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.

bluediamond's picture
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bluediamond Friday, 30 Jul 2021 at 12:19am

Cheers Megzee. Sometimes no humans really sucks!! haha

megzee's picture
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megzee Friday, 30 Jul 2021 at 12:49am

"Uni assignment i did a few years ago. This is my take on things. I'm sure this will ruffle many feathers. I hope so."
Love Blue Diamond x

You know, BD as well as I do mate......there are so many parallels with the fine topic you introduced on another thread......
This localism in surfing topic is the very shallow end of the pool.......
I love the deep end......
Good onya mate

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megzee Friday, 30 Jul 2021 at 12:51am


GuySmiley's picture
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GuySmiley Friday, 30 Jul 2021 at 11:57am

Good one megzee, one of my all time favourite songs from NY

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Saturday, 31 Jul 2021 at 7:16am

Classic Story Megzee.

Having spent some time in the "Barri working wetliners with Headbutt and Kieren, staying with local crayfisho, x, I do believe I know the rodent like gentleman involved.

There were many shenanigans, I think a few locals went to sleep with baseball bats by the bed in case indiscretions should come back to haunt them.
I also believe I heard that same gentleman utter one of the most deathless line ever when he was being called to account.
He simply paddled up to the bloke and said "save your breath mate" and paddled away.
The other bloke was stunned.

IN defence of the pecking order there , there was a very, very efficient method of utilising the resource , which I'm sure you witnessed, whereby if one local couldn't catch it he would call the next guy in to "back me up".
I was very impressed with this level of communication.

Once I'd done enough time there, I was called in as the next "back up".

And when cray season started and the deckies and skippers were pulling pots I enjoyed many wonderful uncrowded sessions with Junkyard Jonny.

Sheep go to heaven's picture
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Sheep go to heaven Saturday, 31 Jul 2021 at 8:04am

Sometimes being a local doesn't just mean rocking up when its pumping and paddling to the inside . It can mean background stuff like volunteer work at the local Boardriders , CFA , footy club ,cake stall etc etc. Beach clean up days , etc , all stuff involved in a deeper connection with the local community which flows on out in the water . So you might get a good day, a really good day, and sitting out there is our old mate , other side of 60 now, who is struggling to get one as crew who don't know him or the fact he's been surfing here 30 plus years keep paddling up inside of him . This is where localism has value , the locals know him , value his contribution to the area and let one go through to him . The blowins have no idea and burn him again and again ...

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Saturday, 31 Jul 2021 at 9:26am


evosurfer's picture
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evosurfer Saturday, 31 Jul 2021 at 9:31am

Im the old mate over 60 been riding my local point break for 48 years and
when its big and heavy need to pick my take off spot and wave selection
carefully as having two very very bad paddling shoulders need the space
and need the young guys to give me a chance no question which in general
they do I sort of demand it anyway in a quite sort of way. I also tell everyone
im not going when I know I have little chance of making the take off and tell
them when im going. Sometimes when I get a little too excited my brain says
GO my body says NO which generally ends up poorly. Non locals work it out
pretty quickly.

san Guine's picture
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san Guine Saturday, 31 Jul 2021 at 9:56am

Got punched in the head last year at my local, by an angry dude, who didn't like me paddling an 'alternative surf craft' and catching all the waves on it.
(Note, I wasn't burning anyone and was staying clear of the pack)

I then proceeded to whale on him, such that he couldn't catch a wave anywhere near me for the next 2 hours. Also gave him a mouthful at every opportunity.

Left me feeling a little ashamed even though he was the aggressor...

evosurfer's picture
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evosurfer Saturday, 31 Jul 2021 at 11:26am

Well san in my books even at your local if you took all the waves as stated
you deserved to be punched in the head.

san Guine's picture
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san Guine Saturday, 31 Jul 2021 at 11:41am

I took waves inside and underneath, not getting in anyones way, but racking up the numbers.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin Saturday, 31 Jul 2021 at 12:53pm

What do you mean “whaled on him”? Hit him back?

megzee's picture
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megzee Saturday, 31 Jul 2021 at 1:47pm

@ Freeride - "And when cray season started and the deckies and skippers were pulling pots I enjoyed many wonderful uncrowded sessions with Junkyard Jonny."

For sure, Cray season was the best time to get those uncrowded golden sessions....
Funny thing about localism, is that the locals themselves can have the biggest ongoing feuds amongst themselves......Johnny and old Les Norrish were arch enemies for many years......I think Johnny Junkyard's " novelty" approach to surfing heavily offended Les's "purist" attitude and "never the twain shall meet..."
Plus the Rat had his local "fan club"........who he subsequently and rightfully avoided....
Side Note: Junkyard Johnny was the only bloke in the Southern Hemisphere with a 20 ton tip truck for a letter box.....

sypkan's picture
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sypkan Saturday, 31 Jul 2021 at 1:58pm

"... inside and underneath..."

is an interesting turn of phrase too...

'Inside' can be...

on the inside - where no one is bothering to sit or catch waves

or, inside of him - where the grumpy prick might just have a point

inside and underneath - sounds like

1) inside of him under the lip - which ain't cool...,

or, 2) just on the inside from the pack but catching them underneath where he's just missing them - which is technically cool... but grumpy dudes missing waves tend to get pissed if you are... 'catching all the waves'...

number 2 is a real grey area, and I often talk of this with my frothdog friend, ...who likes to sit on the inside and clock up a wave count on substandard waves, rather than sit on the pack waiting for the gems

people see you bag a heap of ok 3- 4 footers, while they wait amongst the pack for the 5 - 6 foot gems, then get all bent out of shape because you got 10 waves to their 1, or none...

I'm a number 2er too, I'd rather clock up some wave time, rather than enter the cockfest out the back, but if out the back is less intense, I'll venture out there and take my turn...

big problems arrive, when you clock up 10 little runners, then see an opportunity out the back and snavel one when no ones in place

it's complicated, but some crew see 'waiting your turn' as not getting a wave before someone else, which is bullshit in my book, Im more than happy if crew spread the crowd out. and if you have wave reading ability / local knowledge that delivers 'luck', good for you...

nothing worse than seeing waves go unridden in peopled up surf just because crew don't have the skill / guts / initiative to make the most of the conditions

see it a lot indo where locals aren't really the issue, but grumpy wave counters are

even seen a high end fashion board manufacturer pull up my friend for getting too many waves, ...after days / weeks of him and his entourage of about 10 (groms and older hangers on) paddle out day after day and totally dominate the line up

fuck it's complicated, with perspectives often playing a bigger part than any hard and fast rules, but geez, boardman was a tool...

sypkan's picture
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sypkan Saturday, 31 Jul 2021 at 2:04pm

and ive gotta say, some of the resort and boat owners have some weird perspectives about taking turns when they are trying to get their clients into waves... especially when they have old and kooky clients...

some serious self-centric perspectives going on there

and it seems the more the clients pay, the weirder it gets...

the commodification of surfing... cunt of a sport... and worthy of a thread on its own

velocityjohnno's picture
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velocityjohnno Saturday, 31 Jul 2021 at 6:11pm

Yes, start that thread someone... from where you'd rather be...

(Seriously, I'm seeing 2 x car ads per ad break on the Olympics with hip crew at the beach going surfing, aaargh)

san Guine's picture
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san Guine Sunday, 1 Aug 2021 at 6:04pm

Definitely number 2, I'm rarely going to get a set wave (that's not my go to) and respect the older crew who sit and wait and are patient.
Don't drop in and don't snake.

Quite the contrary, more like an acerbic tongue

jasper99's picture
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jasper99 Sunday, 1 Aug 2021 at 10:16pm

While I've tried to read most of these comments there's a lot to get through,so here's my two cents. I think being a local somewhere does count for something as there needs to be some sort of order in any line up whether super crowded or not.

I also think that just being well mannered and respectful at your local or elswhere should be the behaviour we all follow. I know that when I travel elsewhere I always take the wait and see approach before "establishing my position" in a line up and always try to make conversation with locals wherever I go.

So when surfers come to my local I would always appreciate and welcome someone who showed me the same courtesy however I'm becoming increasingly frustrated with the complete lack of etiqute shown by pretty much everyone whether local or not. Just today I'm sitting out my local with one other guy talking and had about 6 peanuts paddle out and go straight on to our inside without hesitation then think that the next wave is theirs,which I often oblige with a drop in (I fail to see how anyone could consider this as okay to do) I've done this alot and will continue to do so and am more than happy to point out why I do so to anyone who's keen for a chat.

I would never come to blows with anyone (which seems to be the go to in a lot of stories/theories in this thread) but am always keen to explain my actions as I believe there needs to be far more "education" given to those who think it's okay to go anywhere and paddle up anyones inside for example and show little regard for others in the water.

It's simple. Don't be a dick in the water and show some respect, local or not, and watch the effect of "good etiqute and behaviour". There's alot of issues within this one topic to cover but it would be great if everyone just took their turn equally and perhaps treating everyone as a local might be a start?