Every winter, hordes of surf tourists from the East Coast and beyond descend upon Puerto Rico hoping to snag a few of the island’s pristine turquoise waves. But they’ll have to wait their turn, because there’s also no shortage of local talent in the lineups around La Isla Del Encanto. If you’re not sure who the locals are, just look for the guys and gals who always seem to be magically in the right spot for all the best waves. And, of course, they’ll also be ripping them to shreds. Because with the local surf conditions providing a one-two punch of size and consistency, Puerto Rico’s year-round residents benefit from having one of the East Coast’s top training grounds right in their backyard. Perhaps that’s why the island is a veritable hotbed of talent. And it can’t hurt that the local surf community is among the most passionate and dedicated anywhere on the East Coast. So next time you find yourself in Puerto Rico, be sure to stop and appreciate not just the island’s waves, but also its surfers. Both are among the best in the world, and both deserve your respect.