Fort Point - Locals Only!

Even though waves break everywhere along a coast, good surf spots are rare. A surf break that forms great surfable waves may easily become a coveted commodity, especially if the wave only breaks there rarely. If this break is near a large population center with many surfers, territorialism often arises. Regular surfers who live around a desirable surf break may often guard it jealously, hence the expression "locals only." The "locals only" expression is common among many beach towns. For instance, many locals from the Jersey shore use the expression "shoobie" to refer to non-locals. These sayings are consistent with the territorialism that drives the beach culture and those that live on the coastal territories year round. Localism is expressed when surfers are involved in verbal or physical threats or abuse to deter people from surfing at certain surf spots. This is backed by the belief that fewer people equals more waves per surfer.

However, local surfers have been known to be violent when it comes to protecting their surf break from tourists or outside surfers. Some locals have been known to form loose gangs that surf in a certain break or beach and fiercely protect their "territory" from outsiders. These surfers are often referred to as "surf punks" or "surf nazis." The local surfer gangs in Malibu and on Hawaii, known as da hui, have been known to threaten tourists with physical violence for invading their territory. In Southern California, at the Venice and Santa Monica beaches, local surfers are especially hostile to the surfers from the San Fernando Valley whom they dub "vallies" or "valley kooks". The expression "Surf Nazi" arose in the 1960s to describe territorial and authoritarian surfers, often involved in surf gangs or surf clubs. The term "Nazi" was originally used simply to denote the strict territorialism, violence and hostility to outsiders, and absolute obsession with surfing that was characteristic in the so-called "surf nazis." However, some surfers reclaimed and accepted the term, and a few actually embraced Nazism and Nazi symbolism. Some surf clubs in the 60's, particularly at Windansea in La Jolla, used the swastika symbol on their boards and identified with Nazism as a counter culture (though this may have just been an effort to keep out or scare non-locals.)