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No blatant localism!

When I was 13 one of my favorite bands was JFA (Jodie Foster’s Army), a hardcore punk skater band from Arizona. I still think they were one of the best hardcore bands of the 80s, which by default means they were one of the best hardcore bands full stop. Their best record is a 7” ep called Blatant Localism. I used to put a boom box in my bedroom window facing the street and shred on the curbs and street in front of my house, blasting JFA’s Blatant Localism, no doubt to the annoyance of my neighbors.

This was the mid 80s and I didn’t know what “Blatant Localism” meant at the time. I’m from the East Coast and even though my friends and I, as skaters, dressed in surf clothes and took stuff from California culture, we didn’t really know anything surfing or beach etiquette.

Localism is basically local surfers expressing their dissatisfaction with non locals who crowd waves and (maybe) do not understand local surfing customs, etiquette or are perhaps seen as impolite. At its worst localism can mean the outright bullying of nonlocal surfers by locals.

From an article in the Independent on problems involving localism in Hawaii:

Friction between territorial locals and outsiders is keenly felt at the best of times. But in recent winters, the arrival of tribes of energetic young surfers from Brazil has sparked something approaching a racial war.

Equating localism on Hawaii’s beaches with a race war is a bit much, but plainly some surf locations have more problems with localism than others.

photo by Miguel Teixeira (Flickr CC)

Any mild localism that might occur on Portugal’s beaches can be avoided with a bit of respect, politeness and being conscious of other’s rightful turns on a wave. There area also plenty of uncrowded beaches around Ericeira, Portugal and Europe’s surfing capital. At Rapture Surf Camp Portugal you will be with surfing instructors who know the best surf spots and are familiar with local etiquette.

Generally speaking, of course, Portuguese people are some of the most helpful and polite people in the world, both on the waves and off and you will not have to worry about localism here.


Graham Land is a writer who grew up in the suburbs of Washington, DC, where he was part of the local hardcore punk scene. Through this musical movement he became involved in grass roots interests such as anti-racist activism, animal rights and Ecology. In 2000 he relocated to Europe, earning an MA in History from Malmö University in Sweden. Graham writes on a variety of topics including the environment, politics and history.
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