Surf Rage Roils Aussie Waters

Surf etiquette signs posted to defuse conflicts
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2010 4:13 AM CST
Surf lifeguards take off for a surf ski race during a competition at Freshwater Beach in Sydney, Australia.   (AP Photo/John Pryke)
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(Newser) – Sydney is taking steps to defuse the growing number of "surf rage" incidents at beaches shared by beginners and life-long surfers. Signs are going up at popular beaches warning newbies to follow surf etiquette by not "dropping in"—catching a wave claimed by somebody else—or "snaking a wave," which is a sneakier version of the drop-in.

Authorities say etiquette reminders will help stop territorial surfers losing their temper with tourists and beginner surfers, the Independent reports. Some beach-goers, however, see the move as another sign of an encroaching "nanny state." At Bondi Beach, where smoking, drinking, shell-gathering, and volleyball are banned, "it would be more appropriate to put up a list of things that are actually permitted," scoffed head of the New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties.

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