No Contest: What Does Hawaiian Localism Really Look Like? - Stab Mag
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No Contest: What Does Hawaiian Localism Really Look Like?

Red Bull No Contest, North Shore edition.

cinema // Mar 11, 2021
Words by Stab
Reading Time: < 1 minutes

We’ve spent four months in Hawaii filming for Red Bull No Contest. In fact, we had so much footage that we had to cut it into two episodes (the next one drops soon!).

During our time on the North Shore, we learned quite a few things. Like how drastically weather patterns can change (the first three months were balmy with great waves, the last month has had steady hurricane-force winds and torrential downpours); how to make a glorious living room set from Hawaiian hardwood (thanks, Tai Van Dyke!); and where our place is in the lineup.

Which brings us to localism. Let’s talk about it.

We all have an idea of what localism looks, sounds, and (occasionally) feels like. Whether it’s in Australia, Brazil, or the continental US, certain waves are controlled by the people who surf them most (and oftentimes, best).

Localism comes in many forms, some more defensible than others. As Stab founder Sam McIntosh says: “It’s not a perfect system, but it’s the best one we’ve got.”

And he’s right. For every person who is unjustly accosted due to another surfer’s perceived birthright, there are three surfers whose wellbeings are preserved by the lineup’s natural hierarchy. Localism stunts a lot of our worst behaviors and saves lives in the process.

And the place most synonymous with localism is undoubtedly Hawaii—surfing’s birthplace and home to many of the world’s premier waves. If any place can justify localism from both a sociopolitical and injury-prevention standpoint, it’s here.

In this episode of Red Bull No Contest, we dive a bit deeper into Hawaiian localism: what it is, why it’s there, and how to act accordingly.


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