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How to avoid heavy locals

Travel Tips General

How to avoid heavy locals

Rule number 1 and something you must understand as not just a surfer but a human being, respect your fellow man / woman in and out of the lineup. When you go on holiday you don’t act like a bolshy English Pig, you attempt the language, smile and be courteous. It’s the same with surfing, just show respect to the locals. A lot of these locals sadly spend their whole lives surfing that same wave, so respect this by surfing away from the main peak for a bit, edging closer, possibly a polite “hello” and a smile, pick off the dregs that they don’t want and never paddle for the same wave as them as you may crumble the shoulder.

Don’t drop in…
… snake, paddle in the way etc. Basically all the fundamental rules of surfing, must be adhered to strictly when surfing around dreaded locals or in a localized spot. Dropping in on a ‘local’ will almost definitely result in some verbal abuse, or if they are feeling nice/ tired /scared of you, you may get away with a head-shake. I’ve actually been beaten up for snaking a meathead at Rams in Sri Lanka, (he wasn’t a local of that wave, but a reknown heavy from his home spot) so I definitely won’t be doing that again. Also, if someone’s on a wave and you paddle into the shoulder because you’re scared of paddling into the breaking part of the wave, you’re going to really annoy someone, ruin their wave and possibly their day.
Don’t go there
Like Giggs said, if you’re feeling scared or a bit intimidated about surfing a localised spot just don’t go there. Locals are like spiders man, they smell fear and feed off it.

Go solo and be low key
If you rock up to a spot with a car full of boys, roof full of stickered up boards and bodies full of red bull ready and rearing to rip, you are an insta-crowd and instantly going to annoy those on the peak. Even everyone’s favourite human in the World Kelly Slater gets his car windscreen waxed up. So when surfing delicate spots, try to go alone where you may actually be welcomed, or with one mate and you may be tolerated. If you can surf well enough and let the locals get a few waves whilst you watch patiently, even the hardest of locals might let you join in on the fun soon enough.
Don’t be a photo slut
Just because you had an epic session at a ‘secret spot’ and you want to make your fake facebook friends jealous, they don’t care, need to know or want to see pictures of you surfing said spot. We’ve all been guilty of it as getting the shot of that throwaway at the perfect time does make you feel like Toledo, but keep it to yourself.
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Man up, show up and blow up
Ok maybe don’t take this literal, but if you rip then you should have the right to surf anywhere as long as your not snaking people and being disrespectful and if you’re learning you don’t need to be out at a mental beachbreak or reeling point break; the average spot will suffice until you progress onto better waves.

Hans van Mourik

Co-founder SurfaWhile, ♥️ tech, travel, sports & outdoors.

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