Well its that time of year again, autumn is very quickly slipping by and its only a matter of time before the sea turns wild and days become dark. In this part of the world, the last month has been a seemingly endless forecast of swell and light winds. It’s been great being back and amongst some fun non-surf related trips with Tara, I’ve been getting my fill of waves.

We’ve had some great days, but this long predicted run of surf has brought with it the same issues faced many a time by locals and travellers. Being a foreigner myself, I’m always very aware of my impact in the water and how I conduct myself. It’s part of living in a country you weren’t born and even if I spend my last days here, I will always be foreign. I’ve always found that by giving respect to the locals, you’ll get your fill of waves and after a few years in the area, I’ve found my place in the lineup. Its one of the reasons I love this place so much, there’s a respect amongst locals and an unspoken queue when waiting for waves.

But on more than a few occasions recently, the equilibrium has been broken and an abrasive vibe has crept into the water. The paddle to the inside, drop-in or snowballing a section all seem fairly obvious no-no’s but it’s easy to forget the most basic rules when you’ve arrived to a new spot and its on. It’s just basic stuff but I think the best way to avoid causing yourself or anyone else unwanted and unnecessary grief is to imagine it’s your home spot. What would you expect of a visitor? It all seems common sense enough but often we forget when we’re in a new place and the waves are cooking.

At the end of the day, we’re all part of the same mad family, chasing moving lumps of water in the pursuit of some strange feeling most of us can’t describe. So make sure your next trip is an enjoyable one for yourself and everyone around you and happy hunting for the rest of winter.

Photo - Chris McClean