I’m glad to see that the more wave riding sports progress, the better different genres of the sport are getting along. Except SUP’s at the moment it seems. Bodyboarders and surfers (I happen to do both) seem to get along better than ever in terms of mutual respect. At least in Cape Town waters where I surf frequently.

I think it comes down to a level of wave riding experience, regardless of what you’re actually riding. Once you start understanding the rules of engagement you quickly learn to have respect for the ou ballies, the locals of any given spot and the general oke on your inside.

What’s different with SUP riders? I’ll chalk it down to inexperience, and I’m by no means judging all by the same measure. I’ve had the most pleasant of experiences with SUP riders who constantly paddle past to the peak, but still let you have your wave if it’s your turn. That’s how it should be done.

Look, I’m on a longboard most of the time, I can’t complain on the amount of waves that we’re able to catch on any given day, but you need to know the setup of the spot you’re surfing. You’re going to be pissing a lot of people off, especially if you’re on the wrong equipment at a spot where the waves are scarce or there is about a 1×1 meter take-off area, like Kalk Bay for instance. Vic Bay is another that comes to mind with quite a narrow band of a take-off area and locals are fiercely protective of their waves when it starts firing.

If you put in your time, and you eventually earn the respect of others in the water, you’ve managed to master just one more of the many difficulties in the world of learning to surf.

In the end, it’s riding waves that matter, to the best of your ability.