The Inertia for Good Editor
Jamie O'Brien surfing Pipeline

This place is different. Photo: Screenshot

The Inertia

“Localism” is a funny phenomenon in our little world. When the word gets dropped on social media, is the center of a parking-lot discussion, or is the topic of some kind of editorial, it might be an earnest reference to safety, etiquette, or stewardship of an entire community by those who dedicate their lives to surfing — people looking after each other at home. Then again, it could just as easily be used as a lazy catch-all phrase that excuses away surfing’s equivalent of road rage.

For a myriad of reasons, the North Shore of Oahu is a place where that word is put into proper context more often than most other locales. It’s a small community with heavy waves, a lot of tourists, and a pretty notable group of people who live and surf there. And we all more or less know who those people are, so when they speak up, we listen. Or in the case of this conversation between Jamie O’Brien, Mason Ho, and Lucas Godfrey, when a guy like Michael Ho sets his eyes on a wave at Pipe, everybody else just gets out of the way. It’s his wave. Whichever one he wants.

“When Uncle Mike paddles out, everyone knows,” O’Brien said on the Jamie & Mason Ho Show. “Right when a wave comes in, everyone’s going, ‘Go Uncle Mike!’ He’s got that rite of passage. He’s put in so much time. A right comes in, we see it, and we’re like, ‘Go Mike!’ Then he gets the most insane barrel. The whole beach goes electric. Insane.”

There’s certainly nuance to localism and the trio comes from a unique place where that often-blurred nuance becomes more clear.


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