I live about 4 hours up the coast from JBay but haven't surfed the place in about 3 or 4 years, can't really remember... Recently I thought I would treat myself and make a trip up to this majestic wave that reels down the point for hundred of meters.
Pretty convinced this would sort out my siff attitude that I recently developed towards my own surfing, I booked a spot in Pepper Street (in the Supertubes car park) called The Bungalows.
The Bungalows set you right up in the prime spot. If you surf, the ideal spot to stay is Pepper Street, that's where all the action is... There is plenty accommodation in and around the Pepper Street culdesac for all types of budgets.
After unpacking the car I had a quick look at the waves... Not firing by JBay standards but really cooking by most! Waxed my board, checked my leash, tightened my fins and suited up! BOOM! This is going to be epic!
While walking up the beach to the keyhole, I noticed that the crowd was pretty much grouped further down the point at the car park section... this was weird because the sets were breaking further up / deeper on the point and there were only 3 guys up the point compared to the 20+ further down... mmm... BONUS!
Out the keyhole I go and paddle further up the point to where the 3 surfers had the bombs all to themselves... big smile on my face in anticipation for when the next set pulls through!
First set pulls through... damn... only two waves in the set and the 2 of the 3 guys were on them. The sea goes flat for a while and the 2 surfers paddle past my inside. Oh well, they must be locals... no problem... (especially since one of them is built like a tank).
They chat among themselves for a while and then one of them turns towards me and says "Hey my man?!" (in a way that makes me feel like a foreigner that can't speak English...) "Fuck off to the inside, you can't sit up here among us locals, locals only, fuck off..."
Personally, I am a fan of localism (to a degree). I get it, I know why and how it works and it definitely has a place in the surfing culture. Localism isn't going anywhere.
I guess what disappointed me in this situation is that it was uncalled for. It was an overextension of authority in the water that left me feeling pretty miff and frustrated when in reality I should have been enjoying my surf at one of the best right-handers in Africa.
Kept my mouth shut and moved further down the point where it was packed like a tin of sardines... now it all makes sense...
My spirits soon lifted after a few cookers at the car park section and then looking further up the point at the locals unable to get around the first section... karma... (+ thank fuck I didn't catch a flat hand from the tank...)
After chatting to a mate who surfs there often, he mentioned that the locals were actually pretty chilled but there had been an incident the week before where a fairly well-known surfer from the Cape paddled out and acted like a little piggy in the water and as a result some snot-klaps were dished out and the locals are on edge recently.
So, moral of the story...
Visiting surfers, always bring your manners, respect the locals and pretty much let them go on every wave they want. Usually, there are very few locals in the water at any one time, so you will still get your fair share of waves. Don't be a piggy and ruin it for everyone else.
Local surfers (the enforcers), perhaps better if you do not paint everyone with the same brush? If a visiting surfer is keeping to himself and respecting your presence by keeping on your outside... Don't be a doos, be lekker... and keep ripping... (and let me come back again)...