Monday, March 17

Todays question:

White shirts, black shorts, and the trail up from Lunada bay, what do they all have in common?

Many moons ago I went on a surf trip with Tom Turner.  He was from Lunada bay.  When asked he would say... I live in Lunada bay... I surf in Lunada bay.  He was about 70 at the time and had his Son Bruce and Grandson who's name I forget were with him.  And despite his entourage he was kind of proud of his attitude.

This got me to thinking about the whole concept of Localism and how a guy who was seemingly respectable could have an attitude that on the surface was so uncivilized.

Since then I've surfed Malibu, Huntington, J-Bay, Rincon, Windansea, Raglan, Trestles, North Shore and come to some conclusions.  To date I've been hassled exactly zero times but there are some really good reasons why.  These places are noted for localism and hostility.  This isn't to say that I've had no conflicts... but there haven't been conflicts related to being an outsider.

The number one thing is to show respect to those who surf there all the time.  It's the civilized thing to do.   If you want to be hated & hassled paddle out and try to take all the best waves like no one else is in the water.

Number two is the idea of give a smile get a smile.  My toothless grin ain't much to look at, but in the water it clearly communicates what I'm up to.  It's supposed to be fun and I'm not out to steal from anyone.

The obvious answer to my question for the day is that they all are associated with localism in surfing.  According to Kala Alexander in the show 808 the black short uniform guys must all answer to the whistle and enforce rules on the North Shore, the white shirts are some sort of system at J-bay in South Africa, and The trail up from Lunada bay is just a perilous place for an outsider to come up from the surf.  Only one way up... no sight of the guys on the top of the cliff.  No visual on the car and there is really only a tiny take off spot for the best waves.

As I watched some sponger get pounded on the show 808 I'm thinking that while the legend of localism will live on.  It's essentially done.  It can only be performed anonymously, in this day and age of webcams, video cameras and cell phones with cameras the anonymity has vanished. If that fight wasn't staged (and it must have been) I can only imagine the law suits.

So ... in conclusion ... if it's a really public spot ... with a lot of water moving around ... you show respect ... and smile.  Just like in life, things will come without hassle.