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