Surfers etiquette: if you're travelling here to surf, please respect the locals.

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Geoffw started the topic in Monday, 13 Jan 2020 at 6:32pm
Geoffw's picture
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Geoffw commented Monday, 13 Jan 2020 at 6:56pm

Surfers etiquette: "if you're travelling here to surf, please respect the locals".

Every now and then I see the sentence above on the Swellnet website and I wonder what the sentence means. e.g. I live in Melbourne and have been surfing on the West Coast mainly around Torquay for a long time. I can understand that if you surfed in a remote location and there were locals that were very particular as to who and where the visitors were from. However, In a place like Torquay the sentence is pretty much e relevant. If we are to respect the locals who are they and what do they look like. In general I wouldn't know whether some one was from Melbourne, Geelong, Ballarat or a local. After many years you do become friends with some surfers that you see on a regular basis. Some live in the area and some are from other places like Melbourne. Why should we respect the locals anyway. Is it because they live close to many of the local surf spots and does that mean we should respect them. It would be very difficult to do so. In lots of cases I wouldn't know who they were or where they came from. Some are international tourists. If one would like to be respected as a local when do you stop being a local, 5km out of a major town like Torquay, 10 kms or maybe when you reach Geelong you are no longer considered a local. It all seems meaningless to me. There are lots of locations all around Australia that fit a similar description to Torquay and the west Coast of Victoria. I think a better slogan could be "respect each other in the water"

velocityjohnno's picture
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velocityjohnno commented Monday, 13 Jan 2020 at 8:08pm

If you see a guy in a Borat mankini with a Pyzel Ghost, that might be Gary G.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Monday, 13 Jan 2020 at 9:38pm

It means that you shouldn’t post a photo of the surf on social media.

It means you shouldn’t paddle straight to the inside even if you’ve arrived at the spot from around the bubble.

It means that you shouldn’t be paddling into a fast , down the line wave whilst someone else is surfing cause you’ll create a ruinous section.

It means acting like you are lucky to be there as waves rifle down the point.

It means pulling fuckers up if they paddle around you when you’ve waited your turn in good faith.

It means being friendly in the line up.

It means not taking a backward step when a local thinks they’re entitled to treat you like something they’ve found on the bottom of their shoe.

It means giving precedence to an older dude who obviously knows the lineup and who has tried to be patient with a packed session.

It means leaving the water feeling that you got what you deserved without ruining the session for others and without being some fuckwit’s doormat.

Handy hint...if someone has a foreign accent in Australia, then they’re lower on the totem pole than you are , irrespective of how many crew they say hello to in the line up. There’s nothing lower than an Aussie who thinks they’re a Wayan in Bali or a Brazzo who thinks they’re a cobber at Margaret’s . Wait your turn , dickhead !

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tubeshooter commented Monday, 13 Jan 2020 at 9:19pm

"Who are they and what do they look like? " .. Indeed a tough question,, but if you notice in the carpark some individuals maybe talking to every second car that pulls in , same as the line-up , this bloke will know and converse with many others , and generally catch a lot more waves than you.
Respecting a person who surfs the same area regularly is a given , and by doing so you find yourself getting more waves.
Obviously ,obnoxious arrogant arseholes who wish to lay claim to every wave that comes through is dealt with on a case by case basis .. i.e is the guy bigger than you

vascectomy-blottmouth's picture
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vascectomy-blot... commented Monday, 13 Jan 2020 at 10:00pm

It means you should find the local big dog. Find the guy who's dominating the lineup... and cup his balls.

Cos he deserves some special treatment.

Terminal's picture
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Terminal commented Tuesday, 14 Jan 2020 at 12:40am

"respect each other in the water" c.f. "respect the locals", I like it.

Good question though, I've thought about it a lot. I was a local at a world-class wave for many years, got a lifetime worth of amazing rides and surfed it year round when it was on-off and everything in between. As time went by I started thinking about the tourists in the lineup and the "respect the locals" rule, who is actually more entitled? Me, someone who is lucky enough to surf the wave all year round, or someone who may only get one, or a couple of opportunities to surf a truly world-class wave ever? I watch footage of some of those local pros on the goldy, you know the ones, fading guys and often think you sef-entitled prick, you just denied that person potentially the ride of their life and you're paid to be flown around the world and do this for a living! One suggestion I would make to locals is maybe give away the odd bomb to a non-local, call them into it, it's actually incredibly fulfilling sharing the stoke of a mind blown by a great wave, wish I'd caught on to that sooner.

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crg commented Tuesday, 14 Jan 2020 at 5:33am

Respect the locals is an adage which adhered to, will create a safe, self regulated lineup for everyone to share. Unfortunately it only takes one visitor or local to not respect the adage for it all to turn to shit. Haha...it's a free for all these days!!

I'm not cheap,
But I'm free.

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Optimist commented Tuesday, 14 Jan 2020 at 6:14am

What Blowin wrote was spot on I thought. Do that and all is well. Also consider that many of us have lived our lives close to abject poverty to be near the break we love and have sacrificed wealth and title for our love of the local waves. Raising a family in the country is difficult but has its own reward and that is the environment , the friendships and the wave. A good hearted local surfer will be your new best friend if you carry yourself well in the lineup and get pleasure watching others have fun.

AndyM's picture
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AndyM commented Tuesday, 14 Jan 2020 at 7:51am

They’ll also be your new best friend if you cup their balls.

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velocityjohnno commented Tuesday, 14 Jan 2020 at 11:31am

These are all valid points (esp Optimist re: Opportunity Cost), Geoff also asked how to know who the locals are. Just watch the cars, the ones with a '3228' sticker are the locals. Or 3226 stickers even.

Also, if you are at the comp and eavesdrop on the ticket booth, the licences with 3228 on them get different entry pass, those are locals too.

:p

Solitude's picture
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Solitude commented Tuesday, 14 Jan 2020 at 11:48am

Anyone ever tried the 'speak up' as an out of town surfer?
Scenario: you paddle out, sit wide, slowly make your way to the peak as the locals get their sets. Its nearly your turn but same locals paddle straight past (not just one). Repeat set after set.
Tough if its just you and a handful of flog locals. My thoughts are that the 'speak up' approach wouldn't have much sway unless you can back yourself with either a) a good set of knuckles and/or b) A-grade surfing
Anyone with previous experience of this above?

ringmaster's picture
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ringmaster commented Tuesday, 14 Jan 2020 at 12:26pm

As someone who has lived around here for 30 odd years, I can tell ya that pretty well any car with a '3228' sticker on it has been here for about 5 minutes. They've only made an appearance in the last few years and personally I find them fucken cringeworthy. 'Wannabe' local for sure. Crew that have lived here (or anywhere) for a long enough time don't have a need to advertise the fact.

If you see one in the car park where you surf next be sure to piss on it.

*My car is stickerless and actually has the licence plate framed by a Melbourne car dealership where I bought it.

sypkan's picture
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sypkan commented Tuesday, 14 Jan 2020 at 12:26pm

blowin's list

plus the environment, i've checked just about every surf spot in oz, and the localls have done a splendid job in preserving some of the natural beauty that comes with surfing

even on the shitty gold coast

surely that deserves a wave or two

AndyM's picture
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AndyM commented Tuesday, 14 Jan 2020 at 1:37pm

I reckon you could post every list in the world in multiple languages but the crew that descended en-masse on my local this morning still wouldn't give a rats.

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simba commented Tuesday, 14 Jan 2020 at 2:00pm

But how much respect do you give the local dole bludgers who surf all day everyday and show no respect to guys who might live in that area that dont get to surf that often because of work/family commitments.?

simba

P'tai's picture
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P'tai commented Tuesday, 14 Jan 2020 at 2:13pm

None....

If your okay with getting your car maliciously damaged, tyres let down etc. Even though you've lived in the area way longer than them.......

sypkan's picture
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sypkan commented Tuesday, 14 Jan 2020 at 2:20pm

there's localism and there's localism...

and occasionally the above behaviour has been justified

I actually hate localism

but it has it's place

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sypkan commented Tuesday, 14 Jan 2020 at 2:23pm

the north coast has gone nuts with that shit!

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Stok commented Tuesday, 14 Jan 2020 at 2:35pm

Localism, generally, can be a laughable concept. It's classic in group/out group bias which has little logical merit outside of surfing, and is becoming dated inside of surfing.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In-group_favoritism

The reality is, there's just as many disrespectful idiots who are locals as much as there are blow ins.

Locals work hard for waves but so do blow ins. Crew make sacrifices on either end of the scale and to say one or the other has it harder or deserves more is invalid.

Local knowledge is a slightly different factor, but if you're a respectful, good natured local you'll happily share that with others. Just like if you're a respectful, good natured blow in you won't paddle out without understanding the risks, or you won't paddle to deep without understanding the lineup order. Unfortunately it's just c*nts in general who ruin it either way!

Balance's picture
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Balance commented Tuesday, 14 Jan 2020 at 2:58pm

Good question...cool thread

One thing I find pretty amusing in my part of the world...is how many guys really just surf their beach...and don't travel even to the next beach down the road.

I guess I surf within a window that covers 4 towns and about 25km...but often find myself in a conversation that resembles something like...(them)hey where have you been...(me)surfing such and such a bit lately...(them)oh really...I haven't surfed there in like 10 years

I scratch my head and think...really...it's about 5 kilometres away???

Balance's picture
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Balance commented Tuesday, 14 Jan 2020 at 4:06pm

"it's just cunts in general who ruin it"

My new favourite quote...I am going to get a bumper sticker of it...print t shirts etc...I will send you the royalties

Geoffw's picture
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Geoffw commented Tuesday, 14 Jan 2020 at 6:28pm

Great contributions everyone
Thanks
Geoff

Balance's picture
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Balance commented Wednesday, 15 Jan 2020 at 10:24am

I am with solitude up there...I guess the drama queen gossip in me (inside us all) would like to hear a few stories...embellishment optional

Maybe ten years ago...I had only been in the area a year or two...so not a local...but knew enough by then about how it all worked

Was out surfing a very small slow day...four others out...all locals. One in particular...a world class surfer...very well known in the area...ex professional but not a household name...incredible surfer just below the level required to make a good living from the sport...

But a real cunt

We were on a tiny peak and about 30 to 40metres away a guy I had not seen before was kind of in the spot where the normal peak was...but it was too small to break there this day

Then this local shredder starts kicking splashing paddling like a madman...towards this other guy. Sure enough there is a peak on the horizon his local knowledge must have aloud him to see... certainly well before I saw it

Turns out to be the wave of the day...the non local guy had sat there for at least half an hour and not even a ripple had come through...but this thing came straight toward him...like God himself had personally delivered it to him

But shredder had other ideas. He got there just in time to snake round the back of the casually paddling non local gentleman and took his wave. The non local kind of sat on his board put his arms in the air...called out something but I was too far away to hear

Whoever said history never repeats...was obviously not there that day...because about 40 minutes later...the same thing seemingly happened again...

Almost

The five of us continues to surf our shitty little peak...truth be told...we got the crumbs from shredders table...non local sat patiently on his waveless peak...looking pretty content just to be out amongst nature

Suddenly Kicking splashing paddling away from us...shredder has once again spotted wave of the day

This time as he got to the peak and turned towards the shore...non local was directly in front of him...facing him...no intention of catching the wave himself...just making sure shredder didn't get it.

Shredder changed direction a few times attempting to get past non local...eventually the wave kind of allowed him to slip by...momentarily...his momentum halted by a Cheshire cat grinning non local...with a piece of leg rope in his hand

A few heated words were exchanged...shredder paddled back to what I guess he assumed was the safety of his pack

But non local followed him...continuing to unleash a pretty nice barrage of insults....even nicely asking shredder to kindly join him on the beach

I was enjoying the show...certainly more entertaining that the waves...but my real shock was the reaction of the other three locals...or the complete lack of one...they said nothing...did nothing...at all

Non local went in and stood on the beach for a while...not long...shredder went in after seeing him drive away...one of the locals looks at his mate and just said...he really needs that to happen to him every now and then

Sprout's picture
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Sprout commented Wednesday, 15 Jan 2020 at 1:09pm

If you could assign numbers and weightings to the below criteria, then add up your score out of X, that's where you sit in the local pecking order.

- How long you've continuously lived in the general area.
- How many years you've been surfing the spot.
- How often you currently surf the spot.
- How close you currently live to the spot.
- How many people you know and how well you know them at the spot.

velocityjohnno's picture
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velocityjohnno commented Wednesday, 15 Jan 2020 at 1:25pm

agree on all that Ringmaster. Ours still has dealer plate surround from WA
There was one local legend who had a "Surfing is not Cool - Don't do it" bumper sticker, had a good laugh at that one

belly's picture
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belly commented Wednesday, 15 Jan 2020 at 2:13pm

In my esky lid days; surfed Jakes with a bunch of stand-ups mid 90's 4 days straight, no issues whatsoever, when I was still reasonably new at a well known wedge north of Newcastle (folks moved there not me) had a Balance story type confrontation with a fellow lidder (they didn't want to go on with it), go figure.
Local of nowhere other than maybe my birthplace postcode and I've never had any major issues, a few minor words here and there. I normally just cop it and move on.

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zenagain commented Wednesday, 15 Jan 2020 at 6:09pm

This is a true story, I wrote about this on a similar thread years ago here on SN.

This happened probs close to 30 years ago and I take quite a bit of delight in telling it. Also, i'll pre-empt the story by telling you i've seen this bloke go to work and he doesn't fuck around. He's the older brother of an old surfing mate from the goldy. One of those wiry little blokes, hard as nails. He actually cane to our defence when we were drinking at the Currumbin hotel years ago, big patched bikie accused my mate of knocking over his beer wanted to start something up (we didn't go near his beer) RW saw what was going on, came over and had words. Anyway bikie said calm down brother and RW looked him straight in the eye and said i'm not your fucking brother cunt and invited him outside. He politely declined.

Anyway, as recounted by RW's now wife-

They'd been doing a road trip for a few months and RW and his bird rocked up to an isolated point up the North-west. Old mate paddled out and sat off to the side a bit taking it in when some big snarling gorilla with two mates in tow paddled up, gave him a mouthful and ordered him back to shore.

No worries he said but added "i'll be waiting for you" with a cheery wink. Old mate (who was actually a very mellow bloke for the most part and super funny) paddled back to shore without getting his hair wet, went back to the troopy, rolled a durry and waited.

Finally Magilla got out again with his two mates trailing, RW strode up to him and before he could open his mouth punched him to the sand. Consequently his two mates found themselves a little short of bravery at that point in time and failed to defend their mates honour. This was witnessed by the handful of people in the carpark, none of whom seemed too keen to step in.

Anyway, old mate helped Magilla to his feet, brushed him off and invited him to paddle out together the next day.

Next day came, the trio of heroes were nowhere to be seen but obviously word had got around as RW spent the whole sesh being hooted in to sets.

There's a moral to this story in there somewhere.

1173

Abmay's picture
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Abmay commented Wednesday, 15 Jan 2020 at 6:55pm

You've missed a couple there Sprout:
- a negative weighting based on how many stinkeye's given out;
- how about a weighting given based on how much you do for your local community; &
- a weighting based on how good a person you are in general.

Balance's picture
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Balance commented Thursday, 16 Jan 2020 at 6:27am

Great story zenagain...not sure about the moral to it...
They always say a good big man beats a good little man...
But a good little man sure beats a bunch of ordinary big men...and the odd gorilla...so it would seem

Bill Cilia is a legend of the central coast, more for nirvana surfboards than anything else...I don't know really him he is much older than me...bought a few boards off him in my youth...but there were some good stories about him sorting out a few blow ins that got out of hand at Avoca over the years

Apparently he won a golden glove title or two in his youth...not a highly rated surfer...and lucky to be 60kg dripping wet...but he could surely throw em...

So the stories go

Sprout's picture
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Sprout commented Thursday, 16 Jan 2020 at 11:10am

I like those Geoffw!
There's micro ones like missed waves. What about those grumbly dickheads that catch a perfectly decent wave but like to swear at it once they kick out... so much to think about haha.
I know people interested in surfing who have been turned off taking it up after hearing about all the general bullshit surf politics/etiquette.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Thursday, 16 Jan 2020 at 11:24am

good.

I wish more would be turned off.

Solitude's picture
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Solitude commented Thursday, 16 Jan 2020 at 11:34am

What about this bloke:

Entitled Prick of a Surfer (EPS) carrying on like a dickhead all session. Respectful Surfer (RS) calls them out on their behavior only to find EPS to have become both blind and deaf (also becomes hypnotized by something on the horizon 180 deg turn away from RS).
RS continues to educate EPS about the subtleties of not being a crumb of a human when finally EPS regains his lost senses and defends himself with a well considered and humble, 'yeah righto c*#t, ya [email protected]$ken kook!' and quickly paddles down to the next peak to get the next wave in.

.........rare but it happens

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Thursday, 16 Jan 2020 at 12:00pm

to be honest, after 40 years of surfing all over the globe the vast majority of incidents I've seen have been from entitled visitors carrying on like pricks in the water, either intentionally or unintentionally and getting called on it, or finally dropped in on after the umpteenth time of snaking.

just saw it with my own eyes Tuesday.

local bloke had been waiting patiently for a set. Finally his wave came, some kook dropped in, went straight and fcuked the wave.
local bloke gave him a gobful and that seemed very much deserved to me.

Pretty much every where you go though, there will be a local psycho, possibly having a bad day.
Just stay away from that guy.

More often than not he's driving a car and not surfing though.

weak man's picture
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weak man commented Thursday, 16 Jan 2020 at 12:31pm

Strange scene at Granite this morning; a jet ski turned up with 2 punters who jumped off and they were fully equiped, reef booties, the long leggings, hat, shorts over the top of the leggings etc. the jet ski goes back gets another bloke, a big buff dude. He then paddles around with the well dressed lot (they can surf a bit) and he is pushing them into waves. like he is their minder or something. Then the jet ski goes down to the end section and starts bring these 2 back to the top. After awhile my patience is done, I ask the buff dude, "what's going on mate, I thought we were not doing this any more?" He said they are visitors and haven't got much time or fitness and the jet ski is just helping out! The surf was definitely in the average range, I then asked the lass what's going on with the jet ski assist? She replied in a really thick, maybe Russian accent "are you worried we are stealing all your waves?" I explained that my problem was more the impact of the jet ski noise, wake etc.
I was pretty much surfed out by then, Russian tennis players? Son and daughter of Russian Oligarchs?

Sprout's picture
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Sprout commented Thursday, 16 Jan 2020 at 12:47pm

Couldn't agree more FR.

weak man - I've had that in Fiji, surf guide sitting right at the top of the spot coaching 3 useless kooks. He calls them into all the best waves and they cut the line straight back to him on the spot. Burning commenced, they soon got the point and moved down the line.

sypkan's picture
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sypkan commented Thursday, 16 Jan 2020 at 2:30pm

It's all about the experience!

dedication to lifestyle no longer required...

if you can afford the ticket, there's always some washed up old guard/bright young upstart willing to faillitate your cash

now a very common story unfortunatly weak man, in various forms

even the old stalwarts are in on it

mr. google's boat (super duper yaught), telos islands

mystery guests, a bevy of b grade pro 'surf guides' and security, on all manner of james bond type jet boats and skies, burning across the achipelago, up down all around, to get their kooky princess into a few waves

and md and a trader on 'security'...

wouldn't have belived you if I didn't see it with my own eyes

how's the carbon footprint on such an operation?

does mr. google care?

apparently he does, silicon valley told me so...

what's with the hats, tights and shorts thingy? ...regardless of gender. ...very fluid...

vascectomy-blottmouth's picture
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vascectomy-blot... commented Thursday, 16 Jan 2020 at 1:54pm

was thinking about going down the path of the running tights under shorts thing. Seems dumb to let your legs get scorched if surfing during the middle of the day in summer.

For some reason it looks stupid but I guess skin cancers are more stupid.

i wonder how locals would treat a blow in with tights on.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Thursday, 16 Jan 2020 at 2:17pm

Pretty sure I can guess the reception an aggressive tights-clad blowin would receive at some spots.

Still.....there’s ways around that too.

“ You don’t know where I’ve been, Lou .”

https://youtu.be/HpVOXITW-Xc

tubeshooter's picture
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tubeshooter commented Thursday, 16 Jan 2020 at 4:10pm

Two sides to every coin...To me there is no greater privilege for a travelling surfer than to be hooked up by some true locals and basically given the keys to the beach.
Ive had locals , complete strangers to me, put me up , repair my car , lend me fishing gear , give me spare legropes to replace broken ones , lent me boards , given me weed/alcohol , been taken on boat trips and generally treated as one of the boys by some crew. Depends how you carry yourself when on the road.
Iv'e had my run ins too , but very rarely.
Not saying the red carpet will get rolled out for you with all locals and all places , but the places you find a bit of hospitality can be quite surprising . Just pull your head in, do your own thing , suck it up when wronged and let your surfing do the talking.

ringmaster's picture
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ringmaster commented Thursday, 16 Jan 2020 at 7:06pm

Fuck!

You must be one smokin hot chick, Tubeshooter, to be afforded all that treatment when you travel!

What's the farthest you've gone and where do you draw the line???

tubeshooter's picture
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tubeshooter commented Thursday, 16 Jan 2020 at 8:40pm

What can I say ringmaster ? . You either missed the point or are just trolling for a bite.
"smokin hot chick",,, Onya

ringmaster's picture
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ringmaster commented Thursday, 16 Jan 2020 at 9:29pm

Relax mate!

Didn't miss your point...not trolling.....just taking the piss.

Waves have been putrid down here for yonks so gotta amuse myself any way I can.

Please accept my sincere apology if any offence has been caused!

tubeshooter's picture
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tubeshooter commented Thursday, 16 Jan 2020 at 9:40pm

No offence taken , It's swellnet.
And I'm quite relaxed ,, cheers

Balance's picture
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Balance commented Friday, 17 Jan 2020 at 4:14am

Did anyone catch Steve prices apology on the project the other night? I am far from a fan...but I liked it...as far as these things go

Usually they are forced and far from genuine...clearly seen when they say...sorry for the offence I caused...rather than...sorry for what I actually said...or did

But from my perspective he owned it...gets a pass from me

Island Bay's picture
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Island Bay commented Friday, 17 Jan 2020 at 5:51am

Heard it on the NZ news this morning.

He sounds like a bitter prick, but it was an actual apology, not the usual "I'm sorry if someone was offended..."

dazzler's picture
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dazzler commented Friday, 17 Jan 2020 at 6:59am

He's about 3'11 tall & wears coke bottle glasses. No surprises he's bitter about life.

Balance's picture
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Balance commented Friday, 17 Jan 2020 at 8:34am

Yep
He ranks pretty highly on my list of faces I would really love to punch...somewhere perhaps just above ray Hadley...well below Alan Jones...who by the way...is the master of the bullshit...sorry for the offence I caused non apology apologies.

I had a girlfriend once that cheated on me...she kept saying how sorry she was...that she hurt me...so I pointed out to her it would be a bit more meaningful if she was actually sorry for what she did

Turns out I must be still slightly bitter about that...who'd have thought

By the way ringmaster...I rate yours only just a pass upon re reading...average attempt at justification...and the above-mentioned offence I caused line...but I still somehow felt sincerity

ringmaster's picture
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ringmaster commented Friday, 17 Jan 2020 at 8:53am

As long as you felt the sincerity........that's the most important bit.

dazzler's picture
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dazzler commented Friday, 17 Jan 2020 at 10:12am

He's about 3'11 tall & wears coke bottle glasses. No surprises he's bitter about life.

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dazzler commented Friday, 17 Jan 2020 at 10:12am

He's about 3'11 tall & wears coke bottle glasses. No surprises he's bitter about life.