Going on a surf trip essentially involves surfing as an unlocal. A lot is made of being a ‘local’ in surfing, far too much probably. But you’re gonna have to face the reality that you might be an unwelcome addition to someone’s day, and while it’s not worth losing sleep over, here are 7 simple steps towards help avoid bad vibes, angry words… even a knuckle sandwich… Yikes!
The Azores used to be notorious for angry locals, and while it may have mellowed a touch, it’s still a very good idea to tread lightly, like Marco Giorgi. Photo: Bracourt
1. Split up
The number one rule is rock up in a small group, preferably of one. Nothing worse than paddling out as a five or six, as hatred is often proportional to group size. If you are team-handed, stagger the paddle out. Three dull groups of two will go a lot more low profile than one pack of six shiney bell ends.
2. Slow down
Show up and watch it a while before paddling you. This shows patience, and less of gimme gimme gimme vibe. It’ll also allow you to suss out who is dominating, who looks hard/angry, who to avoid, etc.
3. Curb your enthusiasm
Sure you’re keen, frothing even. But try to keep a lid on it. Don’t paddle for too many waves until you’ve been in the lineup a while and realized nobody else is on them. Let waves go to local if they look like paddling too. Avoid paddle battles.