Submitted by Trisso4 on Sat, 11/09/2013 - 19:26
I've been road tripping around Australia seeking some good surf spots at lesser known places. I've come across some really great waves with no crowds, but my experience has been tarnished by a handful of territorial locals who seem to have a different set of rules for visiting surfers or just don't like us there at all. My experiences have been encountered in surf spots with plenty of good waves and very few riders out.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not the type to show up at a surf spot and act like I own the place and disrespect general etiquette. But there seems to be an attitude from some locals that it's 'their wave' and locals get first preference of any wave and visitors just get the scraps.
To put things in perspective, if a group of tourist are passing through a town and queuing up to buy things at the local store, does a local have the right to push in line and get served ahead of the tourists? Disrespectful visitors/tourists is one thing, but it can also go hand in hand with local a-holes who think they own a public area of recreation.
Shame your experience has been tarnished by a few idiots trisso but surfing has its fair share of dicks. It is a fairly selfish sport at times and egos can get inflated but like anything you can't let it bother you. I was with my wife (she doesn't surf) on the west coast a few months ago, pretty sure it was granites. She was walking down the steps and passed a surfer coming up, 'nice day' she said, 'fuck off' was the reply. This guy was about 45, he said the same to me in the car park while his mrs just sat in his ute looking on. I come from the country so am well used to inbred fuckwits who don't get out much so it didn't bother me too much and my wife is Scottish so not easily worried but all the same it wasn't called for. It was my first time there so I went in and had a decent session but it was tarnished a bit. I'm relatively new to surfing so am always respectful in the water, the last thing I want to do is get in the way but I also want a wave or two. My approach is the same as it would be on land, I like to acknowledge people and be positive, if I encounter bad attitudes I'll move on, when I'm ready. Certainly don't let it change your attitude to other surfers otherwise you'll end up like the fuckwits and you wouldn't want that.
Trisso, it's a shame when that sort of thing happens. It's akin to stealing I reckon. It's sort of like you only have a certain amount of good energy and if you're kind enough to share it and some fuckwit takes it without reciprocating, you lose that little bit of goodness forever. It's hard not to let it get to you though, because if you knew you were going to get that reaction in advance, you wouldn't have said g'day in the first place. I suppose it's the chance you take.
Take comfort in the fact that most people aren't like that and in Upnorths case, I seriously doubt that deep down inside that person took any pleasure by telling a woman to fuck off. A real brave soul that one must be. Life goes on mate, stay on the surface and let the bottom feeders have it to themselves. Big frogs in small ponds, but all they do all their lives is swim in circles. Not exactly winners are they?
Every spot and town has their own code pretty much. Say sandon point, not many bodyboarders surf there except the short reefs around there. was paddling out next to a local (i was on a little fish he on a short board.) A booger was getting a few slabs by himself on a reef there that doesnt link up with the point in the outside channel.
I hooted a little bit at one and local looks at me like "what?" "you're hooting a body boarder"???
A lot of grumpy assholes surf that joint. Even the bodyboarder was surprised not all standups are bigots.
Last time i was in coffs harbour for a three week stay. There was full hatred between Sawtell boys and Coffs boys,beaches and pubs. tourists were allowed to get waves but not sawtell boys in Coffs kind of thing and vice versa. Full Angry Boys material (Chris Lilly)
Lots of spots have grumpy idiots. sometimes localism is needed say at crowded spots like kirra, Winki pop and millions of others, regulars who know the wave well deserve more waves in my opinion than people who live close by or even pros.Sometimes they dont travel and the wave only breaks good 3 times a year.
Sometimes blow ins will see whos who and try to "social climb" the ranks by talking to the respected regulars or locals. Ive seen this happen and a lot of the respected locals can see why people are talking to them.I dont but others often treat them unkindly. Its sharing a medium pizza amongst 50 men. Aussie pipe, 70% act like dicks or future world champions with impatience paddling for every wave. Waiting your turn there doesnt work. It used to.
Other spots its simply wait your turn. People snaking you or dropping in happens to most people here and there.
This is the code i live by most of the time at spots i dont surf often-
1- find an empty or uncrowded bank or reef nobody/not many have noticed
2-Too many out for incoming wave/crowd ratio- look else where
3- Respect locals. Even if your deep tell them "im waiting my turn" but not like your piss weak.
4-dont snowball or annoy other surfers paddling in front of them etc.
5-dont paddle for too many waves.
6- dont talk too much. lots of Aussies are friendly lots are angry too. Angry locals will get the shits quickly with tourists/blow ins talking too much.
7-if told to go one go it unless its a shit one.
8-cop it on the chin if told you're a kook blow in whatever. If you can, prove them wrong.
Well anything can happen in the water, but your wife being told to f off just is not normal.
I'm the scab you keep picking off and is there again the next day.
I am a blow in to OZ who is about to blow back out. I spent a year in Torquay , Place is full of up there own date wankers with a few GC's sprinkled around. Ettiquite was scored at 1/10. Moved away to a different part of Vicco, welcoming locals, a crowd was ten blokes who had ettiquitte rating of 9/10. What a diffrence a few hundred K's make. I am about to move back to my old home town and will no doubt be asked by a bunch of new blowins paddling up my inside where I'm from. My reply will be Born and bred cunt, now fuck off and learn how this coast of ours works, do your time ,respect the locals and their culture, earn your spot in the lineup, like everyone else has done for the last 40 years. Localism has many different faces and purposes. Each break is unique, there is no one ring to rule them all. Some spots are lost to the hordes of muppets with 2 clues and giant egos ( ie Winkipop) some spots are being protected by the ettiquite drivin locals,
Spots with ettiquitte are getting rare as hens teeth these days, I say respect the true locals and their version of surf culture where ever you go and you might just get respect back.
@Inzider, I hope you don't tell any wives to fuck off eh. (THC)
Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .
Inzider, what'a a 'GC'?
Maybe you should post a sign with the rules of etiquette, we're not mind readers.
Zenagain, Good Cunts I think.
I have a suspicion Inzider has a lot of people paddling up the Inzider of him all the time and also being a (THC) Taranaki Hard Core local you have to do your time and earn your spot in the line up.
Disappointing to hear of your experiences Trisso and UpNorth. Always had a friendly response no matter where I've travelled.
Mate of mine recently spent two years travelling around Australia and experienced the worst bout of localism back home at the beach he grew up surfing.
I surfed at Cronulla for about eight years while working there. Never had any problems with the locals, just gave them their due respect, allowed them to get a fair share of waves. Had to remind some of them a couple of times that I was there and it was my wave, but done with respect and no nonsense, and we were sweet.
Mate of mine had the kind of face that said pick on me, and was picked on accordingly. Funniest incident was when he was ordered in at Cronulla Point without even getting his hair wet !
Some mate I am, I just laughed as he turned around and paddled in.
Unfortunately there are aggressive and dangerous people that surf. Beyond me what they get out of it. I'm so laid back and quietly pumped if my surfs been a good one, and that's why I do it.
wellymon was correct , G.C is a good cunt.
This is my take on etiquette in the line up. Etiquette exists where the concept of a line up (que) exists. Etiquette is one of those surf concepts steadily being eroded by the ever increasing crowds encountered. However, when the travelling surfer with good etiquette encounters nasty locals he has to just accept that that location has some fuckwits, no matter how polite and well mannered he is toward them.
Wellymon- whilst living in Torquay and trying to practice good ettiquete, I had the good advice from a true local about how to get waves there ,as my technique of trying to be a GC was not working, this local shred master told me-''before you paddle out push ya cunt button".
Magic advice, however, I found myself becoming an aggressive beast in the line up , dropping in and burning inside paddlers left right and centre. Not the relaxing surf experience I am usually after. Thank fuck I dont live in Torquay anymore.
As I will be returning to the beloved shores of my home coast I will no doubt encounter the "new locals" a curious bunch of Johnny come latelys that have never seen my mug in the water before , who will undoubtly take liberties with my inside. Big mistake. Johnny come lately locals then get blacklisted and will find it really hard to get waves when they are targeted by all my bretheren. They will then learn the hard way about earning your spot in the line up. My stretch of coast has a proud tradition of ettiqutte , It goes like this, GC traveliing surfers are welcome and will possibly even be awarded a set wave for good behaviour, whereas non GC surfers will be told to exit the area with haste and be told not to return unless they adhere to our version/rules in the culture of our local customs and traditions.
That's one of the more bizarre acronyms I've seen in a while. But hey!
inzider wrote: ''before you paddle out push ya cunt button".
When living between the Goldie/Sunshine Coast 20yrs ago that was the advice I was offered by a long time north coast local, got me plenty of waves but it was soul destroying for a young lad from South Oz used to respectful lineup etiquette.
Worst I've had was a knife pulled on me in the surf for calling out a young fuckwit who dropped in on at me at Trigg Point in Perth. Turns out his old man had won the King of the Point comp a few times, so he and his brothers thought they had a royal claim to the break. I commented to him not to go travelling with that attitude, his reply was fuck anyone who tried stopping him no matter where he might go, so I told him to take his circus to the west coast of SA and see how long he would last. Bunch of cocksuckers he reckoned of the SA boys and would take any of em anytime.
And I know all too well what it's like being the "new" guy back in town, spent 20yrs living and travelling the country and OS, go back to the old local and get the "who the fuck are you" treatment from a select few that were shitting their nappies or still swimming in their old man's sack when I left the state.
Overall, I've had nothing but great experiences surfing around Oz, give a little respect, get a whole lot back in return from the majority of crew out there, in and out of the water.
There some great areas to surf in Oz, and there are some that are completely fucked in the head.
There are some areas that just can't deal with crowds, any crowd, just your very existance will make them fee their space is threatened.
Then there are places where crowds are just a fact of life, and guys just deal with it and let it find its own natural pecking order.
Fortunately, its a big country, we are, in my eyes, afforded freedom of movement. So we have choices where we live & surf and what sort of mindsets we have to deal with.
Generally, if you have a good headspace everything will be cool. Then there are those poorly adjusted fools who have made a lifetime out of having hassles. Think about your local break or coast, its most likely the same guy(s) who have had dramas year in year out.
It's similar to footy, so often its the same culprits having the barneys. Then you've got the guys who just laugh and roll with it all no matter what.
surfing is anarchy.
As there are no written rules and ...it seems like the only unwritten rule in the surf is " the inside rider had the right of way"..........
So is surfing and locals just about the survival of the fittest.......??
There is this...but it is only stated as a Code of Ethics, not rules.
They have surf etiquette signs up in Byron and have done for years to try and educate unknowing tourists and learners about safety in the water. Not that it has helped much as anyone who has surfed the pass can tell you..........
Surf Burleigh at 3 feet and you can see some of the most despicable behaviour/agro/localism anywhere............ surf it at 6 feet with a sweep and there is no time for it.
Tripper, I saw a sign like that at Raglan on a trip to NZ a few years ago.
We weren't there that long but we didn't experience any localism, in fact the opposite and we surfed a lot of the 'name' breaks on the east and west coast. NZ is cool as.
I agree with a lot of the above. The worst localism I've ever encountered was from a meat-head longboarder at Curl Curl. The wanker was taking all the 2ft sets, poo-stancing and not one turn. A screaming, snarling, barrel of a bloke. Must have been coming down from a crystal-meth binge, who knows?
It baffles me why fools like that even bother to surf.
That sign has traveled far then, it was drawn up by a couple of blokes down Margs way.
That is so true damothediver, a good sweep and the nouse how to jockey it, always sorts the wheat from the charf.
Personally, being from a SEQ background, there was little point in fighting the reality of an ever expanding metropolis. Waste of energy, much better to just get out there and take your waves.
Aside from Upnorths experience (wife being told to fuck off) I don't mind a bit of localism. I kinda like that surf culture isn't homogenous and you've gotta figure out how it works in the area you're visiting. It keeps you on your toes, makes it interesting, and makes for good stories too. There's rewards to be had if you know how to play the game.
Gimme the easy-going laid back coasts anyday. NSW is great, literally 100s of Ks of points, bays and beaches, it takes many years, maybe a decade, to explore it all. Options galore.
Really, there is only a pubic hair between localism and racism.
It's just another 'ism' - a hatred formed on fear, insecurity or inadequacy.
Not a good energy IMO.
sidthefish wrote: It's just another 'ism'
Tell the Buddha that.
... or the Pope.
... very different, the hatred 'ism's classify hostile or opressive behaviours, usually rooted in fiction and generalisation, towards others .
It's the action arm of the politics of fear and paranoia.
I've experienced a bit of localism in South OZ when i first starting out surfing, I've definitely been in the wrong a couple times but I always made the effort to apologise and show respect for everyone in the water. This is something I will ALWAYS do because I don't want to ruin surfing by being a cocked just because I may think I'm a better surfer than others. I've had some great experiences with surfers I don't even know giving me advice and encouragement and the attitude is contagious and makes the vibe of your surf so much better and more enjoyable. Share the love and you'll be remembered, be cockhead and you will be the guy everyone wants to forget.
Sid the Preacher.
Re read some of your posts of forums gone then lets discuss hostility , hatred, generalisation and paranoia.
Localism in my opinion keeps people honest when they frequent a new area. It reiterates that this is a new place,you are a visitor and things,ideals may be different to home and to be mindful of that.
It also serves as a reminder to be well mannered in the line up.
Ugly localism is rare for those that have manners and respect.
If you disagree Preacher man, get a big bus and start a world tour cause thats how far localism stretches. Every coastal town around the world.
Best of luck!
Jumping in a big bus with Borat and a Bear on a world surfing tour would be hilarious fun.
Probably end up dead though.
Yeah well Redneck, when people resort to trespass, properrty damage, victimisation, etc. things tend to backfire.
Some of you guys hang where you do supposedly for freedom and open spaces, yet then end up prisoners of your own mindset.
Good thing about having negative experiences is you get to appreciate the laid back and casual even more.
I done me time down your way Redneck, and I towed the line, infringed on nobody regardless of whatever you reckon, and I gotta say, where I hang now is like chalk n cheese. The "air" here is like Tassie versus Beijing down there.
As for the big bus, that's funny, after down there I spent 5 years travelling the East Coast in a campervan, north to Cooktown in winter, south to Tassie/Vic/SA in summer, was parked next to you a few times. Did +320,000 Ks in just over 5 years, I went to every spot on the East coast, I went to spots that aren't even spots. Never had a single hassle, apart from with a pissed indigenous gentleman at Hat Head.
So it ain't me thats the problem.
wellymon wrote: Jumping in a big bus with Borat and a Bear on a world surfing tour would be hilarious fun.
Probably end up dead though.
My next work contract looks like it's gonna be Kazakhstan,
I'll let you know how it goes hanging out with Borat and his pet Bear, ha, ha.
My wife and I are about to head of on a lap around Oz and can't wait to surf all the little quiet spots out there. Will be interesting how localism is from place to place. Can't see there being much of a problem anywhere if you're paddling out by yourself.
Just as a matter of interest anyone ever been 'sent in' before? Think I'd just laugh and keep on surfing.
I know a really nice guy from the Goldie who is one mellow cat but just happens to be very handy with his fists.
About 20 odd years ago he did a trip with his lovely lady down around the bottom of the continent and up to WA. Never had any problems until one day.
I can't remember the spot but was some desert point in WA. He paddled out and some snarling tough guy with his two mates behind him, told him to fuck off and get back to the beach.
This chap said 'no worries mate, but I'll be waiting for you' and with a wink he paddled back to the beach without getting his hair wet.
He patiently sat waiting on the beach and when this bloke finally came in, walked straight up to him and dropped him with a couple of well placed punches. Tough guys mates weren't real keen to come to his aid either.
His girl (now his wife) told me that at the time, he helped this guy back to his feet and invited him to paddle out together the next day.
He never showed. But apparently word had got around and that next day the surf had ramped up and he spent his whole sesh being hooted into sets.
I suppose the moral really is that if you're going to be a tough guy wanker, be prepared for someone to call your bluff.
That's not the full story zen, I took a dive as I didn't want the poor bloke to lose face in front of his girlfriend, as he did do the right thing and paddle in when he was told too and well the next day I had to work.
That gave me a nice laugh for the morning. Classic story Zen.
Like alot of the story's above, the only real dramas that stick in my mind, is if I've been away for a while (often), coming home to my local, some blowin that doesn't recognise you starts a bit of chest beating. I tend to just ignore it MOST of the time, but the expression on their face when your mates paddle out and start the banter of "good to see ya back, where ya been this time" is priceless.
I was surfing with Shaun that day and as usual Shauns description of the facts are spot on. The poor lad scarpered for the beach then sat there unable to walk up to the car where his girlfriend was, ashamed of his cowardice. When Shaun paddled in the lad explained he could not even look his girl in the eye let alone ask her to marry him, so Shaun took one on the chin and went down for the sake of love.
It's wonderful that it all worked out for that young couple zen and in the eyes of his wife the lad is a hero.
You gotta love that Shaun 'eh Morris?
Always willing to take one for the team.
Hope he got to work on time.
The worst localism I've ever encountered was from a meat-head longboarder at Curl Curl. The wanker was taking all the 2ft sets, poo-stancing and not one turn. A screaming, snarling, barrel of a bloke. Must have been coming down from a crystal-meth binge, who knows?
Sadly I surf Curl2 a lot. And yup, cunts like these are not uncommon. Plus nowadays, these idiots surf in packs....
What works for me no matter how crowded the line up is or how many dicks are in the water, is to just get in the right head space. I try to "radiate" good vibes when I'm out in the water.
I don't say shit to anyone, just smile and give dudes a nod...and hoot when a good wave is coming through, ridden or not.
I'm not a hippie, but before I paddle out, I just remind myself that wherever I'm surfing, I'm there to have fun and nothing else. When I do this, I end up having a fun session more often than not.
This "mind trick" has worked everywhere I surfed, from crowded Diamond Head in Hawai'i to Bali and all around OZ... The only place where this mind trick didn't work was in Kirra and Bondi.
But hey, at least I still have respect for my fellow surfer/man.
Nice post Freddy thanks
staitey wrote: Just as a matter of interest anyone ever been 'sent in' before? Think I'd just laugh and keep on surfing.
In respect to my post about having the knife pulled on me at Trigg.
At that time there was a core group of guys, lead by a young up and coming board shaper who were into martial arts, synthetic juice, carrying knives in the surf and looking for a fight. They had a rep for ordering people out of the surf, generally at knife point and if the ordered one didn't leave the surf the pack would descend on said surfer and beat em. Never heard of anyone getting stuck with a knife but there were a few beatings.
The morning I had the knife pulled on me, I called bullshit on him but I did paddle down the beach, I wasn't going to risk getting stuck by some little psycho when I wasn't looking.
The same day I went back to Trigg with a mate for an afternoon session, only to be met by the fuckwit and four of his mates who proceeded to fuck with every wave I tried to catch, snaking, dropping in and just generally being cunts. Interesting that they didn't order me in, I think they were enjoying the game of fucking with me. That was the last time I ever surfed Triggs. I left Perth soon after anyway after 8 months of living there, moved down to Yals and had a wonderful time.
Dangerous game telling people to paddle in. You never know what some guys are capable of.
Thought I'd quote Dave Rastovich "it's just surfing, don't take it too seriously".
I grew up surfing in Perth, including trigg point pretty regularly. Surfed around the world, and live on the East Coast at present.I have to say, trigg point has the most obnoxious try hard locals I've had the misfortune of surfing with, just really unpleasant, and they're not even that good. The young guys, 2nd generation are shockers, they think they're going pro, compared to kids on the east Coast and down south Wa they're total kooks. They need a reality check
Local of nowhere, frequenter of many spots. Stand-up to lid back to stand up. I have only ever had problems on a lid.
I currently frequent the NSW south coast, awesome crew down there and great mutual respect as long as you do the right things.
PS I surfed Bondi on Sunday and more than clipped a duckdiver, it was enough force to dislodge a fin and ding my board. If you're out there I'm sorry and hope you're ok ;-)
Only time I've ever seen that happen there was a couple years ago was when this guy dropped in on an old guy lining up the inside reef for a wave of the day barrel and ruined it. Even the boogs and photogs told him to leave. Was a shocking drop in for anywhere and the excuse "didn't think he'd make it" just not on. Blind Freddy could tell the guy had the style, speed and position to make it.
Just seems odd he was shouted out for just being there?
Mate of mine had the kind of face that said pick on me, and was picked on accordingly. Funniest incident was when he was ordered in at Cronulla Point without even getting his hair wet !
Some mate I am, I just laughed as he turned around and paddled in.
I never have believed in localism because for a start, most people that love surfing like to experience different types of waves and u can't do that by surfing the same spot all the time. If u really want to tell people to piss off, or,'locals only ' then that prrson doesn't have a right to surf anywhere else but there home break but quite often these types of people will want to dominate and take over any other place they surf. We can't have it both ways to be fair, can we
I am a Melbournian and I travel b/t 1 hr 15min - 1hr 30min twice a week to surf any of the 3 available coasts on offer in Vic so I do not consider myself a local at any of them. However I feel that once I have surfed a wave a lot and have come to know a surf spots nuances then I have earn't the right just as much as anybody else has to be there in the line up. And as a respectable surfer I will adhere to the general rules of surfing etiquette, and asside from a few bad eggs here n' there most surfers feel the same way...lets not cry over a bit of spilt milk when it comes to waves!!!
However, in today's desperate and anxious fight to get amongst it and get your fair share of good waves on offer one must step up to the plate and fight so it would seem... I was recently surfing with a friend of mine who I would consider a good surfer but more of your weekend warrior than a hardcore devotee...we were surfing a fun, peaky beach break and all the same once in the line-up I felt my competitive horns start to prick up and my game face on and ready....sure enough I put my name on a wave and paddled hard, knowing that there was a guy already paddling and in position, and seeing that he was looking good for it I still kept at the shoulder, ready and waiting for the first sign of the 'rightful owner' of that wave to make a mistake, but alas he didn't put a foot wrong and gloriously shot down the face as I pulled off the edge of the shoulder...and i'm thinking to myself "we'll done mate, I put the pressure on and you didn't let up!" I thought nothing of this as I've had it happen to me plenty of times before, especially at critical breaks wereby a split second mistake can leave you tumbling down the face and sometimes the guy on the shoulder paddling can be a part of that nerve wracking "don't fuck up" pressure that can make or break your performance!!!
So, soon after my little joust my weekend warrior friend paddled over to me and said "Man, I can't believe you nearly dogged that guy man, he was set up perfectly for that wave"...So this made me think...''Am I becoming a local?" Surely not? Is that a display of localism? No altercation followed and I feel that I was just doing what was required - If you wan't to get a high wave count at a crowded break then you simply need to be one of the guys working hard and not giving an inch...logical!
So this led me to think, perhaps localism is a perception in some ways, and maybe the idea of localism can be misconstrued through jealousy? I've had very many frustrating experiences with this in my early days of surfing and now that I am competent and confident, these frustrations are less and less...
Don't get me wrong here, i'm not advocating bad behaviour, just giving another point of veiw on the topic...
Another thing happened yesterday while I was surfing; I paddled hard to get out the back and be the guy out the back, ready for the next set wave - I had a fair bit of paddling to do and a guy in the lineup had worked out that he could snake in front, beat me to my feet and snaffle the wave, I then got to my feet-bottom turned then held my ground as he attempted to cut back into my line..... once the wave was over an altercation followed in where I was made out to be the unethical, unrespectable bad guy! So I was responded with a firm, clear "Go and fuck yourself" The guy whinged about me to his friend but we both continued to surf for the next hour w out altercations....perhaps it was just a bit of tension, but the point is we both thought that we were right and were both being hard done by, but in the end its just a wave and there were plenty more that followed....
So anyway, my advice to anyone feeling as though they are being localised ; stand your ground, be friendly but stand-up for yourself, if you truly believe that you have the right to be there then be there, if you are a newcomer respect the locals and fight for your right to get a slice!