Freddy P's North Shore Survival Tips

You’ve watched ‘Bustin’ Down the Door’, read ‘Welcome to Paradise, Now Go to Hell’, maybe even surfed there. And if you haven't, chances are you know there's definite potential to find yourself in trouble on the North Shore. We wanted to know how to avoid pissing off the locals but still score a few waves, so asked North Shore native, Freddy P, for some tips.

What's the best way to go about getting a wave on the North Shore?

In comparison to other spots I've been to around the world, like Northern California or places in Australia and Chile, North Shore isn’t that bad. I've paddled out to spots and come in and my rent-a-car has been vandalised. I've gotten yelled out, kicked out of spots, told I couldn't surf there. The thing about Hawaii is everyone can go and paddle out to Pipeline. Everyone. Your car is not going to get vandalised, you're not going to get beat up, you're not going to get told to go in. But if you get in the way of someone, if you drop in on someone, then that's when something happens. So at least in Hawaii you get the benefit of the doubt to a certain extent. In order to get a wave it's really easy – you sit out in the line-up for about 10 or 15 minutes and observe who the guys are that are sitting at the peak, who is getting all the waves. You can calculate 'Okay, don't drop in on that guy, don't even look at a wave that that guy is looking at’ and you can pick off waves that way. A lot of people don't do that, they just go out and think they're going to get waves. But all you really have to do is assess the situation, figure it out and it will make your surf in Hawaii a lot easier.

Did you find out who it was?

No, I did not. I made a couple of calls but I'm still looking for who did that. In Hawaii, if you don't make your presence known that you're not going to tolerate that kind of stuff, you'll get walked all over. So that's why a lot of guys learn how to fight in Hawaii. (laughs) You got to stand your ground. You don't necessarily have to fight. I've never really gotten into anything out in the water before. You gain your respect through respecting the other guys. I get my waves that way.

On the topic of respect ... does the same rules apply to stay out of trouble at a party?

Any party that's on the North Shore – everyone is pretty much invited. Same with surfing though, if you come to a party on the North Shore you definitely want to assess the situation (laughs) because you know what it is? There's a shortage of women on the North Shore. You have to know whose girl is whose, you know? You can't act like you do at parties at home. I always tell people to take 10 minutes at a party to assess a situation and go from there. The biggest thing you have to do? You have to say hi to people. Shake someone's hand. If you go straight up to a local guy that's out there surfing and you say 'Hey, how's it goin' man?' and shake his hand and look him in the eye, give that little bit of respect. You can have a pretty clear path to having a great time.

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