There’s always a different vibe you get when you’re surfing a different beach break that you you’re unfamiliar with. The Bay Area is a big playground with well over 30+ beach breaks you can find on surfline.com.

It appears that my Instagram following has been getting bigger and bigger, with more followers comes more opportunity for localism. I thought, now would be a good time to write about this subject continued from one of my earlier post when I launched my blog, The Untold Rules of Surfing.

Some feedback I heard from surfers,

  1. Don’t blow up our spot
  2. Too many beginners will come
  3. I like our spot hidden from the general public
  4. Keep it local
  5. Everyone’s a Kook (poser)
  6. It’s dangerous to encourage people to surf certain locations
  7. The locals will hate you
  8. Surfers shouldn’t blog
  9. You’re not an expert
  10. Respect it

There will be times you will be challenged by someone. It comes with all sports and/or hobbies. Without them, it wouldn’t be much fun. Here are my responses to people that think blogging about local beach breaks is a bad idea.

  1. Don’t blow up our spot
    • Most surfable spots are already known and public. Locals call themselves locals because they think they own the break. Anyone who isn’t Native American has no argument, even then nature belongs to all. Of course I only Blog of spots on Surfline or easily found.
  2. Too many beginners will come
    • Most beginners will only surf at easy beach breaks and during peak times such as weekend and afternoons. Go during non-peak hours or go to a more difficult beach break. People will come if they want to. You can’t stop them.
  3. I like our spot hidden from the general public
    • There are no hidden surf spots.
  4. Keep it local
    • This is by far the dumbest of all arguments. No one is a local. America is a country of immigrants.
  5. Everyone’s a Kook (poser)
    • We’re all Kooks. We all live and learn, and no one is an expert at everything.
  6. It’s dangerous to encourage people to surf certain locations
    • It’s even worst not to warn people. Safety comes when people know the rules or the dangers. Most deaths or injuries happen because people are not familiar with the strong rip currents or conditions. If they are warned they probably wouldn’t surf there. If they do, it may save someone’s life or prevent injury.
  7. The locals will hate you
    • The locals can hate the internet. All popular surf locations can be found if you look for it. It’s posted on websites and other blogs from professionals. I respect the locals and no one is taking over anyone’s neighborhood. Of course, be respectful of everyone and don’t pose a safety risk, know the rules in the line up and don’t bite off more than you can chew. There should be better rules communicated. Blogging helps that.
  8. Surfers shouldn’t blog
    • Surfers should be blogging and telling the world how surfing is awesome. Information is valuable. If you want to protect the culture or expertise, provide it. Most people aren’t aware of the risks.
  9. You’re not an expert
    • We are all experts of our own experiences and can share information based what we see. Information is valuable and may prevent someone from injuring themselves or others.
  10. Respect it
    • I’m not sure how blogging about a particular surf location is disrespectful. With the popularity of surfing rising and the deregulation of environmental protection laws, exposing beautiful beach breaks to the general public can help protect it . And shed light on the local history. People will be informed of why local history is important. Check out a few surf documentaries, Discovering Mavericks or Bra Boys.

If surfers try to bully you, brush it off and keep going. Also, never get into a physical confrontation unless you’re defending yourself. Confronting a brainless surf Nazi is not worth going to jail for or getting hurt over. Surfing is meant to be a positive experience, not an egotistical pissing match. Most people surf because of the experience that comes with it. I love surfing because no one can judge you. Most surf because its fun and gives them a channel to release stress from their daily lives. 99% of general public do not make a living from surfing. If you’ve been intimidated or belittled, don’t quit surfing because some jerk makes you feel bad. No one or their opinions will make the feeling of riding a wave less fun. Keep surfing.

Here’s a link to a list of localism at it’s worst from Surfer Today.

How to avoid or deescalate localism.

  1. Keep your cool
  2. Surf with a friend
  3. Avoid someone that appears to be agitated
  4. Try to mix in and don’t draw attention to yourself
  5. Observe the line up
  6. Try to identify the locals
  7. Be respectful and give locals the right of way
  8. Go during non-peak hours
  9. Do not argue or escalate the situation if you are being bullied
  10. Avoid the line up if its too crowded and surf where no one else is
  11. Surf at beach breaks at your level

There have been some notorious gangs and situations where people have been injured or killed over localism. Surfing’s popularity will continue to grow and local/city governments are beginning to crack down on violent gangs that believe public access to beaches are strictly for them. Here’s an article about the Lunada Bay Boys and how the public is taking action on preventing such localism.

Just remember, respect everyone, don’t be a jerk, be aware of your surroundings, don’t pose a danger to yourself and others and you won’t have any problems. Have fun out there.

6 thoughts

  1. Thank you for sharing! I am a local Santa Cruz surfer and honestly I dont claim to be an expert and I do respect the professional surfer spots. I dont surf for professionalism, I surf for me

    Like

  2. I love this! I don’t surf, but I see this happen a lot on hikes. It’s so annoying because the people most vocal about “keeping it local” for these hikes have tons of internet followers who follow them to see what the “unknown” spots are. But like point #4, if you’re there, it’s not hidden…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Angelica, people are just selfish. Localism on hikes?! Haha that’s really funny. First time hearing that. I mean I respect it by keeping the crowds away from peaceful areas. There’s a time and place for everything. But if people really want to come there’s nothing stopping them. Most people in my observation visit and then leave. It’s for the experience. Nothing to freak out about. Everyone is entitled to experience nature.

      Like

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