How To Paddle Out to a Localized Spot

| posted on March 31, 2011

Patience and respect are more impressive than good surfing when working your way into a lineup. Photo: Glaser


First of all, don’t paddle out to a localized spot. If you’re too hard-headed or frothy not to, be certain that you can surf the place better than the bottom third of the surfers out there. And even if this is the case, paddle out alone. If you’re with a friend, stagger your sessions. Once in the lineup, pick off the insiders or waves no one wants. Take medium or set waves when no else is able, or if you find yourself in the prime position and to do otherwise would single you out as unworthy. Repeat these steps enough times, and you might not always be so unlocal.

  • local

    Oh ya…how to paddle out to a localized spot…PIPELINE ? Thats not localized…Lajolla is localized and it sucks ! Why not talk about how locals who can’t surf try to localized shitty waves…

    just saying…but its funny how a magazine from california talks about waves in hawaii that they think are localized…talk about cali waves not hawaii waves.

  • gene

    get your blue belt at least hahaha

  • mywaves
  • barklie griggs

    I live in Venice Beach. So Surfer is suggesting I should just surf Venice and avoid Malibu, San-O, Hawaii, Bali etc. because I’m hard headed or…locals may kick my ass? So if I don’t recognize you as a local in the lineup ..then I should kick your ass or let the air out of your tires or give you the evil stare? Honestly, I get what you are saying about etiquette, but would rather you tell surfers to tolerate and communicate rather than perpetuate “locals only”. How’s this: Local surfer tells new surfer “It’s too crowded and hard for you to surf here. Move down 100 yards and you’ll have more fun and catch more waves.”

  • http://friendlyghostrecordings.com sharkboy

    @ mywaves. that clips is awesome. “i piss on your cutback!”

  • J.M.

    I have to disagree with this article. The term “local” can be a bit ambiguous. What qualifies? surfing a spot regularly, living there, or just trying to dominate the lineup. As long as everyone uses proper etiquette and respects others in the lineup there shouldn’t be a problem. Being a “local” doesn’t give you the right to snake others that you think are not. Maybe you just have different schedules so don’t run into each other often. I would be willing to do use this method at about any spot. I’ll always be respectful and if someone wants to kick my ass, let them try. I’m 6’2 210 and trained in MMA.

  • rondog

    I have been surfing up and down the SoCal for 43 yrs. and have never had a problem with “localism”. The worse that’s ever happened was someone telling me, “My friends and I come here all the time”, after I took a wave I should of let that guy have at Huntington State Beach near Brookhurst St. And once in Coronado Beach north of the Hotel Del, someone asked me where I was from. I told them that I lived there, and I did at that time. He was friendly and non-confrontational. Since I switched to bodyboarding about 10 yrs ago, I have had nasty things said to me only a couple of times and it was at 20th St. in HB where I considered my self a regular. Today I still mostly bodyboard at Bolsa Chica where a lot of longboarders go, and they’re a good bunch of older guys and are very cool. I longboard at Doheny and SanO sometimes and have only got a bad vibe once at Doheny. My point is that if I treat people with respect, don’t drop in on someone, and be friendly to all, I probably will continue to have great surfing and people experiences wherever I surf.

  • John

    Again, California has localism for shitty waves of shitty surfers, Hawaii has respect to help keep waves for the locals who grew up there not flown or drove like California.

    take photos of California not hawaii.

  • Mike

    Years back we went on a surf safari up the coastline from San Diego to Santa Cruz. I literally went back to the car and strapped on my dive knife to keep from getting hassled at Rincon and HB. We got smarter by the time we hit Steamer Lane… I took the water camera out and snapped pictures of the locals for a good half hour, and when I paddled back out with the board, the fellas were giving ‘em up like I was VIP!

  • Joe

    RSL Mofo

  • James

    Hawaiians, always mouthing off!

  • charlie melton

    this local attitude has always sucked the bag……………………..no one owns the ocean…

  • Luiz freire

    Really sick of this locals only mentality perpetuated by magazines and locals aholes.
    So you show great waves breaking all over the planet and on the other hand perpetuate the myth of sacred local only spots? I ‘d rather be skiing or snow boarding than put up with this stupid localism.

  • Larry Kelpbulb

    Just paddle out. Take the scraps. You get less waves, but you do get waves. Go out with the rule, “it’s your wave, not mine” — and there’s always waves that no one is in position for, and there are times when the “locals” aren’t out. Just be cool, don’t hog, get some waves.

  • Pancho

    I`m from Peru and went to cali during 2004. i remember this session at black`s. It was big, hollow and gnarly …. nothing a beachbreak wont be when its like 8 to 10ft. I was using a borrowed board from a brazilian guy i met (&%&$%&), it was an Erick Arakawa 7`6 roundpin … kindda big for me cause im onle 5`6 or so … Anyways i paddeled in and there was a bunch of guys (i dont know if locals but big angry face blokes that start talking crap about “the newby”). So i just kept to the surfing code, let the first ones in the water catch the first sets. Then out of the blue this huge peak like 12ft. just came directly to me ( i was surfing the lefts cause im a goofyfooter) but strangely the wave seemed much better if id go right, curious huh? So i just put my head down, paddeled as hard as i could stand as fast as the lip just let me grab the rail of the board (yes i went right) and got one of the best barrels in my life. As i got in again one of the guys aproached me and just said “good one”. I was thrilled cause i had been like 3 months out of the water and started babling … i guess that for my accent the guy asked me where i was from, so i said Peru bro … suddenly he called the other guys and results that they had been in my country plenty of times … actually they all stayed at a hostel in front of my beach house south of Lima (the capital) … I think … NO! , I believe in respect among people, not only surfers … but i guess i was really lucky that day cause i didnt screwed it up, or tried to be too hungry for waves. I gave respect and that respect was returned to me …. There are some places where people get injuried or even killed because they dont understand the ocean and the rules inside of it … others because its just fate, but for me surfing that day that awsome beachbreak that id saw in the mags and the guys in the water yellin at me GO GO GO!!! its a feeling that has no price. Localism exists because of rude people who dont know how to share, respect or even appreciate the gift the ocean gives us. Just wanted to share this with you guys.
    P.S.: im sorry if my english is bad, i appologyse for that, hope you just get the point of what im tryin to say … VIBES FOR ALL

  • Charliene2

    waves there for us to ride it…first come first serve…anyone who has a diifer opinion can go surf the bathtub…peace

  • dougy fresh

    fuck locals…waves are free and so are we