HOW TO: Be a local hero
1. Shout across the line-up, making sure everyone knows that you know people there. Talk across all the people you don’t recognize. 2. When checking it your facial expression should resemble that of someone who’s just been told they have a rare, untreatable disease (rather than someone who’s about to go and play in the sea on a little board while the rest of the world is driving ambulances/hanging off a rope welding girders on the 112th floor/dying of polio/fighting wars/working in sweat shops). Remember: surfing isn’t supposed to be fun, it’s about being a local. If people say ‘hello’ to you, sneer distastefully as if you actually invented the sport yourself and these intolerable latecomers are defiling your sacred act. 3. When somebody says, ‘It’s pretty good today’, never, ever agree. Offer ‘It’s OK, I suppose…’ with great reluctance, making sure they realize your idea of good here was that mythical swell back in the day that they weren’t here for, and nothing’s ever gonna change that. 4. Ignore the fact that you go to Maldives/Indo/Morocco or wherever and are a 100% un-local over there, because you consider that like an exchange of important dignitaries, like the Duke going to California in 1920, or if you prefer, the Dalai Lama visiting the Archbishop of Canterbury. 5. Never act surprised at anything. If a tsunami hits your local spot, or a rare seismic event opens up a huge hole in the beach swallowing an entire surf school into earth’s molten core, merely raise your eyebrows in an I-told-you-so manner. Remember: You’ve seen it all before.