Burning a backpaddler


Well-Known Member
May 30, 2017
Long Beach CA
I surf alone, i don't chat, and im constantly moving. I tend to let someone have the first set wave and re position into prime position. I rarely take off in front of people, but I also am very casually aware of where i am. I guess i back paddle before the wave is even on anyone's radar.

but i also surf first light and usually out with 1-2 others. Not in the wrong i feel, but i also have had days ruined by altercations that woulda been better left alone.


Active Member
Jan 22, 2022
Adelaide AU
I’m with @Chilly Willy - confrontations that I am directly involved in in the surf make me feel eecky and definitely put a downer on my session vibe. I am too sensitive for my own good.

A few years ago I was surfing my favourite reef on a small fun day with 2 other crew out. We were sharing waves evenly in a stoke inducing session and having a great time. The wave breaks in an Aframe peak with a right and a left. Whilst I was paddling for a right wave and starting to pop up, along comes a SUP rider on the inside out of nowhere from the left who turns 180, calls ”my wave” and goes right. I thought f#ck it and kept going given I was all but up. Meanwhile she is behind me screaming obscenities and localised vitriol and that she had priority like we were in a surfing comp. To make things worse her voice was like fingers on a chalkboard. We had some words and then she paddled over to a different break but that one wave absolutely killed the vibe for me that day and I still feel a little eecky when thinking about it. I could have pulled back and let it slide that first time but I have seen her bully others and I must have been in a certain mindset that day.

Sometimes it only takes one silly moment to kill the vibe and I guess everyone approaches a surfing session differently. I always try to be friendly and hoot others and try to respect others and the lineup and this was a great learning experience for me… let some slide to maintain the vibe.


Well-Known Member
Dec 18, 2020
Calm conversation is ideal, but not always attainable. Best comeback I ever got was "just don't take off behind me and keep me out of the tube".