How to Keep Your Line Untracked

Advantage: Sadly, violence works


Localism started with surfers. Now there are two strategies to keep your favorite spots uncrowded: secrecy and violence. Surf localism uses both but is better known for the latter. “I’ve been physically approached a couple of times,” says Chris Coté, editor of Transworld Surf. “But I’ve never been punched. Not yet.” Coté says that thanks to the rise of video camera ownership, taped assaults often lead to arrests, and the need to pick your teeth out of the sand is on the wane. But “the threat in Hawaii or northern California is real,” Coté adds. Meanwhile ski localism revolves around secrecy and hasn’t resorted to violence. Here’s how the two stack up.

Ski Localism / Surf Localism

Will you need to see your dentist?

Just twice a year / Wear a mouth guard, especially in Maroubra, Australia

Chance you’ll come back to smashed car windows.

Zero / Maybe—in Oxnard, California

Chance your secret spot will be poached.

Low / High, though they sure as hell won’t come back

Easy to self-police the venue 

Not without a chopper / Yes—watch the parking area

Chance to create a cool gang name

Low / High

Bad movies made about it

Every ski movie, every year/ Point Break

Will girls think you’re cool?

No/ Just Lori Petty


Yes…until someone finds it/ Forever