It Works

In defense of localism

| posted on December 31, 2013
At spots so localized they can't be named, unnamed locals vie to keep the peace...often by disrupting it. Photo: Lusk

At spots so localized they can’t be named, unnamed locals vie to keep the peace…often by disrupting it. Photo: Lusk

This feature originally appeared in our “Crowd Control” issue, in which we attempted to solve surfing’s overpopulation issues. It was a noble effort, but so far hard evidence suggests we didn’t solve the problem. This is Part 2 of 4 of our Crowd Control series.

I surf a C-grade localized spot on a regular basis. Like many localized spots, it’s no secret. It appears in surf magazines regularly. It’s located within a major American metropolis, nestled inconspicuously below an iconic example of civic architecture. (Hint: It’s not the Kirra-like right that peels along the left foot of the Statue of Liberty.) Nonetheless, it is against protocol to name this break. I will refer to it as Spot-X. There are rules, after all.

I would never dare to call myself a local at Spot-X. I do not have a designated bumper sticker, hat, or T-shirt emblazoned with “Spot-X Gang,” as the real locals do. This largely stems from the fact that I was born 10 miles north, in the next county. My brother, the lucky bum, was born much closer. On the day of my birth, my parents sadly couldn’t be bothered to drive the extra 30
minutes south.

Luckily, however, I did go to high school in the city itself, and I’ve been surfing Spot-X ever since—20-odd years. This puts me further up the pecking order than I otherwise would be. In addition, I am a surfer of moderate ability, and the average skill level in these parts is quite low. However, these merits have been eroded by a number of unfortunate facts: 1) Born in the next county, as mentioned, 2) Left for college for four years, 3) I don’t party with the bros, 4) I write for SURFER Magazine, and 5) I am also a sarcastic asshole with a wave-count not warranted by the preceding offences.

To a non-surfer, this pecking order might sound bizarre and unjust. But here’s the thing about localism: It works. As a teenager, I detested surfing Spot-X, because the pack wouldn’t give me a wave. If I respectfully sat on the shoulder, they took everything, even the scraps. If I sat deeper, they burned me. If I fell, they yelled at me. I didn’t dare drop in on them—but when others dared, they were screamed at until they went in. If they didn’t go in, they’d have to fight. Over the years, there have been frequent brawls, arrests, and a handful of serious beatings.

This helps keep the lineup more orderly than it otherwise might be. Locals know exactly which local will get which wave, and visitors are advised to be on their best behavior. Compared to many iconic surf spots, which have degraded into viper-pits of chaotic, dangerous collisions, things mostly run smoothly at Spot-X.

Mostly. When too many randoms paddle out, things get tense. Otherwise it’s a gentlemanly little arena. Comrades enjoy productive working sessions, splitting limited resources not equally but at least in a consistent manner. When locals burn each other and collide, it’s on purpose, and all in good fun. The system has its merits.

Recently, I enjoyed an early-morning session with just two other surfers. One was a local. The other an outsider on a longboard. The outsider didn’t know where to sit. When a sneaker set came, he panicked, and paddled toward the peak instead of away from it. He bailed his board as we duck-dove behind him. My friend and I narrowly escaped an impaling.

“Go in!” my friend instructed kindly as the foam cleared.

The kook on the longboard responded formally. “Sir,” he began. We could not believe he used the word “sir.“ “I apologize for almost hitting you. I did everything in my power to avoid that happening.”

“But it happened anyway,” I interrupted. “Which is a good indication that you don’t know what you are doing, and that you should go in—because you are a danger to yourself and others.”

He paused at this. “OK, sir, but…the ocean belongs to everyone. It is free.”

At this, my friend told him in no uncertain terms to, “Go the fuck in.” The kook did not. He was a large man, who seemed to spend a lot of time in the gym.

At that point, I intervened again. I attempted to explain to the outsider why he should go in.

“The greatest knock on localism is that it isn’t fair,” I told the kook. “‘The ocean belongs to everyone—it is free,’” as you say. “But when you stop and think about what ‘free’ really means, in the context of the ocean, your logic begins to unravel like a spool of thread thrown in the shorebreak.”

There are different paths to success. Exhibit A: a grom scoring an unridden gem by sneaking inside of the regulars at the peak. Photo: Ellis

There are different paths to success. Exhibit A: a grom scoring an unridden gem by sneaking inside of the regulars at the peak. Photo: Ellis

The kook looked at me blankly, paused, opened his mouth to respond. I cut him off before he could begin. “Yes, international waters have traditionally been considered free in that they fall under the jurisdiction of no man or nation. The ocean belongs to no one, instead of everyone. It is a lawless place, for gamblers, pirates, the province of those who wish to escape governance instead of enforce it. Men are left to organize themselves by whatever improvised rules seem relevant. If you’re wondering how fairness fits into all this… well, it doesn’t. And frankly, it shouldn’t. Life isn’t fair.”

The large man on the longboard stared at me.

“Yes, it’s entirely possible that in the future, all lineups will be governed by strict rules, forcing all surfers to share limited resources equally, regardless of skill level, providence, and disposition. The threat of prosecution and litigation has already curbed the prevalence of physical violence. But it hasn’t stopped locals from taking the best waves. Further legislation—supported by an army of cops on jet skis—might level the playing field further. Surfing could be made more equal, like grade-school T-Ball. Everyone gets a turn and everyone leaves a winner.”

At this, my friend the local shook his head in disgust. “No,” he muttered. “Winners deserve to win!”

“Again, life isn’t fair,” I agreed. “And learning that early and often is one of surfing’s great lessons. I’ve been the victim of localism, and I’ve benefited from it—as have most hardcore surfers. Surf spots, particularly localized ones, act as a microcosm for any group of striving, struggling humans, offering practical insights into social dynamics.”

The kook snorted.

“Lesson one,” I began. “The weak will be preyed upon by the strong. Recognize this fact and begin developing coping mechanisms. We are primates, and alpha males get their pick of the set waves. Among animals, physical strength usually trumps cunning. But in the water, might only sometimes equals right. Strength can be expressed in varied ways. How well you paddle is often more crucial than how much you can benchpress. And physical strength can be irrelevant if you have the political clout to wield a crowd armed with pitchforks.”

The kook on the longboard looked toward the horizon, checking for any approaching sets. He’d learned that lesson at least.

“Lesson two,” I continued. “Put in your time. Outsiders like to discount localism as simple xenophobia. Yes, it matters where you were born. But almost every notoriously localized spot is policed by ‘locals’ who were once hazed as kooks, transplants, or groms. These tough customers paid their dues, showed respect, and worked their way up—just as in business or politics.”

At this the enormous kook responded with, “OK, but—”

“Lesson three,” I went on. “There are different paths to success. If you’re a silverback gorilla looking for a mate, you can simply mate with anyone you want. Meanwhile, scrawny juveniles attempt to furtively copulate when the alpha turns his back. Similarly, many surfers opt to circumvent localism by waking up earlier than the locals. Others attempt to curry favor through simple bribery. Bring a twelver to the beach and see your wave count balloon. Roll a joint and pass it on. Hoot locals into waves. If you’re really serious about success, bring your girlfriend to the beach and suggest that she chat with the locals while you surf.”

The gigantic kook looked perplexed.

“The strategies are endless,” I reiterated. “But whatever you do, don’t choose an approach that will make alpha males feel like they’re being challenged—unless you’re ready to accept the consequences of that challenge, or you have a bigger army. Don’t go right to the peak. Don’t back paddle. Don’t think that riding a bigger board entitles you to more set waves. And definitely don’t burn locals.”

“Go the fuck in!” my friend added, for clarity’s sake.

“Primatology and economic modeling can help inform our thinking,” I offered in closing. “But the best argument in favor of localism is the chaos that emerges in the absence of localism. Take a look at any A-grade spot that’s been transformed into a circus. It’s the tragedy of the commons in action. Everyone can surf those spots, yet no one has a good time. More importantly, it’s really dangerous, because of guys like you.”

“Go the fuck in or I’ll rip your head off and shit down your throat!” My friend added, in order to make things less ambiguous.

And then a set came. The local caught the first one, as protocol dictates. I caught the second, attempted a turn, and fell. The kook caught the third wave—the best in the set—stumbled to his feet, crouched low, and rode inelegantly all the way to the shore.

Then he went in. See? Localism works.

  • nativelocal

    fabricated, inorganic conversation that distracts from the message of the article. Lewis, simply express your thoughts on localism and cut the lineup scenario.

    • Kookie

      Agreed. Easily the most contrived dialogue I’ve ever read.

      • jbinsb

        Right, he thought of all that and said it while floating on his but on a board. Uh-huh.

  • Fuck localism

    asshole. Locals are stupid guys… I am local of my home – work highway.. Ah! Ah! Ah!….

    is st
    upid isn’t it!!!

  • Fast Brazzo

    I see the point, but I can’t agree. What if, instead of a kook, a good surf form another area showed up?

    • Your everyday surfer

      This is by far the worst article i’ve ever read.

  • Supporter of Crowd Control

    Hear, hear! Finally someone bringing light to a necessary topic. Today more and more DURGOs/JAKEs/KOOKs/BENNYs/SHOEBIEs believe they are the true locals and have the right to choose any wave they want along with exploiting these spots through social media and self-fulfillment. This new generation of surfers believe they are ENTITLED to these waves/spots. They show up with 5 of their friends and a video guy while never taking into consideration the locals who have been surfing their respective regions for the last 20-30 years. Their is a hierarchy system in the water and it needs to be maintained to ensure the quality of these breaks stay at their utmost prestige while weeding out all the fair weather surfers who pick up surfing as a new hip hobby that they can socialize with all their IG and FB friends about.

    • Lifesabeachbum

      I can see how a form of localism is required for a world class surf spot where some serious shit can go down if you’re not a capable surfer but for the majority of breaks, localism is nothing more than a pack of wanna be Da Hui dick wads wanting their lions share of the waves. Fuck you I say. Half you local cunt surfers weigh about 120 lbs and couldn’t handle yourselves if the time came to defend your so called local break. The other half have bought into this localism thing as a way to try and impose your/their will on less talented surfers. I personally would smile and accept whatever ‘physical’ challenge you had for me and then proceed to dole out your deserved punishment for not acknowledging your place on the ‘physical’ pecking order I agree that there are some major kooks out there that don’t belong but there’s always a way around them to grab your share of waves. The idea of telling someone to paddle in that may be able to hand you your ass is kind of dumb. I’ve snaked a few locals, not deliberately, and they’ve not been happy and said some crap. But I say, hey, fuck you I’m bigger and badder and will continue surfing to try and improve my skills to become a better surfer. Guess what, no speech, no lecture just respect for my non conformance….knowing I’m there to have fun and not to take shit from anyone.

  • Realist

    You think your helping the situation by writing this, but all I see from you is self promoting ONCE AGAIN. We know your only are getting $20 for this article. You seem to work the system with your writing Lewis. I’ve seen your writing not helping with the crowds too many times.

  • phil

    surfing is supposed to be a fun, relaxing release for people who need a break i.e. everyone. the ocean should be free for all, except for lewis samuels who better not show up anywhere i surf.

  • justanotherkook

    lame lewis. love your writing but this just perpetuates the bully syndrome. how about a little helpful advise instead of threats. i surfed spot x this past thanksgiving for the first time in 20yrs. as beautiful a day as they get. except for some loudmouthed nazi screaming at some kid who just happened to be near him when a set came. way to give thanks. growing up somewhere is not earned, but just a function of where your parents happened to live at the time. nobody likes dodging longboards ever, but sending a guy in with only 3 in the water??? total assholeness.

    • George

      Couldn’t agree more – there is nothing ‘earned’ about growing up at a location or even buying a house there. Until I see ‘locals’ doing something positive, i.e. local beach cleanup work etc. then I have no respect. They haven’t done anything to ‘earn’ that wave other than potentially having well off parents.

      In the BMX world we spend the winter digging trails, which is what earns you your right to ride in the summer, the people you see all winter digging in the freezing cold so that it’s ready for summer are the ones who earn your respect – not some douchebag who has done nothing productive and turns up when the weather is good and tries to police the place.

  • npk32

    Replace the word “local” with “douchebag” and this story still makes a lot of sense.

  • 43rd&Balboa

    Fort Point sucks anyway.

  • youareanotherfuckinwanker


  • Johnny Utah

    Sucks OB is getting blown the F up by your friend Josh Kerr this am on Instagram.

  • Local justice

    I understand your desire to bring a calm and logic twist on localism despite condesending attitude and feeling of superiority towards a person because he can’t surf as well as you, but your friend still shows exactly the true side of what localism is. Localism is justified as a means to police a lineup and to keep everyone safe and those who have been there the longest the best waves. While I do not think a completely unregulated line up is the answer, localism is far from the solution. Let’s change the medium that we are looking at from surfing in the ocean to driving on the highway. Do you think there is a reason that the police are in charge of enforcing the rules? One would agree that there are plenty of dangerous drivers out there whether malicous in intent or just plain negligence. Why do you think that we dont have a group of locals every few miles patroling our highways to enforce the rules? I bet if you accidentally cut someone off on the road you would not prefer to be assaulted by a group of people rather than issued a citation from a police officer. Just like I am sure you would not want to be run off the road for drving too slow, or told you can’t because you didnt grow up near there. Just some food for thought.

  • FredZilch

    The best surfer is the one who has the most fun. Does localism make surfing more fun? I don’t think so. When we discuss localism the word “respect” invariably pops up. The thing is that so many confuse fear with respect; i.e. locals believe that a good beating will earn respect of outsiders when all it does is beget hate and bad reputation. Personally one of the most attractive aspects of surfing is travel and discovering new waves, meeting other surfers. Localism puts the damper on it – big time.
    I suppose if you’re a surf ogre who’s repertoire is limited to his/her own home break, localism would work; but what sort of fun is that?


    I was expecting an article on localism, but instead I got some recanted seaside filibuster.

    A kook on a log?! What an original & compelling tale! Zzz

  • local?

    i think more thought should be put into what ‘localism’ is and what ‘works’ means, at least in the context of this article. In the situation described, harassment worked perfectly. It was a dangerous situation and the kook got the message. But if he was a skilled and respectful surfer then there would be no reason for him to not get an equal number of waves as the locals. “They were there first” certainly applies as it does to a basketball court. But that’s only on per-session basis. If the non-local, skilled and respectful surfer got there before the locals the next day, he should be allowed right into the lineup. There is no defense for ‘localism’ in that case, or intimidating him off the peak. That’s just greed and disrespect, it’s not ‘working’ for anyone but the locals.

    Agreed that kooks should learn to surf somewhere with other kooks, or stay the f^%$ out of the way. But this concept shouldn’t be extrapolated into a weak defense for selfishness. And if you don’t got enough of a sack to get your fair share at a spot you’ve been surfing for 20 years you’re just a push over. Or, you know you suck and appropriately take the sucky waves,

  • Jon

    Fort Point?

  • Mik

    when I was studying Yoga in India my Guru taught me that “Giving is the basis of receiving” IE: if everyone is giving more, then everyone will be receiving more”.

    i try to follow this when surfing:

    if i’ve just paddled out, i make sure the guy whose already been sitting there waiting gets a wave before I do, (unless I can see that he lacks experience or skill which means he might never catch a wave?). as the session evolves, if i give a guy a wave, he will usually reciprocate. this usually results in a fun session. more importantly, it keeps me more chill, and flowing.

    I respect locals. but I also respect fairness. more.


      You are EXACTLY the person picking up surfing as a new “hip hobby” that Supporter of Crowd Control is talking about above. Listen up for some econ that your guru left out. Waves are an excludable resource; a finite amount come through per hour. Waves per hour divided by n number of people out equals waves per surfer per hour. If n increases, waves per surfer per hour decreases. So giving is not receiving.

      As much as Lewis’ fabricated conversation comes off as pretentious and aggressive, he was almost hurt by ‘gigantic kook’ because the dude had no idea how to get around a single peak break. So stay chill and flowing and I hope you give a meathead kook and hug and tell him namaste when his eleven foot NSP domes you in the head.

      Also, to lifesabeachbum, stay in the gym. The reason LOCALS who don’t pump as hard as you aren’t afraid to challenge you is that they are LOCALS and other LOCALS will back them up. There is strength in numbers and muscle doesn’t float you barn. Five ocean savvy 120 pounders will beat your ass. So go ahead and challenge them, throw them a double bi and they might back off

  • gtjr

    localism works because it is not as crowded at localized spots as long as you can take a beating then its fine i support it fuck the sheep

  • whoa

    disgusting article.

  • Scott

    Less words more action. This happened to me once,first sesh on a brand new fukin board, some kook from the next county with a longboard and no leash lost control of his board and it slammed into mine leaving an arm sized dent in the bottom. Didn’t crack the glass but I was still super pissed, so I said something too him, and you know what he tells me ” stay out of his way” , well f that. I walked up to the beach put my board down and swam back out there, pulled him under water choked him out and told him to fuck off mad never surf here again, guess what never saw that kook again!

  • George

    One of the worst pieces of journalism I have ever read.

  • huzza

    Here goes the mouth again. Maybe he should go back to Oz and get another walloping. Can’t see you welcome on the gold coast.Talk about the pecking order. Lew baby, you are way, way down that. Nobody cares how good you surf. That means absolutely nothing. But you do got it right, place of birth, high school or grammar school (not college),preferably not a private school Lew, i.e. the hall. Why do children of privilege so often feel entitled Lew, to sell out which is not theirs to sell. One things for sure you are really lucky to have grown up in your era because if you were around 30 years earlier, well, you wouldn’t have been around.Yeah Lew, your right, localism does work. It would just work better with out you and your pen.

    • Trogan Fan

      what’s a huzza? Someone who’s never left his parents’ house?


        Nah. He just actually surfs. Fight on dude!

  • bullishharminentrout

    Honestly, the only kook I see here is you, Lewis. I abhor assholes like you and your “local” friend. It seems like guys like you are overzealous and way too fucking eager to yell at people who get in your way. Taking out your aggression on other surfers who mess up… that says a lot about you. I am sure you and your friend will be great parents someday. Yes, the man ditched his board, but he apologized, and realized it shouldn’t’t have happened. Oh, and I so highly fucking doubt that you said all those points listed above. But, if embellishing your story makes you feel better about being an asshole, then so be it. So Lewis, I am sorry. I am sorry that you have a bad view on life, and that somebody gave you the power to write this malarkey shared with the world.

  • Jake12
  • Wow.

    That was flat out embarrassing. The exact reason why most “locals” are the dudes who never could “go away for 4 years of college”.

    • OOOWOW

      That is correct sir. And still live at home with their parents.

  • Jake12

    Worst piece of journalism I have read in years. Mr. Lewis Samuels you missed your calling my friend. In the words of one of the greatest surfers to ever live…”The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun” (regardless of the location) -Duke Kahanamoku

  • spot x

    “This feature originally appeared in our “Crowd Control” issue, in which we attempted to solve surfing’s overpopulation issues. It was a noble effort, but so far hard evidence suggests we didn’t solve the problem.” —- you were going to solve overcrowding with an article in your magazine? are you insane?

  • Cuc

    This is the most stupid article I ever seen. This is kind of a nazi mentality. Surfers mag what are you thinking posting this??? I can’t believe it.

    • Cutter

      It’s the mileycyrus/nikkimanaj approach to attracting attention via controversy in the absense of any measurable content

  • Philosurfer

    So instead of telling this “kook” where the appropriate spot to sit in the lineup is when a large set is marching in, (not to mention there are only three guys out including the “kook”) you and your friend decide to send him in?

    No offense, but you try to come off as articulate and you really do try and give legitimate reasons as to why localism works, but in the end you show why it doesn’t work. In your real life (or even if it is an embellishment) story all you prove is that locals don’t care about anyone but themselves. They don’t really care about keeping their lineups safe, because if that was the case you would tell people (especially those who are out of their depth) where you sit and where you don’t sit. Furthermore, if it is not a crowded day then you might as well give pointers as to what is the right and wrong things to do in the lineup. Believe me, I am from a place where we don’t have a lot of waves. Despite that, I am always willing to share what I have. I recognize how blessed I am to live near the ocean and that my family was able to AFFORD me a surfboard from my early teens on. As such I am always willing to share that with people who are visiting my home the beauty and the pleasures that I was lucky enough to have. To argue otherwise is to be a conceited person who is truly only caring about their own wave count regardless of anyone else around them. Surfing is pleasure, not a right. To claim otherwise, even if you are from the area is to practice a sad sort of elitism, one that goes against the very nature of surfing. I didn’t see any substantial argument from you about the pros and cons of localism in surfing. Just some vague usage of analogies and concepts. Not to mention that you’re friend comes off as just an inarticulate dick, “winners deserve to win”, great use of a circular argument that is.

    • Cutter

      You have outlined the difference between people born before the information age and after it’s onset.

      There is no reason to believe the surfing world will not feel the effects of the too much information, too little understanding dynamic of those raised and socialized by vacuous entertainment via machines in the “me my I” as the center of the universe demographic.

  • jumpy

    What A load of shite. I’m so glad I live in Ireland where people still treat each other like human beings. Localism is a cancer, perpetrated by bullies. How you behave in the ocean is an extension of the state of your personality and your mind. Localism works…my arse, so do hundreds of other forms of aggression but that is not a justification for using them. I go in the ocean to get away from this type of crap. I invite anyone to come to my breaks and enjoy themselves alongside the locals. Peace.

  • Cjm

    What a terrible story. Sounds like a 14 year old has written a shit story for an English exam. On top of that you sound like more of a kook than the “big kook” and you definitely shouldn’t be given the power to ‘educate’ the masses. Pull your head out of your ass Peter Pan

    • Cutter

      Outstanding comment, spot on.

  • worst article ever

    It’s a shame that surfer published this article. I don’t know exactly what being a “local surfer” means, I guess I can be considered a “local” in one of the most popular San Diego surf spots, considering I’ve been surfing there for 30 years and 9 months (yes, my mother surfed with me while I was in the womb).
    That being said, I have never treated any new surfer or new-comer the way you and your friend treated this guy who was being polite and obviously trying to do the right thing. He bailed on his board while paddling for the peak? That sucks, so why don’t you teach him how to do it right instead of being a total jerk?
    I have surfed in Costa RIca, Spain, Nicaragua, Barbados, and of course various places in the States, many of them very “local” spots…and I’ve never been treated the way you treat people. You advocate for yelling the f-word at a polite guy trying to surf? You must be one of the losers that I specifically drop in on. Not to mention this very long diatribe that you clearly wrote and did not actually say while out in the water. You’re not cool like you think you are. You are wrong and localism is wrong. Because in the end, love and kindness win, and you’re not exhibiting either. I hope your priorities change and you can get back to the amazing blessing that surfing is, instead of what the self-centered, self-promoting culture you immerse yourself in has made it.

  • steve

    I saw someone try that localism and when he paddled in after a session the guy he kept yelling at and snaking beat his ass on the shore

  • turpentine

    I just had a great session around the corner from “spot x” on New Years with a small crew of locals and we were trading waves and wishing each other happy new year. It was the antithesis of this. Your writing is pretentious, cloying and mean-spirited.

  • F that

    tl;dr localism works b/c people like the author are self-righteous dickheads.

  • Some Guy

    That was painfully contrived.

  • SF

    This was the dumbest thing I’ve ever read. You’re obviously a ‘literary kook’ and like the shallow figure in your story, you need to GO THE FUCK HOME.

    • Trogan Fan

      Was he talking about Ocean Beach? The one in San Francisco? That perfect A-Frame beach break that’s not as hard to surf as people would have outsiders believe? The one anyone can just drive right up to, park and surf?

  • Idsvilla

    What utter crap! How does any of that fit in with aloha spirit?! Line ups need some organisation I understand and I’m lucky enough to have grown up at a spot that is particularly quiet, but localism is bill it is just a bunch of dickheads trying to own surfing, this article and localism itself noway fits in with surf culture, or at least not as I understand it; the more people let others take a wave the more other people will do the same. And you can help the guy become less dangerous by chatting with him and tell him where to go.

  • Trogan Fan

    True story, at least so I’m told. A guy, for fun we’ll just call him the guy who wrote this piece, once had a girlfriend who went on surf trips with other dudes for weeks at a time, several times.
    With every good author there’s a moment in time that impacts the rest. The seed of creativity or, perhaps, bitterness. Ah, college.

  • jim streip

    The more people that surf the better for all surfers. In the US, where we have democracy and people vote on stuff, it’s generally considered a good thing when you have a large mob at your back that is mobilized and informed on the issues that are relevant to your cause. Water quality, land use, beach modification, etc…, all those things can be influenced when you have capable organization and lots of voices.

    The best way to fix crowds would be to make all spots 100% public and to bring those people interested in learning up to speed as quickly as possible…instead of intentionally obfuscating all available avenues of learning (especially the best one, actually getting out there and surfing). And trying to scare people off only works on the ones you would rather have around. The arseholes will not back down unless you hurt them, which rightfully makes you guilty of assault or worse.

    International waters are like two miles out, right up on the coast you are fully accountable to the laws of these great United States. United…its a good word.

  • Christian

    I don’t agree that it is a load of shite, it is simply how it is now. That does not in any way bear out whether or not it works. A square wheel could have been the norm and we could have all decided to put more energy into forward locomotion, it could have been, but it does not “work”, as you say. Society is not like science, psychology is pockmarked with holes (primatology in particular; your assertions fall prey to paternity tests, since the silver-back only sires 50% of the offspring or less). You can not use opinions, based on incomplete data, to make absolute statements. Also, the law of the sea takes place in open water, no matter how much surfers wish to be out in the wild, the truth is we hug the coastline for obvious reasons. Surfing happens in a public space, even if in the water zone of that public space, thinking that a public park ends at the beach is flawed reasoning (try spearfishing in that area with that applied logic, especially if it is a national park). I’ve got some real practical advice for thinning out the pack; stop promoting surfing as a sport, stop making yourselves look “cool” to non-surfers, stop hyping the whole experience up. Let the muscle-heads go play football, or whatever else the care to take up (they like hitting each other so much, they could really kill two birds with one stone). But clothing brands have to sell their boardies and T’s, and it’s important for you to “signify” (you know whats up). As far as spots, really is this the 70’s? You travel all over the world when there are no waves at spot X, and you feel perfectly entitled to surf those spots (because you payed to get there). What if they get at you, and ask you how far from there you were born? You’ll say “Sir, um..” . See you in PR, Pendejo.

  • Christian

    Didn’t like my comments about the bizz, eh? Just goes to show, that is really the soft point of the whole population issue. Hype= recruitment, pretty linear stuff.

  • Hannah

    Lolol @ the fact that he fell off his wave. Also, people, this is satire. Just in case you didn’t notice.

  • G

    hey lewis, why don;t u move to some f..ed up terrorist country with that BS mentality – U’d fit right in. Can’t believe surfermag is publishing this. Last time I bought one of your mags

  • Jacob

    Lewis, wtf… great article but most people will never understand your sarcasm and get the the underlying message.

    “And then a set came. The local caught the first one, as protocol dictates. I caught the second, attempted a turn, and fell. The kook caught the third wave—the best in the set—stumbled to his feet, crouched low, and rode inelegantly all the way to the shore.

    Then he went in. See? Localism works.”
    Hint for everyone: F#$% localism, teach the new guy.

  • Cutter

    Foot upward heel first through the surface. the equalizer.



    what a shame that guy just didn’t beat you down, asshole.

  • Gan Eagla

    I think it’s pretty assuming that you can just paddle up to anyone and start shit talking and demanding rights on waves. I agree that there is and should be surf ettoquete, that makes sense and allows everyone to enjoy surfing and enjoy it safely. I also believe that if you don’t undertand surf ettoquete you should look to learn it. Bullying BS in the water though, just shows you have an immature way of approaching things and it’s no different than the way punk kids act in high school or jr high. Because you are local doesn’t mean you are the upper echelon of the food chain…it means you happen to be fortunate enough to live near the ocean and a good break.
    I’ve had a grown ass man teaching his 7-10 year old girls try to puff up and show his dominance…he dropped in on me to throw a block and then acted like I was in the wrong for our boards hitting. Man, I have kids, I respect spending time out there and teaching them and just about any decent person will peel off and let them learn on the inside, but, when I see some assuming dick wad show his kids how to be assholes it pisses me off. I had to avoid the confrontation to be the bigger man for his kids. They don’t need to see dad getting a leash wrapped around his throat and given a propper ass whooping.
    To all of you thug asswhipes that feel entitled to something that isn’t yours…remember your attitude when some guy kicks your ass. Remember your attitude when you step into someone else’s world and expect to be treated with respect. The same guys that are “protective” locals are the same “F stains” that think they can bully their way around every other aspect in their lives.
    Grow up.
    Stupid article. I love when people try to justify being pricks.

  • Tarris

    Seems that yanks have a localism thing going on in a bad way. Fair enough but never come to my country, Seppoes! Here, a drop in will get you a smack in the head as will being a dick. You guys commercialised surfing and fucked it for everyone so stay home and suffer the consequences!