A sanctum to surf and localism

Surf sanctum

 When people think of surfers the usual old school stereotypes pop up, that we are those chill, beach bum-stoners. Not true! In recent years we have managed to put the majority of these stereotypes to bed and show our true colours as ambitious, hard-working, respectable thrill-seekers, however gang-bangers…surely not! Here at Glassy we love bringing our surfing community together, and the Glassy app is proof of that. It shows us that our community shares the wealth in terms of surf spots with one another and you cannot deny that taking surf sessions around the globe isn’t something that dreams are made of.

Localism or “locals only” protectionism (whatever you want to call it) has always been a thing and it has no place in today’s surfing world. It is mainly associated with local surfers constantly dropping in on strangers basically hinting that they need to take a hike or to put you in your place if your not being respectful enough. Recently though we have been hearing about a surge in the number of fairly violent cases such as in the USA, where there is a group of local surfers known as the Bay Boys whom harass and bully “strangers” or “outsiders” in order to keep their sanctum their own. The story is of a surf spot just south of Los Angeles at the base of the cliffs on the Palos Verdes peninsula where said non-locals and reporters have been subject to waves of verbal and physical abuse.

It looks idyllic. Should you enter the water, however, three things may happen: the surfers may surround, harass and possibly assault you. Their friends may roll rocks on you as you clamber back up the cliff. Your car may be vandalised.”

Localism is the dark side of surfing as everyone only ever thinks of surfer as the peace and love dudes and not the cast of The Warriors protecting their turf. Our philosophy at Glassy is The World Is Your Spot so who the hell has the right to tell you where you can and cannot surf. If you’re a kook with no respect and don’t have a clue about surfing etiquette then sort yourself out but the majority of us all know the basic surfing etiquette so why can we not all surf together in peace.


 We decided to do a little bit of research into this alpha/macho surfing world and we stumbled across a few interesting things. Firstly the top four surf spots where localism is alive and kicking (quite literally) are as follows; Pipeline Hawaii, Silver strand California, El Quemo Canary Islands and as above Lunada Bay California so take care if you think about charging those waves. Also some of the articles we have read for pro localism have quotes like the one below which we must admit is quite hilarious. As well as the classic localism of “If you don’t live here then don’t surf here” there is also new localism whereby surfers believe if you can’t get to a surf spot by walking or cycling then its simple…no surfing for you.

“There aren’t any good surf spots close to your house? Well f*ck you then. Beat it. Take up rollerblading. If you don’t live here, don’t surf here.”

Anybody should be able to enjoy surfing where ever you are from! The rise in surfing popularity has definitely created some hot water within the surfing community but the question is does protectionism actually solve the issue? Who knows maybe the rise in artificial waves pools might give people a bit of space to breathe…we will have to wait and see.

Glassy: #TakeTheNextWave wherever it may be and remember to keep sharing your spots with the Glassy community.