Ian Cairns takes to social media after ‘upsetting conflict’ to talk SUP etiquette in the lineup

Ian “Kanga” Cairns is no slouch when it comes to surfing. He was part of the “Bustin’ Down The Door” generation that forged the path for professional surfing as we know it today. He won the Smirnoff World Pro-Am Surfing Championships back in 1973 and has been a major advocate of the sport since then.

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He had also become quite the surf coach in his later years as well: he was a head coach for the USA Surf Team the past 7 years, having won gold three times (he resigned this summer to spend more time with his family). This also included standup paddleboard coaching, which Cairns does on quite a regular basis now.

Ian Cairns can certainly handle himself on a SUP. Photo: Facebook
Ian Cairns can certainly handle himself on a SUP. Photo: Facebook

This past weekend while standup paddling in the surf in Oceanside, CA Cairns had “a pretty upsetting conflict” he said in a Facebook post. He proceeded to list out a detailed etiquette protocol of how SUPers should interact with surfers in the lineup.

Kanga’s comments started a major conversation about the topic on Facebook. Mostly positive comments agreed with his thorough outline for how we should all share the ocean.

Major bullet-points of Kanga’s plans include notions like “paddle out around the break”, “wait your turn”, “give waves away”, “sit down and talk”, “be aware of surfers paddling out when you’re riding” and many other important points that can be listened to by all surfers in the lineup.

While it’s not an end-all-to-be-all, it is a very solid starting point for figuring out how standup paddlers and surfers can get along together in the lineup. Because the ocean is there for all of us to share and we all need to be conscious of what others are doing out there, as well as ourselves in the first place.

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