What Does "Respect the Locals" Even Mean?

ndjen's picture
ndjen started the topic in Thursday, 27 May 2021 at 7:11pm

This has probably been raised b4 but I truly struggle with such a stupid statement.
I just have absolutely no idea what I should do beyond normal civil decency that I apply everywhere and to everyone.

As an example, I once lived in a very expensive beach suburb with no surf. But plenty of families would rock up daily to enjoy the
beach, parks, BBQ spots and facilities. As a ratepayer I suspect that some of my hard earned paid for the roads and other facilities enjoyed
by people from outside that suburb. Never did I ever have any sense that I was somehow privileged, owned more or was owed any
kind of special attention, respect or consideration.

If anything, I thought it was fantastic to see so many families have a huge amount of fun. Many families really struggle, so it's a delight to see them
having a great time.

What respect was I owed? Gee I dunno. The usual stuff like don't park on my footpath. Don't do burnouts in my street. Keep the music down
and leave the drugs at home. The usual anti-social stuff we all frown on everywhere and from everyone.

Now fast forward to a surf suburb. How do I recognise a "local". Are they tattooed with an identifier? T-shirts? Board colours?
When I do find one how do I respect them? Give them money? Kiss their butt?

In the water do they get every second wave? Can they drop in at will? Can they tell me to get out of the water?

If my council rates didn't entitle me to a BBQ bench of my own whenever I wanted it, how does a "local" claim more ownership of waves god
created to push to the beach- (for free).

I am really confused. My "respect" for locals has been to ask groups of surfers about the conditions, dangers like rips and rocks. Sometimes this
has been well received but other times you get a response that is trying to say "piss off" but their mouth breathing gets in the way. Nevertheless
it has never turned too nasty since as a white haired old bloke there aren't too many ego points in taking down someone 2 steps from fertilizer.

Anyway, I have no clue what kind of respect I should be showing and I especially dispute that someone who has the privilege of surfing many free
waves actually has any more entitlement to them than me. If they somehow created or cared for those waves, I would agree. But they don't.

But I am happy to be educated on this point.

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soggydog Tuesday, 15 Feb 2022 at 5:41pm

Lefties like carpark further north are nuts these days. We’ve been getting a few vanlyfers down south too. A few got tuned in very quickly when the rules got broken over the Christmas break, zero etiquette, all foreigners That’s why the spots not so easily accessed need protection.
Also the guy in my above story was a blowin “new local” from the UK. Fuck that guy.

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groundswell Tuesday, 15 Feb 2022 at 5:49pm

On a small day with easterly winds when the margs comp was on a few years ago a few of us went to a secret spot that when we got there no one was around...then Parko and his entourage turned up and paddled out...i decided to start drinking beers even though it was only 7:30 in the morning.
Surf was average anyway and felt sharky.

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Blowin Tuesday, 15 Feb 2022 at 6:21pm

What about the travelling son of a former pro who went West with covid and was everywhere in the surf media bragging about how he never paid rent , just lived in his car for months stinking up the beachside carparks.

Everyone’s done it a few times but do it all the time and you’ve graduated to official serial pest. Then the fuckstik decided to reward the WA locals who’d put up with him lurking around their beaches without contributing to their towns by selling out a very low key surf spot for a few dollars advertorial.

Take a bow bloke….you’re the Official Winner of the Selfish East Coast Disrespectful Cunt Award .Amongst some stiff competition I might add.

Congratulations on your title.

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seaslug Tuesday, 15 Feb 2022 at 6:35pm

And just think his fathers cutback was the absolute business in the day, all the boys down the point think you are an absolute flog

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seaslug Tuesday, 15 Feb 2022 at 6:36pm

Nick Carrol drops the soap for him

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seaslug Tuesday, 15 Feb 2022 at 6:37pm

Think he visited you in Kalbarri groundswell, to help with the rebuild of course...not

etarip's picture
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etarip Tuesday, 15 Feb 2022 at 7:26pm
groundswell wrote:

also one morning saw a quoka which is rare for that far south.

Did ya have a yarn with it groundy, like your possum mate…? ;)

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groundswell Tuesday, 15 Feb 2022 at 7:41pm
etarip wrote:
groundswell wrote:

also one morning saw a quoka which is rare for that far south.

Did ya have a yarn with it groundy, like your possum mate…? ;)

Haha nah he was too shy and timid he ran off as soon as he spotted me.

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Blowin Tuesday, 15 Feb 2022 at 7:46pm
groundswell wrote:
etarip wrote:
groundswell wrote:

also one morning saw a quoka which is rare for that far south.

Did ya have a yarn with it groundy, like your possum mate…? ;)

Haha nah he was too shy and timid he ran off as soon as he spotted me.

Sure it wasn’t a quenda?

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groundswell Tuesday, 15 Feb 2022 at 7:54pm

Just looked quenda up and it may have been, i didnt get that close up of a look at it.

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seaslug Tuesday, 15 Feb 2022 at 8:46pm

That's what I was going to say it was mate, have a few living in my small shrubs

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groundswell Tuesday, 15 Feb 2022 at 9:26pm

Yeah it probably was a quenda, it was shuffling around underneath a tree that's perfect for a camping tent..but i was sleeping in my station wagon. Great spot, wish there was a wave like that up here.

Pal78's picture
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Pal78 Monday, 1 Aug 2022 at 1:15pm

I totally agree with the original post.

To me, localism and the ‘Respect the local’ culture is only a way to justify the very common Xenophobia in the surfing culture. Xenophobia is the sense – Xeno from the Greek ‘stranger’ and Phobia from the Greek ‘fear’/hate.

Most of the time, localism would be seen when some can do something that other cannot do, e.g., surf a particular wave, go straight to the point after a wave without taking turns etc.
‘localism’ is just a term to make appear acceptable a very unacceptable, xenophobic behaviour. From my experience, most of the time, people will call at any other person who has any kind of privileges in our society … but will find the privileges they have are justified. It's not about justice, it's about power.

The ‘idea’ of the local being part of the ‘local surf culture’, (cleaning the beach, filtering the water, saving starving children and mankind etc.) is mostly a myth to justify bad behaviour. I don’t say it does not exist; it is just rare. And you don’t have to be seen or part of any club to pick up the rubbish you find. In no way that is giving anyone a privilege.

When in the water, I tend to do as much as possible to not give any privilege to anyone that they would not give to me. If you don’t share the wave with me? Why would I share it with you? I will also not go beyond a line where some get too angry and find a violent solution to their anger. Just for... practical reasons, because I have other better things to do that dealing with these people.

As much as I love surfing, I find the ‘surfing community’ is holding up to its reputation of being often stupid, arrogant, xenophobic etc. In all the sports I have practised, surfing has the worst community. That being said, I absolutely LOVE surfing and most people in the water are very friendly, usually the ones that know how to not take themselves too seriously. We are not all Kelly Slatter.

Say 'hi' to that beginner who just dropped on you because he does not know, and explain him the rules in a friendly way, give him tips on his surfing if you find appropriate etc. ...That is being a true 'local' !

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freeride76 Monday, 1 Aug 2022 at 1:20pm
Pal78 wrote:

I find the ‘surfing community’ is holding up to its reputation of being often stupid, arrogant, xenophobic etc. In all the sports I have practised, surfing has the worst community.

Really?

I have to take your word for it, but my experience is exactly the opposite.

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Johknee Monday, 1 Aug 2022 at 4:33pm
Pal78 wrote:

I totally agree with the original post.

To me, localism and the ‘Respect the local’ culture is only a way to justify the very common Xenophobia in the surfing culture. Xenophobia is the sense – Xeno from the Greek ‘stranger’ and Phobia from the Greek ‘fear’/hate.

Most of the time, localism would be seen when some can do something that other cannot do, e.g., surf a particular wave, go straight to the point after a wave without taking turns etc.
‘localism’ is just a term to make appear acceptable a very unacceptable, xenophobic behaviour. From my experience, most of the time, people will call at any other person who has any kind of privileges in our society … but will find the privileges they have are justified. It's not about justice, it's about power.

The ‘idea’ of the local being part of the ‘local surf culture’, (cleaning the beach, filtering the water, saving starving children and mankind etc.) is mostly a myth to justify bad behaviour. I don’t say it does not exist; it is just rare. And you don’t have to be seen or part of any club to pick up the rubbish you find. In no way that is giving anyone a privilege.

When in the water, I tend to do as much as possible to not give any privilege to anyone that they would not give to me. If you don’t share the wave with me? Why would I share it with you? I will also not go beyond a line where some get too angry and find a violent solution to their anger. Just for... practical reasons, because I have other better things to do that dealing with these people.

As much as I love surfing, I find the ‘surfing community’ is holding up to its reputation of being often stupid, arrogant, xenophobic etc. In all the sports I have practised, surfing has the worst community. That being said, I absolutely LOVE surfing and most people in the water are very friendly, usually the ones that know how to not take themselves too seriously. We are not all Kelly Slatter.

Say 'hi' to that beginner who just dropped on you because he does not know, and explain him the rules in a friendly way, give him tips on his surfing if you find appropriate etc. ...That is being a true 'local' !

You want the stupid, arrogant surfers to say hi?
I think you've solved the problem. I'm sure everyone will now play nice!

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evosurfer Monday, 1 Aug 2022 at 9:42pm

The odd local here and there is a good thing just to keep things in some sort of order.

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AndyM Tuesday, 2 Aug 2022 at 10:40am

Sometimes the odder the better.

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velocityjohnno Tuesday, 2 Aug 2022 at 3:38pm

That's all a bit weird. It might be that the local crew have spent the time, learned the break over years, learned each other - to the point where a chat in the carpark, how are the kids, did you get some snapper in the run, did you guys see that bank that formed at x, yep all over it, daughter off to uni now, how is old mate healing after the accident - like a body of knowledge being constantly communicated and updated. The meritocracy in that, is spending the time to learn the area/the people... You can be 'in' it as much or as little as you like... Jumping in and applying marxist power interpretations of privilege/oppression is not the same thing.

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juegasiempre Tuesday, 2 Aug 2022 at 10:41pm

I've been a blowin all this year down the east coast of Oz and now the last couple of months in Bali and I've learnt a few things. I've seen a couple of incidents of ugly localism in oz. In Bali the locals will snake you and burn you and it's not a rare occurrence, but so will some euros/brazzos. All offenders are worse in packs, as are all humans throughout history I guess.

Truth of the matter is the worst experiences always correlate with crowded breaks. Without fail. Surfers are selfish arseholes for the most part (myself included). When it comes to how many waves is enough, oh the only answer is more, more, more, more.

The only solution is to find some solitude. Surfing by yourself; good. Surfing with a couple of mates; best. Surfing in crowds; like drinking Nescafe. Shit house, but better than not drinking any coffee.

Localism is dumb. If you're a local and you can't get a wave off a blowin that doesn't know how the wave breaks/sections, the best tides, the best swell direction, the best spot to sit, the best spot to take off, how the currents work, where to rock off/get in, if there's any rocks/reef to watch out for or a million other things that you should know if you're a local then gtfo my way, I'll give you the same respect as you give me, none.

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billythekid Wednesday, 3 Aug 2022 at 5:51am

totally agree jueg - locals have local knowledge so there's really no excuse for whingeing about getting outsurfed. If Im at my local and someone paddles in and outsurfs me then thats my problem. I need to lose weight, eat more, sleep better, stretch whatever.

Although it is annoying when people out surf you cos they have 50% more foam under them and they paddle that bit further out and hog set waves and then surf them with horrible style. Whats so annoying is they probably think they're surfing well, when in fact they just have a false advantage that encourages their hipster arm lifting poo stance shallow turn boring lines - Torryn Martin gone wrong (god I wish he'd never made any videos the imitators make me wanna puke) -. This is aesthetic pollution of the wave and really should be stopped. Which it can be by taking off deeper than said wannabee but you know, sometimes you just wanna relax and have a surf dont you?

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zenagain Wednesday, 3 Aug 2022 at 8:16am

I'm currently getting to the end of my Oz holiday and speaking of locals, I'm pleasantly reminded of how awesome and beautiful Australia is. Everywhere is so clean and well looked after but the kicker is the people. Everyone says g'day and are really friendly, I've been loving it.

I've only had one surf. My bro and I last Friday ducked down a side street at Peregian and saw a bank that had potential. There were a few sets and a handful of crew on them. Mostly older but all could surf pretty well. I kinda hung back for awhile, said my hello's, little bit of friendly chit-chat and proceeded to have a shocker, kinda in no-mans-land while all the locals were jagging the good ones. My bro got a couple then I started finding my rythm. Anyway, ended up getting some really nice waves and we drove home stoked.

I realise Australia for the most part is a wonderful friendly country and I'm proud to be an Aussie.

Btw- went the 6'6" Hypto as a quad. Goes alright.

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freeride76 Wednesday, 3 Aug 2022 at 11:12am

Good to hear Zen.

I've found overwhelmingly, when you are visiting different surf spots that the attitude you take in the water is the one you get reflected back at you.

If you are determined to not give any privilege that wouldn't be granted to you-----then that will likely end up as a self-fulfilling prophecy, and you'll find yourself in conflict.

If you expect the locals to GTFO, that also, will likely lead to conflict.

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Island Bay Wednesday, 3 Aug 2022 at 11:38am

Bingo.

And happy for you, Zen. Aus is a lovely place, and yes you get what you give.

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AlfredWallace Wednesday, 3 Aug 2022 at 12:09pm
zenagain wrote:

I'm currently getting to the end of my Oz holiday and speaking of locals, I'm pleasantly reminded of how awesome and beautiful Australia is. Everywhere is so clean and well looked after but the kicker is the people. Everyone says g'day and are really friendly, I've been loving it.

I've only had one surf. My bro and I last Friday ducked down a side street at Peregian and saw a bank that had potential. There were a few sets and a handful of crew on them. Mostly older but all could surf pretty well. I kinda hung back for awhile, said my hello's, little bit of friendly chit-chat and proceeded to have a shocker, kinda in no-mans-land while all the locals were jagging the good ones. My bro got a couple then I started finding my rythm. Anyway, ended up getting some really nice waves and we drove home stoked.

I realise Australia for the most part is a wonderful friendly country and I'm proud to be an Aussie.

Btw- went the 6'6" Hypto as a quad. Goes alright.

Zen, glad you got to hang out with your brother and get a few waves together. How’s your mother faring, last you wrote she wasn’t so well ?
We are similarly aged and i have a quiver of quads from 6’0”, 6’2’, 6’6” , 6’10”. At our age these boards are good for keeping your board moving at a decent speed but with enough flexibility for decent turns. I love them, never going back to a thruster. Got a 6’0” Bourton ‘Born To Fly’ twin fin with relatively big fins and a little bit of extra foam volume that goes great in very small to head high surf, very easy to paddle and very easy to catch waves. Safe return to the Land of The Rising Sun. Sayonara.

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Craig Wednesday, 3 Aug 2022 at 1:11pm

How good Zen, Australia is such an amazingly beautiful and contrasting country.

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blackers Wednesday, 3 Aug 2022 at 1:18pm

Ditto all of the above Zen. Hope your mum is okay and glad the board is working out for you. Enjoy.

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zenagain Wednesday, 3 Aug 2022 at 5:20pm

Cheers guys. Yeah mum is slowly on the mend but keeping her spirits up. She's tough.

I guess being away for so long I forgot how truly beautiful Australia is and how cool most people are. Currently sitting out on the deck with a cuppa, all the birds are going nuts and the sun slowly setting over the trees. Couldn't be happier.

Peace to you all.

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Island Bay Wednesday, 3 Aug 2022 at 5:23pm

The good life!

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DudeSweetDudeSweet Wednesday, 3 Aug 2022 at 5:24pm

Going to head up Surfers for a dirty night on the gack for old time’s sake Zen?

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zenagain Wednesday, 3 Aug 2022 at 5:32pm

Nah Dude, past that.

Tomorrow night dinner at the yacht club then the next a night in, cook up a storm for the ladies, some top-shelf piss and some good conversation while watching the footy with my best mate. Wash away the cobwebs with a surf the next morning. Perfect.

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stunet Wednesday, 3 Aug 2022 at 5:56pm

"...on the gack..."

Ha ha ha

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DudeSweetDudeSweet Wednesday, 3 Aug 2022 at 6:02pm
zenagain wrote:

Nah Dude, past that.

Tomorrow night dinner at the yacht club then the next a night in, cook up a storm for the ladies, some top-shelf piss and some good conversation while watching the footy with my best mate. Wash away the cobwebs with a surf the next morning. Perfect.

Guessed as much. Sometimes it’s amusing to entertain the ludicrous suggestion of trying on a bit of Hot Tub Time Machine action. I’m flat out staying awake after the sun goes down myself. Thought it’d be a giggle imagining you slipping on the old faithful acid wash jeans still lurking in the cupboard of your teenage bedroom and getting freaky at your old haunts.

Look who’s back in town!

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zenagain Wednesday, 3 Aug 2022 at 6:06pm

Happy hour at Twains. Anyone remember that place?

As an aside- a very good mate of mine lives a few houses down from the house where Hot-tub Time Machine was filmed.

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andy-mac Wednesday, 3 Aug 2022 at 7:28pm

Good comments here. I have just spent the last 6 months travelling mainly in WA, from Margaret River area up to the NW. Spent time in Cactus on way over and Streaky on way back. My overall experience was extremely positive as far as locals go. Found the Marg's area to be great, good waves, surfed the spots around Lefties etc, main break, Grunters and one day at North Point. Found the locals to be friendly, respectful and generally really cool in all spots. Guess being 50 +, travelling with Family so rocking up at spots alone, being cruisy and having a chat helps. Even had a couple of blokes give me heads up about some other spots in certain conditions. Only drama I witnessed was at North Point where a local guy flared up at another guy and nearly got physical, but I had been chatting with same bloke who had called me into a couple ¯\_ʘ‿ʘ_/¯. The guy he went off had snaked his mate.
Even found this attitude in some spots in SA where I was kind of expecting hostility. Met some very cool people and so many spots to explore.
I reckon if you live in a place and surf the spot a lot you do have the right for your waves over blowins. And a bit of local enforcement is good especially if visiting Surfers arrive in a pack. Had similar experiences all down east coast also including named breaks such as Angourie. Saying that have had crap experiences also with crowds and some spots. Burleigh in 90's was sometimes interesting. Crowd factor does have a certain tipping point.
As Zen wrote, Australia is truly a beautiful country with so many waves where crowds are not even an issue. Overall the Surfers I met in my travels were great people and had some great surf's with a good vibe in the water. Australians Surfers really were kissed on the dick in at birth.....

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oxrox Wednesday, 3 Aug 2022 at 8:00pm

Sounds like a great trip andy. The secret to surfing any place I reckon is firstly saying Gday to the locals, sitting back a bit and waiting your turn but when it`s your turn go and don`t blow it haha

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andy-mac Wednesday, 3 Aug 2022 at 8:27pm
oxrox wrote:

Sounds like a great trip andy. The secret to surfing any place I reckon is firstly saying Gday to the locals, sitting back a bit and waiting your turn but when it`s your turn go and don`t blow it haha

Ha Yep, make the first wave count!!
Yeah epic trip.... Great country Australia!

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crg Wednesday, 3 Aug 2022 at 9:35pm
zenagain wrote:

Happy hour at Twains. Anyone remember that place?

As an aside- a very good mate of mine lives a few houses down from the house where Hot-tub Time Machine was filmed.

Ha! Good old Twains...the underage capital of Surfers. What about $20 all you could drink at Bensons on Tuesday night? What about Tok H - $1.70 stubbies? Fishoes into Beach Road on a Sunday?
Good times Zen :)

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zenagain Wednesday, 3 Aug 2022 at 10:07pm

Don't forget free laybacks at the Rose and Crown crg.

Good times indeed.