In the light of a few none priority interference calls that have been made on UK Pro Surf Tour and the WSL, we ask the question: Who has Right Of Way (ROW) in the ocean? Is it the first to their feet? – No, the surfer on the inside (nearest the curl or peak) always has ROW on the waves they catch.
WSL and our own UKPSA rule states:
“The surfer deemed to have the inside position for a wave has unconditional right of way for the entire duration of that ride. Interference will be called if during a ride a majority of judges feel that a fellow competitor has hindered the scoring potential of that surfer deemed to have right of way on the wave”. (Article 149 WSL Rule book)
Anyone who stands up in front of (or takes off in front of) a surfer with right of way has the opportunity to ride or kick out of the wave without being called interference, unless he hinders the scoring potential of the surfer with right of way by any means, including excessive hassling, legrope pulling or breaking a wave section down.
If an incident occurs Judges must consider:
- Which surfer has Right of Way? At the initial point of take-off, was the wave a superior right or left, the inside surfer always has unconditional ROW.
- Was there interference or not? Did the surfer with ROW have his scoring potential hindered?
- What rule in the rulebook was infringed? Was it a riding interference or another?
Be warned, punishment could be getting knocked out of the event or getting knocked out on the beach!