It’s golden hour and the sun is just beginning to tuck itself beneath the horizon. Glassy waves dance under a cotton candy-toned sky. A pod of dolphins swims by, their dorsal fins swiftly and momentarily broaching, just before dipping back below the surface, then back up again. As a set rolls in, the dolphins repeatedly leap through the air with the waves – riding with grace, ease, and camaraderie.
While people in the lineup hoot and holler in gratitude for experiencing such an epic, yet wholesome, interaction – they may very well divert right back to competitively turning-and-burning with the sets that follow, spewing negativity at anyone who gets in their way. We all know that one guy who will howl at anyone whether it’s an ankle-high day or double overhead. Sure, it can be tempting not to put your own surfing first – and overcrowded waves with flying boards can be dangerous. But instances such as these lead one to question the pace and outlook of our own experiences and, perhaps, how maybe we should look to dolphins’ playful and cooperative disposition in the ocean as the best example of lineup etiquette.
Whether dolphins are curiously peeping through the surface, exuberantly trailing in the wake of a boat, interacting with blue whales as they surf together, or bounding through the air next to their fellow human wave riders – people have long been enchanted by dolphins and their behavior. As the ancient Greeks explored the oceans and grew to construct one of the world’s first seafaring nations, dolphins came to appear time and time again in ancient murals, mythologies, poems and texts. More often than not, dolphins are depicted surfing.