Rules rules rules !

It seems that in surfing and in life the more rules we have the more strife we have. It often astounds me how dogmatic and bloody minded some surfers are about the supposed 'rules' of surfing, such people try to impose rigid competition based rules in the free surfing areas as if these rules have been ordained by God.Given that there are no lines drawn on the sea the 'rules' can only be a set of suggestions for safe surfing and cannot be applied slavishly. . . . in surfing we should respond in a more fluid way than the rigid rule book allows. . . . the situations in reality include many possible conflicts in interpretation of rules and indeed even conflicting rules. . . . this should be taken into account when surfing, rather than trying to impose one's recently acquired store bought rule book to all situations.Often people use the 'rules' not as a way of avoiding conflict but as a way of causing conflict. . . that's not what it's all about.There are exceptions to every rule !Take the supposedly most fundamental rule of all, the 'Don't drop in' rule. The rule wallahs would have us believe that one must never never never 'drop in', but is this true ? No it isn't.No drop ins means no sharing of waves with friends. . . a very sad state of affairs. No drop ins means that one can never drop in on someone who isn't going to make the wave. No drop ins also means that we expect locals never to drop in on non locals, or surfers generally not being able to express their annoyance with a wave hog by dropping in on him. . . . . totally unrealistic, as that sort of thing goes on all the time. Personally I don't mind the occasional drop in as long as it isn't dangerous, it makes life interesting.Rule mongering is just another toxic consequence of the commercial surf industry/competition machine.Here's some wave sharing from the early days of innocence, good sense, and big wooden surfboards:Malibu 1947.