Do you consider yourself a local at a surf spot somewhere?
No really, serious question.
We ask because an interesting back and forth emerged on social media a few days ago wherein a person positioned herself as a “local” at a certain famously crowded right point break in LA county.
We won’t even acknowledge the instigator by naming them here, however, this person made reference to the fact that it was time for her and her crew to finally do something about all the flotsam and jetsom that frequents this particular spot, of which has been the case for many, many years.
As if it was hers to set the rules in some way.
You know, local and all.
The irony being that this person runs a surf school as her profession.
That aside, the story brought up an interesting conversation in our office: who is really a local and how is that actually defined as it relates to surfing?
Literally, ”local” is generally defined as an inhabitant of a particular area or neighborhood. It would be safe to say, for instance, that John Florence is a local of the North Shore as an obvious example.
Born and raised, owns home on the beach, etc.
However, where this gets tricky is when we confuse the word local with something more like a “frequent visitor.” In many cases a frequent visitor might actually make a lengthy commute to a spot yet is seen as a local as it relates to the surfing lineup hierarchy, simply because he or she surfs there on a regular basis
For instance, it would be hard to “live” at Trestles, but many claim local status. Some driving many miles to get there. In the case of the aforementioned point break in LA, where property values are among the highest in the world, it’s quite possible that almost no one who surfs there regularly can actually walk to the break in a reasonable amount of time.
Yet, many would call themselves locals, perhaps even including our surf instructor friend mentioned above.
As we scratched our heads pondering this important topic, one of the crew noticed that the wind had died. We all jumped in the car and sped off to our favorite local spot that we’ve been surfing most of our adult lives.
Bunch of fucking blow ins.