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Even though the fray that often exists while surfing might make it seem confusing as to whose wave it is, it's easy to avoid minor clashes with other surfers by remembering this simple rule: The surfer closest to the peak of the wave has right of way. If another surfer is nearer to where the wave is breaking than you are, drop back and not in. The if in doubt, don't rule works well here; you can afford to be gracious - you have experience, and perhaps a better wave, to gain.