Surfers’ Code of Etiquette?

Posted by: on January 13th, 2010

We received a couple press releases related to the Manly Surfers Code of Etiquette signs (designed some years ago by Nat Young). One arrived from a PR agency following publiction of this story in the Sydney Morning Herald. And the second came in from Manly Council.

The crew in our forums have been weighing in on the topic too.

Here’s one we received from Hannah at Five Star PR on behalf of Matt Grainger and Manly Surf School…

In relation to Paul Bibby’s story, published in the Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday January 13, 2010, Sign of the Times: Council drops in to show who rules the waves and regarding the comments by Mr Ohlbak on the Manly Surf School, Matt Grainger, owner of Manly Surf School has said that any previous tension between local surfers was discussed and resolved at a local surfer’s action group meeting in October.
Manly Surf School students are taught in only one area of the 1.4 km stretch of beach between Manly to Queenscliff and incorporating North Steyne beach. This means there are plenty of waves for locals and learners alike.
Manly Surf School teaches surf etiquette to all its students. It is more likely that the beginner surfers who are in the way of locals are those who have not been taught surf etiquette by Manly Surf School. Many visitors to Manly often hire a board and try to learn to surf by themselves which can cause problems.
Manly Surf School which has been running for 17 years employs locals in each of its surf schools: Manly, Long Reef and Palm Beach. Manly Surf School embraces the local surfers by sponsoring North Steyne and Queenscliff Boardriders. They have an elite program which has helped surfers such as Laura Enever, Davey Cathels, Chelsea Hedges and Nathan Hedge – all professional surfers from the Northern Beaches. MSS is also sponsoring the Summer Series in support of local surfers.

Text of press release from Manly Council:

Manly’s new ‘Surfers’ Code of Etiquette’ signage

The  ‘Surfers’ Code of Etiquette’ signs were designed by Nat YoungManly Council in association with the Manly Surf Club Liaison Working Group and the Manly Surfers Action Group has begun displaying brightly coloured ‘Surfers’ Code of Etiquette’ signage on Manly’s world famous beaches, initially on the walls of the North Steyne Surf Club and the Boat Shed at Queenscliff).

The signs, shaped like surf boards and complete with easy-to-follow illustrations, outline the basic ‘rules’ of surfing etiquette, encouraging surfers to avoid such common mistakes as ‘dropping in’ and ‘snaking’; explaining ‘right of way’ conventions; giving rules for paddling out; and giving safe-surfing tips.

To see what the signs look like, go to this link

Manly’s ‘Surfers’ Code of Etiquette’ is based on a ‘Surfers Code’ developed by a NSW Department Sport & Recreation working group comprising surf life saving clubs, board rider clubs (both long and short), body boarding clubs, professional lifeguards, surf schools and local councils.

“All surfers, whether beginners, intermediate or proficient professional surfers, ought to be aware that the waves are for all to share and that even a small amount of consideration will go a long way in making Manly Beach enjoyable for all,” said Mayor of Manly, Councillor Jean Hay.

“The ‘Surfers’ Code of Etiquette’ aims are to promote safer surfing on beaches, to foster a culture of respect and responsibility and to reduce the incidence of surf rage.”

Manly Beach is one of the most popular surf beaches in Australia, attracting between five- and eight million visitors annually.
Since Duke Kahanamoku first visited Freshwater Beach almost one hundred years ago to introduce surfing to Australia, the sport has become one of the most popular recreation activities in Manly, its associated culture contributing greatly to the development of Manly as a community.
Surfing is in the top 20 participated sports in Australia with an estimated two million Australians surfing during the summer of 2008-2009.
“Surfing is a sport that most members of our community can enjoy, so the surfing community encourages respect of others who are also there to enjoy the beach lifestyle,” said Councillor Hay.

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