns me repeatedly on the same day, and then I feel like I just have to say something.
the issue, just like surfing, is that nobody really agrees on the rules. it may seam like they agree, and some may think they agree, but there are as many different interpretations as there are individuals and moods.
here's an example: let's say you paddle out at Waddell on a windless day to surf. there's a well defined a-frame at work and all the waves are breaking at the same spot. you sit 10 feet south of the peak so you can jump on the wave where the shoulder is rounder and easier to stand up on. eventually some dude with more skill will paddle past you and sit right in the peak so he can take the most advantage of each wave he rides. did he snake you? or are you simply sitting in the wrong spot? either could be true. if he likes taking off deep why should he have to wait in line behind you just because you can't handle the peak. likewise if you don't like the steep section why should you have to surf outside your comfort zone? in a perfect world the two of you would still take turns and surf the wave how you like; but add a few more people each with different preferences and ability to read the waves and it quickly becomes impossible to keep track.
if you pull out localization and assume everyone has the best of intentions you still have conflict. it usually boils down to two different value systems: those that value skill
will say that you have to earn your way into the pack, if you can't take off in (or better yet: behind
) the peak no one will defer to you and you must pick up the scraps until you're good enough to hang and earn your place in the rotation. this makes sense as it rewards those who have put a lot of time and energy into the sport; but newbies and part-timers will find it unfair. those that value equity
will say that everyone should take turns no matter what they do with the wave. this makes sense too as it really is the most equitable option but it means a lot of good waves go wasted; which drives those who could have ridden them crazy.
granted: these are extremes; but every surf break around the world will function at some point on the continuum between these two extremes.... with a lot of messy human emotions mixed in. each spot is different; this is why traveling surfers must be able to read a crowd as well as they can read waves in order to paddle out at new spots and surf with success.
it seems to me that as the sport becomes more popular kite-surfing is running into the same issue: those who value skill won't have the patience for that long tack out to the kelp to track a swell back to the reef. and those who value equity will be frustrated with every short-tacker that grabbed some section of their wave that they had ignored.
at the end of the day, you have to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. like FOG says, repeat offences are the true problem. slighting people is tough to avoid, but if you notice their response then acknowledge and adjust, you can avoid slighting them again and that's what's key.
It's not that you should deffer to the local, it's that you should defer to the local's interpretation of the rules. because that's likely the most common rule set at that spot and adopting it is your best chance of working well with that pack.