Surf practice rules

Here are a few rules put forward by the federation, and our advice on how to get the most out of your surfing sessions.

Un moniteur de surf donne des explciations à un groupe d’enfants assis devant lui sur la plage.

Security & conviviality

Rules to observe

Surf at your own level

If you're a beginner,

  • Stays in the foam or small waves
  • Use a foam board
  • Don’t surf in the bank rollers
  • Protect your head in case of a fall

Respect swimming areas

Un schéma des zone de baignade (entre les drapeaux bleus, à éviter) et les zones de surf (l’extérieur des drapeaux verts) sur la plage.

Do not surf in swimming areas. Check their location with the lifeguards at supervised beaches.

Respects the rules
of priority and conviviality

Le surfeur A (le plus proche du point de déferlement) a la priorité sur le surfeur B (qui en est plus éloigné)

The basic rule: 1 wave, 1 surfer

  • The surfer furthest inside the break has priority
  • Don’t ride a wave if there’s someone in front of you
  • Don’t let go of your board while ducking
  • Avoid collisions

A step further

1 wave, 1 surfer: surfers A and B can surf and have priority on their respective waves.

Surfers A and B can surf and have priority on their respective waves, but must avoid any risk of collision.

Don't panic if you're caught in the current!

  • Don’t try to swim back to shore
  • Stay on your board
  • Wave your arms to alert rescue services

Be a clever surfer

  • Choose waves suited to your level
  • Choose sparsely frequented spots
  • Do not ever surf in stormy weather
  • Protect yourself from the sun

A few more tips…

In practice, take the time to choose the right place to surf:

The number of people in the water tends to banalize the difficulty, so you need to observe the shape and size of the waves (hollow or soft) as close to the shore as possible and not from the top of the parking lot. A pactical example: the Gravière spot in Hossegor is always crowded, but it’s VERY radical!)

Your aim is to catch waves, not to find yourself in a though spot or scare yourself! Don’t hesitate to walk around a bit in the summer, to surf in peace, and don’t always choose the spot where the best wave breaks, unless you want to rub shoulders with the champions and your level allows you to compete!

Otherwise… the little wave that’s a little less pretty but less crowded will give you more glide time (because more waves are available) and less frustration! Think about your level and compare it to what you see in the water!

Finally, don’t forget that surfing is done ALONE on your wave, so don’t paddle if there’s already someone on it, and do your best not to find yourself in the path of a surfer when you paddle or wait for the wave (which means paddling towards the foam rather than towards the shoulder of the wave to leave the way clear): the other surfers will appreciate your efforts and do the same! If you’ve inadvertently broken the rules of priority, an apology goes a long way…

And in summer, there are almost 16 hours of daylight… so take your time… there’s always a spot and a wave for you!

Surfing, a way of life

To enjoy a good session, always apply these tips!

Find out more about how to combine surfing and ecology on our Ecosurf page, and the EFS Quality Charter—in other words, why Capbreton Surfer is a quality school with strong values.