Surfing Vancouver Island  

surfing related aggression and localism on Vancouver Island  


If you have experienced aggression in any form while at a Vancouver Island surfing break, or if you're tired of your local break full of strangers, share your story. This page is closed to posting.

letters
| | localism Jeremy Fyfe 5/28/01 | | i am one of those kooks sonny walker | | Grazing on the outside Neil Borecky | | Clubbies Kyle Poirier | | stop whining The Kenny's | | respect our privacy Cam Scott | | J Club Amos Crowell | | take a step back Carin Rumsey | | you'll learn better Simon Win | | Swiss Cheese Board Neil Borecky | | car windows smashed Matt Curry | | waves belong to us all Lawson Sealey | | sit just inside Stu Langley | | locals will warm up to you Jacob Malthouse | | Intimidating people at seconds David Langley | | photography inquiry Maria Davis | | ridiculous Cam Scott | | In defence of the "South" Blair Hughes | | chose a appropriate spot SURF GEEK | | I want Harry S. Keith

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I want

Harry S. Keith

I want, I want, I want, I consume , I consume, I consume... Whether it's waves or new Nike shoes, all this "localism" is about f$#king greed!!! Ooohhh I want this break just to be ours, & ours only, just me and my narrow minded friends, that live this so-called alternative lifestlye outside mainstream society, but yet, in our small pathetic hearts, we still have this conservative, mindset that these waves are ours? Wake up!!! You're an embarassment to humanity. Surfing is about the Soul. Learn to give it away, & take some joy in letting others have their turn.(Remeber in kindergarden, you have to SHARE!) If any of you haven't learned that yet, go back to the f$#king Mall, with your small town, hick, redneck, whitetrash, mentality. I'm sick of it!!!

Pissed Off

Harry S. Keith melliot@sfu.ca

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chose a appropriate spot

SURF GEEK

hey i learned to surf at s spot with likes of jesse oke .during elnino. yes you have to pay your dues and sit around alot or go somewhere else. in truth i find the so called aggression is just a reason to go deeper harder and faster . there are some amazing surfers out there pulling amazing shit .if you can't sit on your board then stay on the side and watch. i know of fifty breaks that you can learn on with no one there. share the wave but chose a appropriate spot for your skill. support each other, no one else is.

SURF GEEK @hotmail

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In defence of the "South"

Blair Hughes

I think your ideas are great but your information is a bit off. You make California out to be this "aggro" place where bad locals are lurking around at every sand bar and point break. To be honest with you, that is complete bullshit. In SoCal granted there are localized spots but what do expect...it's crowded - you don't have to surf there!

Having lived in NorCal for several years and returning there every year, I've found it pretty mellow and friendly. Comparatively southern Vancouver Island rates up there with Steamers and other popular breaks, but there is so much coastline you don't have to ride with the crowds. It's a lot more mellow down there than it is here....... If you don't want to be hassled don't paddle into a crowd unless you can handle it....... if you can handle it, you'll get waves and no one will hassle you - sounds simple to me.......

People are pretty uptight and protective of the "scene" here on the Island and I agree with you it is lame, but there really isn't much of a comparison to be made with California. (There have been a number of punch-ups @[spotJ] and many more near ones in your sneakily letter labelled spots - e.g. "Spot S" - oh where could that be? - the secrets are out by the way.....) Vandalism seems to have developed into a sport of it's own here unfortunately as has the apres surf parking lot local "aggro" antics.

Anyway, just had to vent a bit on your misinformation campaign...... hope to see ya' out there - I'm always @ spot "S" and I'm always smiling and I drive a brand new SUV with all the windows smashed out of it. (I don't)

Blair Hughes
email address withheld by request

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ridiculous

Cam Scott - cbccrew@gmail.com

It pisses me off that anyone should be intimidated in any way, shape, or form on public lands and waterways in Canada, be it by vandalism and property damage or face to face confrontation. The most ridiculous part of intimidating anyone for the purpose of limiting access to public areas is that it eventually focuses public attention on the spot, (like right here and now)

  • which leads to public outcry,
  • which leads to the intimidator getting busted
  • which in assault cases in Cali has led to long probationary terms with a "no go to the local surf breaks" provision. This has been so successful in removing violence from particular breaks that San Diego is pushing Sacramento to legislate it.

    California Open Waves Act would make the state's Pacific coastline a place where "no person, regardless of residence, lineage, social status or other reason, may lawfully claim the right to a wave". It will enforce a three-month prison sentence on those convicted of surfing-related attacks and ban offenders from popular beaches for a year

So in the end you end up with a famous/infamous surfing break that the busted aggressive locals can't go to and is so overcrowded they couldn't enjoy a mid day surf if they were allowed to be there.

Aggression may belong in one's relationship with a wave, but not with another surfer. I say "dawn patrol" and beat the jam, accept that we live in a tourist destination, and don't mix violence and surfing on our Island.
Oh yea. Every once in a while be sure to yell at a stranger "YOUR WAVE"

excerpt from Spot N in March. It's the first surf story I ever wrote
"As we pulled off the road I asked a surfer who was emerging from the trail "how is it". He gave me a hard unfriendly look and snapped "Flat and cold. Not even worth putting my f#*!$g suit on". As he passed the van window he leaned in. The terse look became a broad, friendly smile and he gushed "It's a little mushy at the end of the ride but it's a fun day out there. I've seen it better, but not for some time. ""

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photography inquiry

Maria Davis - Fri, 02 Oct 1998 - davis_maria@hotmail.com

Hi there, first of all, I would like to compliment you on the website photography. I am very impressed and more so because it is local. That may seem like a strange comment to make but it actually leads me into some questions I was hoping you could help me with. My first passion is photography and a developing second is surfing. Of course I would love to combine the two but I haven't the faintest. I have a photographic education but do not have much knowledge of the gear you are using in the surf and how you go about. I lived in Victoria last year where I was beginning to surf and when it got a little more than I could handle I pulled up to the shore and began shooting. I was mostly at [spotJ] with a 200mm lens so often I could get the shot but if the tide was out it was quite useless unless I had a bigger lens($$). Anyways, the troubles I was encountering was upset "locals" demanding that I put the camera away. I was not shooting for anymore than my own practice. For the most part I was always shooting my friend, but regardless, the "natives got hostile". Do you encounter this and if so, how do you deal with it?

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Intimidating people at seconds

David Langley - Mon, 16 Nov 1998 - dlangley@direct.ca

Saturday November 14, 1998.....This is directed towards the surfer with attitude. Intimidating people at seconds ([spot S] Beach) might make you feel like a macho surf dude, but to the rest of us, you look like an idiot. "Drop the attitude before someone drops you." This is the worst case of localism that I have encountered here and in other countries that I have surfed....Signed the guy who figures that there are enough waves for all!

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locals will warm up to you

Jacob Malthouse - Wed, 1 Dec 1999 - Van_IslandBoy@hotmail.com

Cam,

This is my third season as a serious surfer on vanisle. I live in Victoria and make between 2 and 4 trips past Sooke per week (won't say where). My first two years I got PLENTY of flak from surfers in the water and I am sure that many of them were real punks whose mother beat on them as kids. It is really rough when you get up at six in the morning and drive for to hours to get pounded by mother ocean and get no rides cause you suck, and in addition to be called a kook and told to "get the F out of my way jackass!" by some dink. However, It can't have been all bad cause I'm still more stoked than ever.

I remember one of my first times out some old timer teaching me, (when no one was watching) to move up on my board a bit so I could paddle better. I also remember another guy who while the week before called me an asshole for almost accidentally shooting my board at him while trying not to drop in, saw me out there again in a bigger swell and taught me how to make my first drops on waves over 6 foot (thanks dude). I've had notes on my car telling me to take all those god damn stickers off so every one doesn't find out about the spot (Spose I didn't really want to be corporate billboard anyway).

Anyway, despite the amazingly high learning curve for surfing (you gotta know weather, etiquette, the ocean, where to go, how to put up with assholes, how to repair your board etc. not to mention simply how to surf). I don't know a single surfer that once they've learnt how to surf will tell you it wasn't worth it. I've surfed in sunsets you wouldn't believe, I've almost died several times, I've played with seals, I've seen whales, and I've been really very cold. I've seen and done things surfing that have fed my soul more than anything I've ever done, and that's not even including actually riding a wave!

Sometimes I get pissed with the bad vibe some guys put out in what I view as much church. But if you actually think for a minute about the reasons for their actions rather than just pawning them off as assholes, some things come to light.

Based on my experiences, locals are doing a lot more than just bullying you.

First, most of the time they are informing you of the etiquette surrounding surfing, which while not always followed, is nevertheless an important part of our sport. LEARN from it and it won't happen again.

Second, many times a kook will go someplace to big or gnarly for them to handle. Rocks, currents or large waves make it a difficult and dangerous place to surf, and often the guys out there make it look way easier than it actually is. DON'T go out there if you aren't certain of your abilities. Often a local won't explain the fact that they're worried about you hurting yourself or someone else to you, they'll just tell you to get the F**k back to the beach, leaving said kook feeling miserable and angry. (Happened to me several times) My advice is to go out to these spots on small days so you can learn their currents, rocks and shape. As well, a lot of the time the locals won't go out because its too small, or they'll be in friendly mood because small waves also mean small crowds.

Third, if you're too tired or cold go in! We are hard-core cold water surfers that endure temperatures that would kill a naked human being in minutes. it is important to respect that. Plus, every stinging barb from a local hurts worse if you're hurting already, and its harder to keep up the skills and face needed to make it out there. There's no shame in admitting you're beat, and you probably improve faster in the long run.

Last but not least, If you're not a serious surfer and are just up there once or twice a year for a good time and so you can say that you surf, don't go where serious surfers are! Have some fun in the beachbreak or find somewhere with no crowds. You only have to put up with locals if you surf with them.

In conclusion, I wouldn't trade my kook years for anything, but I'm still glad they're finally over or ending at least. As well, its important to note that there are ALWAYS going to be assholes in the world who live to bring others down and ruin a beautiful place. Just like road rage in the streets, these guys are bullies who are insecure and the only thing that makes them feel better is bringing you down. Don't worry about them, just stay out of their way or ignore them and let karma bring their reward.

Most of the time locals will warm up to you once they see you're up regularly and have some of the etiquette, fitness and ability needed to make it on the larger breaks. These guys can be really friendly if you give them a chance. Its worth it too if you can stick it out because once you can surf, well nothing else compares to it.

Yours Sincerely,

Jacob Malthouse.

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sit just inside

Stu Langley - Wed, 24 Nov 1999 - stu@vic.imag.net

Nov 19 99 sewers paddled out said hi to a couple guys. One of the guys who I wont mention by name just kind of grunted so I just laughed. Then thing's just got worse. He would paddle in front of me as I was about to take off or sit just inside so I had no were to go. Then as I would take off he would yell at his friend's to take it so I would have to pull out, but the final straw was when he yanked on one of my flippers as I was going to pull into a wave. I have been boogie boarding for 6 years and I feel I have paid my dues. I know were to be and try to play by the rules but guys like this need to back off before somebody takes them aside and teaches them a lesson because sooner or later it's going to happen and someone is going to get hurt.

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waves belong to us all

Lawson Sealey - Mon, 20 Dec 1999 - LAWSON__SEALEY@hotmail.com

This message is for all! The waves belong to us all and surfing is about appreciating the artistic beauty within these waves. I've surfed everywhere from the Hawaiian Islands to the Oregon coast and the locals here know what surfing is really about and they appreciated those around which they can share this with. Anyone who doesn't understand this should sell their board immediately and never set foot on the ocean sands again!

-Lawson

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car windows smashed

Matt Curry - Tue, 21 Dec 1999 - mjacurry@hotmail.com

Howdy Cam,

Just got back from a solid day at [spot S]. Beautiful sunny December day, solid waves and sadly the back windows of two cars smashed in. I've just spent a few months in Tofino surfing all sorts of spots with all sorts of people with no problems. [spot S] is a very special place and it sucks to see the direction a few shitheads are taking. Just thought I'd vent...

Curry

Thu, 30 Dec 1999 13:00:41

No one likes learning somewhere full of agro locals, and no surfer likes hooking up a perfect peak on a crowded day only to be snaked be some dipshit on a 10' plastic rental... Sadly, I don't see things improving much at spots like [spotJ] and [spot S] where anyone can drive up check the surf. However, things still look damn good for those who know what fires on what conditions and are willing to hike, paddle, 4x4, whatever it takes to get sweet solo sessions - free of grumpy carp and kook alike...

Curry

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Swiss Cheese Boards....

Neil Borecky - Wed, 9 Feb 2000 - nborecky@PFC.Forestry.CA

Hi Cam,

I'm not sure if this qualifies as localism, but could you throw it on the message board anyhow? Maybe it's just a catharsis.....

I had just finished a really nice early morning session at [spot S] (09-02-00), when I returned to the beach only to discover my second board which was propped up against the driftwood, had been the target for someone's rock-throwing practice. Thanks buddy. This act of extreme cowardice (yes, you are a coward), only served to ruin a nice little board. The only message that you sent is that you lack any decency or character.

I doubt this was directed specifically at me since I was the second one in the water that morning, so ownership of this newly crafted "Swiss Cheese Board", was not apparent. As in any population, there are the odd card-carrying assholes, however it brought back the stoke to see the friendly nods and handwaves as I passed board-carrying cars in the opposite lane returning home. It also served to remind me of the way I'd like to see our relatively friendly Canadian coast stay; without the stress and aggro that we might associate with South of the border. After all, the best surfer is still the one that has the most fun. I'll be back at firsts....see you there.

Next week......Catching ungodly waves with hole-y boards......

Neil

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you'll learn better

Simon Win - Wed November 15, 2000 - sjwin@coastnet.com

If you just started surfing don't go out to the biggest break or the most crowded, you'll most likely learn your place in the line up very quickly. better to learn in less than perfect conditions as these breaks are usually less crowded and in reality will end up helping your surfing more than sitting on the shoulder the whole session. Lose your ego cause you don't need the stress of looking cool. If you are feeling persecuted in the line up take a look at the situation, if you keep getting in the way expect harsh words.
Relax everyone its supposed to be fun
Simon

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Take a step back

Carin Rumsey - Sat, 9 Dec 2000 - c.rumsey@ns.sympatico.ca

Just few things for the ones out there who have been having "local problems" on the Island.
- Island locals have reason to be pissed. They got the ball rolling around here. Take a step back, watch and you may learn something.
- Use your head. What makes you think that you can just go and charge out to [secret spot] and be welcomed as one of the crew. Slow down. There are other places to surf.
- Some locals need to be handled with "kid gloves". Let them stomp their feet. They have put in more time on this coast than any of us. Your day will come.
- Think you got it bad? Try Palos Verdes Estates near L.A. or main peak Puerto Escondido. At times you can have problems before you ever hit the water. It's not so bad on the island.
- Localism sucks. Aggression suck. Pay your dues. We ALL have. It's worth it.
- Can't get any respect? Just start pulling-in.
- If your feeling down just remember... locals are just surfers who can't get their shit together to travel more.
I'm off for hot wings and cheap ale. Dez

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J club

Amos Crowell Friday 09 Feb 2001 amoscrowell@hotmail.com

i think spot j is the gayest place i have ever been! who the hell are the club idiots? i found the true story. spot j park was given to ALL surfers by Western Forest Products in the 60s. these idiots need an attitude adjustment. what the f!@# is the deal with not being allowed to walk across their lawn? WHAT FAGS!! the only time i went there it was a small day and 3 of them were out. plenty of space even for canada. they told me wave after wave that this one was theirs. BUTTHOLES! i decided to screw it and grabbed my 90 becker and big wave gloves and the snaking began. i would catch waves well behind where they could, being on a huge board , and whistle them out of the way . the beach is for everyone and you cannot own the ocean. i would never do what i did any where else because there is no such crap exept at windansea and they let you surf if you are adequate for the days conditions. the next time you are at j leave a little note that shows they are dicks. The next time im surfing oregon or van is and i m beside a clubbie they WILL be cut off.

complaints to Western Forest Products Ltd 250-646-2031

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respect our privacy

Cam Scott - Saturday, March 03, 2001 - cbccrew@gmail.com

The first time I went to walk across the clubbies yard I got to the fence and looked up. There was a sign. It was something to the effect of "please respect our privacy". I've lived on beaches before, and to my mind, looking out my bathroom window while brushing my teeth and seeing barney and brood, complete with coolers and inflatables gazing back at me on their way through my property, always felt intrusive. I have, therefore, never had a problem with the clubbies reasonable request. There is park behind and crown foreshore in front. Plenty of room to navigate.

As for quips in the lineup, I never hear about threats or physical violence, and short of that, it's all just talk. Sticks and stones buoys and girls. I have to say that I prefer a lineup who's pecking order is decided by talent and ability and a sense of community and camaraderie predominates. It's hard for me to understand why a few locals at any break would engage in pecking order by cat call and intimidation. It might chase a few lightweights away, but is apt to raise the ire of most, and sets an atmosphere of tension in a place that should relive tension. It's kinda like the war on drugs. It's been going on for generations and looses ground every year. It's a flawed, unsuccessful strategy that harms all and serves none, save depressive personalities that need to vent. I know there is a never ending, ever increasing stream of newbies to all breaks, worldwide. In an age where surfing is used to sell everything from diet supplements to women's hygienic products, more crowding is inevitable.

Try guiding beginners off to the fringes. Explain to them, that they will get a better wave count and thus improve their skill level faster, and most importantly, they won't piss you off if they're out of the way. Just as important, vibing competent surfers out of the lineup is rarely successful and leaves the whole lineup in a negative space. If the few offending clubbies directed their negativity toward protecting the vibe in their lineup, they would garner respect from non clubbies instead of contempt.

On a personal note, the clubbies see me out taking pictures regularly. I am always met with polite regard and often asked if I got anything good. Once I was questioned about this website by a clubbie who was clearly opposed to it [although he had never seen it]. The guy was totally civilized and just putting forward his point of view, which I appreciated. I hope I relieved a bit of his angst when I pointed out that I don't name spots, or supply directions.

One last point of interest. After 27 years surfing [intermittently]on the island, I was accused of localism for the first time last week.

finger pointer "What better example of aggressive+stupid localism than the entry- level but weird naming scheme for breaks on your site."

I replied "I see your point. The support of the BC surfing community and the many friendships that I have within that community are important to me. I believe that both would be harmed if the break page were more comprehensive. The surreptitious nature of the page and the weird naming scheme are the result of consultation with probably over 100 BC surfers, the great majority of which, were completely and adamantly opposed to naming Vancouver Island surf spots in any publication.

The naming scheme wasn't meant to be rocket science. Just enough that folks familiar with the island know, and folks that aren't familiar with the island don't. IMO a great part of surfing is search and discovery. Who am I to cheat you out of that. "
[Case on point; this page. We get to talk about spots without giving names that any tourist could look up on a map.]

Cam
ever notice how localism decreases as swell size increases?

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stop whining

The Kenny's - Friday, March 02, 2001 - thekennys@shaw.ca

Please stop the whining, bitching and complaining. Localism is a fact of life in this sport. If you feel like you're going to cry when someone calls you a kook, tugs on your flipper or hassles you for position buy some extreme padding a neon helmet and take up rollerblading.

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Clubbies

Kyle Poirier - Friday, March 02, 2001 - surfbro_909@hotmail.com

Hi,
I'm just writing this in response to the letter of that amos crowell. Truth is the park wasnt given to ALL surfers, the clubbies lease it every once and a while, so get it right. And if spot J is the gayest spot, dont surf there. Its not that hard to understand. So dont surf there if it is Gay go surf some where else.

Thanks
Spot J local


Grazing on the outside

Neil Borecky - Sunday, March 18, 2001 - nborecky@PFC.Forestry.CA

I like snowboarding a lot. That being said, I hate lift-lines a lot. Big deal, who doesn't right? No one likes to wait, be it for a wave, for a chair, for their significant other outside the local gardening store. The burr under freedom's saddle is the way you get slotted through these line-ups; a bored liftie barking orders to 'see your pass', to 'move now', to 'stop here'..to 'go there'. I'm un-fondly reminded of the time i went to the local slaughterhouse stockade. You shuffle through the gates like sheep, cattle, emu's etc. Unfortunately in a sport where gravity does almost all of the work, it attracts your fair shair of slobs, drunks, slovenly (along with the good people too!), and such a structured line up becomes a necessary evil to prevent line-jumping and brawls.

Thank Elvis-Jesus-Gandhi that we don't have this in surfing. What we have is rare in sport. It's chaotic, it's free, it's occasionally tense, but we aren't subject to any organized governing body. (i.e. surf-patrol.. out there in orange wet-suits saying..'OK.. you next..hey slow down in that wave buddy') . The few 'Thou shalt' rules that there are exist largely due to simple courtesy and required for good riding. Enforcement is rarely an issue unless someone is being an ass, then the pack speaks, (or in reality a gravelly-voiced moss-back will politely air his concerns).

I have to say, on a positive note, that I rarely see grief in the line-up save for against a few beginners who really just need a helping hand. How often have we sacrificed a few waves to help someone out? Probably less than we should (although i suppose if they quit, then there's more waves for us eh?) Some find it hard to figure out why people may have been grouchy, the waves are there for everyone right? Until you realize that the path you took to paddle out is right along someone's perfect line. Or until you abandon your florescent blue plastic board when a big wave buries you..only to have it knock out the poor bastard behind you....'He's so mad at me....this is blatant localism.. i don't know why.. just becuase i hit his head and dinged his board'.

The point is, it's pretty good around here. Sure there's the odd ass (who draw nothing but contempt), out there, but they are by far in the minority. Sure, at [spot J], the clubbies get a little riled or possessive now and then. Anyone who has faced frank commentary from the Sultan, might take the time to realize that grumpy carp syndrome (GCS) is caused by the nostalgia of surfing 20- 30 years or so in pristine conditions, only to see it fill up unfamiliar faces, and have competition for previously uncrowded waves. I'm sure as we get older, there's a bit of Mr. Wilson waiting in each of us. You can learn a lot from these ladies and gentlemen (loose term ha ha), as most are very accomplished surfers and just watching is a pleasure in itself. Just try not to pick up their grouchier side. As for the dealing with the younger carp, if you surf well and follow the 'thou shalt share the waves, thou shalt not: snake, drop in, abandon your board in crowded conditions' rules etc. etc. , you give no one anything to gripe about. ( Realize though that instant acceptance isn't going to happen and you're probably not going to get invited in for a sauna unless you flip your boat.) You have my sympathies to go off if someone is being an unreasonable selfish prick, physically hassling as you are doing your best to ignore them. Realize a bad vibe spreads like an oil slick and it's up to you to improve it. People respect talent, shared waves, and an easy-going attitude. On nicely formed waves, there's often a small 'perfect' take-off spot, a lot of wetsuits vying for that position, and there's no liftie to tell you who can go. That is the freedom of surfing and that pure competition is what breeds talent.

Grazing on the outside of the fence,

Neil.


I am one of those kooks

sonny - Friday, March 30, 2001 - sonnywalker@hotmail.com

this letter is in response to the guy who wrote "This is to all the ignorant surfers who make that hour or so long drive to my back yard."

I am one of those kooks that drive up to your so called back yard. If you don't own the waves then why do you refer to as YOUR backyard!

i didnt learn how to surf on van island. although i was born there I learned how to surf in byron bay oz were it is way busier than spot s or j! i thought coming back to my home country would be great. i would be able to surf in canada with canadians and hopfully be welcome. that is not the case!

i live in white rock on the mainland and make it over to the island at least once a week and i can only make it over for a day at a time. so when i do get in the water i am so stoked and try and get as many waves as i can in short amount of time. I have so i admit i can be a little agressive at times. but i always make it a point to give some waves to begginers and help them out if there having trouble.

i have seen you out there plenty of times and you and your mates paddle by me and sit on the inside every time i try to be nice and say hello but usually i am ignored. if you guys really do travel to other countrys and surf then you would know what it feels like to be in my position. and when i do get a wave finally i get droped in on constantly by you and your mates! and I CAN SURF preaty good. i have never once droped in on any of you guys but if I did i would make a point to go over and apoligize! remember we are here to have fun surfing.

i can see where you're coming from. sure you had it to your self for a number of years, but still the population is growing and compared to some spots in the world you guys have still got it pretty good, its not that busy! so next time slow down a bit, sit back and enjoy what you have instead of being so negative. the waves are still going to be there! if you want some respect then show a bit yourself and at places like spot s its not that you have more wave knowledge. that wave is bloody easy to figure out. it's just that your heads so big no one else has a chance!

mellow out bro!
sonny walker


localism

Jeremy Fyfe - Thu, 03 May 2001 - surferangry@hotmail.com

Dear Cam

I've been surfing for years almost every weekend and am as competent as anyone out in the water. Tuesday night, May 1st, I made the trek to Jordan River. I camped overnight, got about four hours sleep, and awoke early Wednesday morning excited to see the place working. From numerous previous trips I knew that the place is terribly plagued by localism, and have exchanged heated words with ignorant locals in the past. However, this time was too much.

All day locals were swarming me, not allowing me any waves, and I know the longboarders weren't crowding me out of coincidence. Even the few guys that were down the point from me were paddling up and sitting 5 feet inside of me. Guys were making comments directly to me and to their friends loud enough for me to hear. In all this crap I still let them paddle in front of me and take waves. I surfed for two hours and caught ONE decent wave. I was one of the only "non-locals" there, but the other couple were dealing with the same crap.

I gave up and left to surf China Beach, excited to surf in the absence of locals. However, the waves were closing out so I moved on to Sombrio. At first there was only one other guy there and things went fine, but then a mob showed up and that unwelcome feeling returned as a few comments were directed my way by one guy.

So, by this time discouraged, I returned to Jordan River to see that the swell had died off. I paddled out anyway and played clean-up for a while, sitting half-way down the point and picking up the empty ones. After a while I changed boards, and watched as the majority of the crowd exited the water. As I walked back down the beach I was happy to find only a few guys, two locals and one non-local, in the water. Now, normally I would have paddled out a ways down from the others but these guys were just sitting there half-way down the point with no one surfing the first half of the whole break, so I put in at the peak. Well, the guys quickly paddled over and sat right in front of me. I was already pissed from the rest of the day, but I just shrugged it off. I overheard them making comments about the other non-local who had left by this time. Soon, a set came and they both paddled for the first wave. I just let it go and went to paddle for the second wave. The guy who didn't catch the first wave decided he wanted my wave and went for it too, but when he saw that I had the inside he pulled my leash, and the wave passed by unridden.

After that a few words were exchanged, he claimed it was an accident but I told the guy we'd see what happened on his next wave. So when his buddy got back he had him block me out as he caught a wave in.

Although most locals will respect you once they see that you can surf, there's a few dinks at these places that try to make you leave. They try to make you feel like you're doing something wrong but I know how the pecking order works and all that and I go by the rules. I don't have stickers on my vehicle so that I don't reveal any secret spots, and I keep my mouth shut about where to go. The fact is these guys don't like you simply because they don't know you. That is crap. Truth is, we're one up on them because we know their spots and can always find somewhere else to go, but they live there and if somehow word really gets out it's more their problem than ours.

So perhaps the respect that us visiting surfers give should be shown in return. If they think they are more deserved of the waves, they need to consider that we spend $60 in gas to drive for eight hours round trip to surf waves that may not even be there with a few hours sleep, where as these jaded punks are snivelling while surfing waves everyday and strolling home to take a hot shower all to do it again the next day.

I'm a non-confrontational kind of person but I WILL NOT take it again. I know which guys are the problem and they will see me out there again at every chance I get. So if they think their little games are working, they'll soon realize they're just kicking themselves in the ass. Maybe the directors of that club should be discouraging this kind of crap because they're not doing themselves any favours.

Thanks
Jeremy

Jeremy
Talked to a young guy from Sooke the following Sunday, that was one of the other "non-local" surfers out with you on Wednesday. As a Sooke resident, I guess he just wasn't local enough for the bullies out that day. You've put it very well, better and calmer than most. I've heard every bit of it before, over and over, for years.

I have, camera in hand, received many genuinely friendly greetings by some of the older clubbies in the [spot J] parking lot. I can't imagine any of them investing so much time and energy excluding a fellow surfer from the dregs of a dropping swell. I ave trouble understanding how the surf club tolerates members and/or guests bullying other surfers in the water like this. They have a landlord who probably wants to be seen as a good corporate citizen. I don't imagine that includes allowing the public be victimized by their tenants.

I hope you won't let this behavior push you into becoming aggressive. Even a defensive act in front of the wrong witnesses might be reported as unprovoked attack.

Over time, these acts will not withstand the light of public scrutiny so keep reporting them here, and anywhere else that seems appropriate to you. If you feel uncomfortable doing it in a public forum, keep a written record[dates, times, names] anyways. Never know when it might come in handy.

Silence is the enabler of dirty little deeds.
Cam

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