I don't know if there is some official Starboard policy, but when I personally SUP, I usually give regular surfers priority, maybe not every single time but I leave a reasonable amount of waves. Since SUPs are usually big and heavy, I also try to avoid catching waves directly outside of the shortboard lineup so that I don't send my board on them should I crash. I think this is sensible behavior. This means I may move to a different section of the wave if shortboarders come out and place themselves directly inside me.
But at some places, it seems it i more like the "law of the jungle". When shortboarders and longboardsers are everywhere with no structure to it, drop on on each other, paddle out everywhere etc and when it is pretty much already a mess, then there is not much to do about it as a SUPer except just ad a bit more to the mess.
As I see it, SUP is a part of surfing. I think the established rules and guidelines of surfing should apply. At least in my world, this includes the people wih bigger gear someimes leave a wave for someone on smaller gear that may catch the wave further inside but still be closer to the critical section. The problem with surfing sometimes, is that it is so elitist and competitive. That kind of attitude does not promote a healthy dialogue so for a beginner, it is hard to get a feeling for these kinds of agreements. A beginner doing something wrong more often get told to get the hell out of there (regardless if SUPing or surfing) than he gets an explanation of the "dynamics" of how a lineup should work.
At places where there is already a more positive attitude surrounding the lineup, I'm willing to bet the the introduction of SUPers will be much less of a problem.
Last edited by Ola_H; 27th April 2008 at 05:50 AM.