Surf etiquette, like the English language, isn’t always synonymous with common sense. As a community, we teach and practice a lot of contradicting value systems that come closer to something like “falling in line” than true etiquette. And we come up with shallow justifications for many of our obvious shortcomings. Or as I like to put it, surfers do and accept a lot of things in a daily lineup we’d be embarrassed about in the real world.
Somehow, for example, violence is considered a reasonable response when somebody gets burned. Two wrongs make a right, surfers figure, so let’s teach a lesson to the guy who almost injured somebody by…injuring him (never mind the only thing that ever got hurt in the first place was somebody’s ego). And don’t get me started on localism, the give-respect-get-respect web of illogic that outsiders are begrudgingly tolerated at best in my backyard, but the second I hop on a flight to Costa Rica I should rightfully be welcomed with open arms because Pura Vida, baby.