- 27 June 2012 | Surfing
Respect, respect and respect. Test your ability to catch waves in foreign waters, where waves aren't yours, even if you hold priority. "Haole, go home", they say.
You've already felt the power of surfing in your own surf spot. You know the beach, you know the peak and the local crew. Surfing is easy when you're playing in home fields.
In holiday mode, or when the ocean's flat in your favorite point, things tend to be harder. If you've found a treasure of waves in a spot with a strong community of locals, caution is needed.
Take a look at 10 rules for surfing waves in non-local surf spots:
1. Put on the wetsuit near the locals: if there's a parking lot where everybody gears up, join them slowly. Do not show fear and do not show ultra-respect. Stay cool and do your things calmly.
2. Head to shore and warm-up by the water: locals will have the chance to look at you and lower their temper. Do your physical exercises slowly and without aggressive movements.
3. Paddle out slowly: you want to show everybody that you're not crazy for waves and that you're enjoying the atmosphere.
4. Say hello with your eyes and face: try to greet each local, individually. Look straight into their eyes and be gentle without being too subservient.
5. Ask where the best place to take off is to enjoy the wave: the question is so obvious and human nature tends to be so generous that they will get along and will be willing to help you, even if you already know the answer.
6. Show interest and express appreciation for their riding skills: show you're watching their waves and, in the end, throw thumbs up for the best waves.
7. Hand your first priority waves: if they show they're going to drop in on you, gently offer them the ride. When they paddle back, ask if you can get the next one with a gentle smile.
8. Paddle for the right wave with all your commitment: once you've gained their respect, it's important to show that you also surf well a get you waves. Go for it and always stare at the beach while preparing to take off.
9. Paddle out and praise the quality of their wave: say something like "congratulations, you guys have an incredible quality wave here".
10. Invite a couple of local surfers for a round of beers: thank them for the hospitality and glamorize the entire surf break.
Unsure if it'll work out? At least, give it a try. ;)