NS Surfing etiquette ends in court

Ha — wonder how many times this has happened before ?! Surely a couple in the “Sue-Happy-USA”? Surfing etiquette’s up in court after a drop-in priority collision.

Also — from what I’ve heard about some of the NS breaks — I wouldn’t call these rules “courtesy” as doing this at many of those breaks will end with you having 4 flat tires quick.

(Here’s some rules about the etiquette and the video above isn’t NS)

“When two surfers collided off Nova Scotia last year, it set off a lawsuit that turned a small claims court into a class on surfing etiquette.

And this week, it became a $839.68 lesson for one of them.

Donald Crowe and Jeffrey Adams ran in to each other while surfing along the Eastern Shore, near Halifax. The two were on good terms, but Crowe was less than impressed when Adams told him to “suck it” and refused to pay for his damaged surfboard, according to a court document released Thursday.

Instead of fighting — the way Crowe said disputes are normally settled — he decided to sue. He demanded $750 US for a replacement board, claiming Adams broke an unwritten rule in surfing circles by paddling into the breaking point of the wave while he was riding it.

Adams argued that that rule was simply a courtesy. He said Crowe could have got out of the way but didn’t, and took a risk anyway by participating in a dangerous sport.

Crowe, who goes by the name Buck when surfing, called himself an “expert experienced” surfer. He said he even gave Adams helpful tips over the years.

Several witnesses were called to testify about surfing rules during the one-day hearing in November. They said that Adams, the less experienced surfer, should not have paddled into the breaking part of a two-metre wave when Crowe was in it.

The small claims court adjudicator, David Parker, agreed that the rules of surfing etiquette aren’t binding in law, but he concluded that Adams failed to act properly.

“If he had done or taken other action this may have been avoided,” Parker wrote.

He ordered Adams to pay $750 Cdn to replace Crowe’s board, along with $89.68 in court costs.”


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