The beauty of being a surfer in 2017 is the myriad of ways of being obnoxious. It’s like there are just so many options open to us these days, so many reasons — and methods — to be an asshole. Prime among them, is the time-honoured tradition of being a local. Everyone, everywhere in the world is a local somewhere, pretty much. But ask yourself, are you being local enough? Are you letting enough people know?
Coz they needs to know…
1. Shout across the line-up, making sure everyone knows that you know people there. Talk across all the people you don’t recognise as if they weren’t there.
2. When checking the surf, 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 about enjoying yourself, it’s about being a local.
If unlocals attempt to bid you good day, the vibe you need to reflect is one of someone who just watched the meter reader guy tread dog shit all over his carpet. Because you’re a local, you pretty much 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. Wait a full five seconds before replying, then offer, ‘It’s OK, I suppose…’ with massive 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. Try to get something unsightly going on your face. Maybe it’s a soul patch, maybe even just a goatee. It could be the monobrow. If your nose is big, or you have a gormless-looking underbite, emphasise em. Being a local isn’t just about being ugly on the inside.
6. 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.