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5 Bizarre Superstitions Surfers Believe In

by Cristina Costea

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Are you afraid of walking under ladders? Or maybe nothing is as frightening as having a black cat cross your path? Does the number 13 give you the creeps every time you see it? Superstitions are as old as time yet they don’t seem to be disappearing anytime soon. This is mainly because some people insist on believing and living by them for fear of jeopardizing their well-being. 

Like in any other part of life, surfing is prone to superstitions and today we are taking a further look at the five strangest, yet common surfing superstitions from around the world.


Don’t Tell Fellow Surfers You’re Leaving 



Odd as it may sound, this belief is ingrained deep within the surfing etiquette: you do not, under any circumstances, tell your fellow surfers that you’re leaving when in the water. This means no mention of ‘this wave and then I’m gone or ‘one last wave. It’s believed to bring along horrible surfing conditions, such as long lulls. If you want to leave, simply turn around and paddle to the shore. Get out of the water, towel off, and leave. There is no need to announce your departure! The surf Gods are always listening!


Don’t Wear Green in Indonesia



If you’re in Indonesia surfing, do not wear green shorts or use a green surfboard! Just to be sure, don’t have anything that’s green on you or the sea will draw you in and never let you out! While this is just a superstition, it does have quite a decent source: Peter Neely’s 1990’s book Indo Surf and Lingo, where he notes:

“Black Magic is believed in all over Indo. It is nothing for the average traveler to worry about, but surfers need to understand one local legend... the legend of The Queen of the Southern Seas ( Ratu Nyai Loro Kidul ). The open ocean power in Indo is quite awesome, and many drownings occur at remote beaches. Many locals attribute this to the desire of the Queen of the Southern Seas for young men. Every year this ocean spirit reportedly plucks several young men from the beaches to be her lovers... and it is said they are always wearing green shorts. So naturally, anyone who believes in this centuries-old superstition will never wear green shorts into the ocean.”

Nyai Roro Kidul is an Indonesian deity, also known as the Queen of the Southern Sea of Java, or the Indian Ocean. She is believed to dress in the color aqua green, so any other clothes or surfboards of this color could make her want to lure you into the sea and keep you there! Don’t say we didn’t warn you!


Never Leave Waves to Find Waves



While you’re in the water and the surf and waves are good, you should stay there and thank your lucky stars for those waves. Because if you leave the waves in search for better waves, everything will fall to pieces for you and your surfing session, present and future in some cases. In other words, be thankful for what you have and do not trade a sure thing for a gamble, because no matter where you go after that, it will be worse! Any surfer out there knows about this superstition and they all take it pretty seriously.


Don’t Use a Yellow Surfboard in Africa



Do you know how the surfing community call the color yellow? Yum yum yellow, because apparently sharks attack yellow surfboards much more often than they do other colors. This is believed to be even more predominant when surfing in Africa. But is this a fact or just a myth? Well, after various tests have been done, it was revealed that the sharks actually have no color preference and that yum yum yellow is just a myth. Myth or not, we’re not seeing too many surfers with yellow boards, are we?


A New Board Will Always Spell Bad Surfing Conditions/Session



This one’s quite self-explanatory and most surfers can attest that it is also pretty accurate. A new surfboard will almost always bring with its first contact with water a bad surfing session or bad surfing conditions. To be honest, there isn’t much you can do about this, you need to accept that your first outing with the new board won’t be as good as you had hoped it would be. Once you brave through that first bad experience, everything will be alright and you can enjoy the surf with your brand new surfboard.


What are your surfing superstitions? Try your surfing luck and book a surf camp in the Americas or the Caribbean and learn about other surfers’ superstitions! 

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