5 Weird Superstitions Most Surfers Believe In

Superstitions can be a weird thing that might not have any real world or scientific evidence to back them up, but people still believe that walking under a ladder, or meeting a black cat in your path can give you bad luck, even breaking a mirror… 7 years bad luck! Now you might just be clumsy and not believe in any of those, but I bet you believe in at least one of these common surfing superstitions. Surfers as a whole aren’t generally too bothered by superstition but when it comes to surfing itself, it’s a different ball game.

check out our top 5 weird superstitions most surfers believe in and let us know if you believe in any of them

Never Leave Waves to Find Waves

If you’re having an enjoyable surf session and the waves are good, don’t leave… The idea that waves might be better just around the headland, or less crowded is a bad one. Thoughts like; ‘I bet its pumping over there’, or ‘let’s just have a look, we can jump back in if not’. are always dangerous, if you’ve found waves stay in and froth out! Being on the south coast we know how to froth over small, crumbly, crud waves and flat spells in the summer. You really have to just be happy you got waves, it’s almost always a sure thing that if you get out in the hope for better waves, when you arrive it will be worse and that gamble for better surf has just wasted half your session. Don’t gamble.

Don’t Tell Fellow Surfers You’re Leaving.

This is a weird one, some people believe in… some don’t. in some places, people can get really aggy about you mentioning that you’re going back in. it’s like an unwritten code that you don’t do this because soon as you mention it, the winds will change for the worst,  there will be massive lulls and the swell will just die. if you want to go in just give people a wave, nod or just paddle in and wait on the beach, but by no means tell the other surfers that you are getting out and leaving the water. Mother nature and the surf gods are always watching and listening!


Don’t Wear Green in Indo

This superstition isn’t so widely acted upon from tourists and other surfers, but within the local community it’s very well known and adhered to, to the point where sponsored Indonesians refuse to wear rash vests, or even sponsors boardshorts because of the potential outcome. The main superstition is that if you wear green boardshorts, use a green surfboard or have a green t-shirt… basically if you wear anything green, the sea will take you and never let you go!

Now, this does have some credence because throughout Indonesia most people believe in some kind of faith, as well as other mythical and more obscure things such as black magic. In Indonesian culture it is said that the queen of the southern seas ( Ratu Nyai Loro Kidul )  is depicted in all green and any man that goes in the ocean wearing green will be taken by her, because she wants to keep them for herself and will never let them go. You can see where this superstition comes from and it does have some truth, the Indonesian ocean can be a rough place, take Bali for example, lots of people die in the sea each year and naturally, some of them are wearing green.. so depending on who you talk to, it’s true… Better off leaving the green boardies at home…just to be safe!


Don’t Use a Yellow Surfboard in Africa 

This superstition has some legs to stand on, even if you don’t surf you will remember the incredible videos and images buzzing around the internet and of Mick Fanning fighting off a shark attack, in Jbay on the world tour. This video and live stream went viral worldwide and really shined in the spotlight on shark attacks, as well as professional surfing.

Naturally, all the local myths and superstitions came to light, but ultimately it is backed up by some evidence, as well as a number of surfers in the local area who claimed sharks attack yellow boards a lot more than any other colour. The locals even have a name for surfboards that are yellow, they call them ‘Yum Yum Yellow’. However this may not be just limited to sharks in Africa, it may be all over the world, but because of the extent of shark attacks in Africa on yellow boards, it has given birth to the superstition predominantly there. The real-life scientific data shows that sharks have no real colour preference and aren’t attracted to yellow more than any other colour, but that may just mean more testing is needed.

Myth or not it’s probably worth making your next spray job any other colour than yellow if you’re surfing in Africa!

The New Board Curse (A New Surfboard Will Always Mean Bad Surfing Conditions/Session)

We have all been there, you’ve been waiting weeks and months for your new stick and it finally arrives! You can’t wait to take it out on the water and get it wet, but as soon as you get down to the local beach, the conditions look crap and the next week looks like windy, mush on magic seaweed. Most surfers can relate and probably agree it is almost guaranteed to bring bad luck. When you’re pumped to ride your new board, it’s never firing, or one of the good days, if it is you will probably end up snapping your board in half, or getting a ding. Sometimes it’s better to brave the mush and get through it and then look forward to future swells.

Whether you believe in these superstitions or not is up to you, some hold an element of truth, but most are just superstitions or folk law, we want to know if you believe in any of these, or are there any superstitions you live by?

Let us know in the comments below.

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