Sea Otter Steals Surfer's Board, Bites It Furiously, Cements Local Status at Steamer Lane - Stab Mag

Sea Otter Steals Surfer’s Board, Bites It Furiously, Cements Local Status at Steamer Lane

‘The otters have gone rogue.’

elsewhere // Sep 14, 2022
Words by August Howell
Reading Time: 2 minutes

This might be the most Santa Cruz video ever.

The location (Steamer Lane), the wetsuit (bright Buell), the otter (testy) and a formidable amount of kelp. 

A video posted today from the north end of Monterey Bay shows local man Nick Ericksen confronted with an odd situation. On a tiny but clean day at the Lane, a pregnant otter has taken up residence on his soft-top and refuses to be evicted. She either wants to join in on this surfing boom, or even the otters are not immune to California’s stupidly-high housing market. 

After a couple of halfhearted splashes and chirps from the boys on the cliff, Nick gives the board a few wiggles in an attempt to dislodge the soon-to-be mother. The otter, in between biting chunks out of the board, snaps at him, then dives into the water multiple times to scare off her aggressor. 

After several minutes, a bypassing logger eventually helps maneuver Nick’s/the otter’s board away from the angry mammal, allowing Nick to escape another part of the marine food chain. 

Not to be fucked with. Photo:

Sea otters, while common in Santa Cruz, once roamed freely across the west coast of North America. Before hunters started seeking their pelts in the mid-1700s, it’s estimated that between 150,000 and 300,000 otters thrived in coastal waters from Japan to Mexico. Today, scientists believe only 3,000 are stealing boards from California and Mexico.

A recent study from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this year concluded that sea otters could be reintroduced into the animal’s historic habitats from San Francisco Bay into Oregon. Might we see more instances of true locals enforcing their territory in a few years?

“That’s a weekly occurrence at the Lane this year,” Santa Cruz ace lensman Ryan “Chachi” Craig said on the post. “The otters have gone rogue.”


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent


Watch: Kalani David’s Last Dance

A final surf part from the Hawaiian surf/skate prodigy.

Sep 28, 2022

Taylor Steele Won’t Let Surf Filmmaking Die Without a Fight

Movies shown, filmmaking advice, punk rock at the 2022 Solento Surf Festival.

Sep 28, 2022

Wait, Are We Going To See Moana Jones In The Olympics At Teahupo’o?

Team USA (women) and Japan (men) should be able to choose anyone they want to…

Sep 27, 2022

Donald Brink and Matt Biolos Win Mick Fanning’s Electric Acid Surfboard Test

And we had a party in Oceanside to celebrate.

Sep 26, 2022

Kanoa Igarashi and Kirra Pinkerton Answer Call Of Duty, Win Medals Of Honor In 2022 ISA World Games

Teams Japan, USA, and France move into Victor’s Village.

Sep 26, 2022

The Best Euro Surf Trips That Mightn’t Be On Your Radar

Want to know which less-trodden nation offers the most potential?

Sep 26, 2022

Former CT Surfer Chris Davidson Passes Away At Age 45

A radical life tragically ends outside a bar in New South Wales.

Sep 25, 2022

Where You Should Be In Europe Right Now

An overview of the region's greatest hits.

Sep 25, 2022

The Team Ukraine Interview

“There are mines near the shore, and already a lot of people have died…so it’s…

Sep 24, 2022

Mormaii Founder Raided By Brazilian Feds On Suspicion Of Plotting Against Democracy

Curiously, he's the second surf brand founder to become entangled in a political scandal of…

Sep 24, 2022

The Electric Acid Surfboard Test With Mick Fanning, Episode 4

There are three boards left. Which one is Mick taking home?

Sep 23, 2022

Watch: Tresha

The Bella Kenworthy Edit.

Sep 22, 2022

Photos: Welcome To Vans Stab High Indonesia, Presented By Monster Energy

Welcome to Lakey Peak. Now do airs.

Sep 22, 2022


Taro Watanabe Is The Love Child Of Your Favorite 80’s Surfers

Watch his new edit 'Sonic Youth' now.

Sep 22, 2022

The Four-Finned, Carbon-Wrapped, Vacuum-Bagged Board That Won The 2022 World Title 

The minds behind Sharp Eye and Dark Arts break down Filipe's winning plank.

Sep 22, 2022

Selema Masekela Discusses The New Film “Sweet Adventure,” A New Love For El Salvador and His Not-So-New Music Career 

"It's literally the entirety of my life coming full circle in a way that I…

Sep 22, 2022

Does The 1-to-6 Foot Surfboard Exist?

Pushing the Channel Islands NeckBeard 3 to its absolute limits in a new Joyride review.

Sep 21, 2022


Life Comes At You Fast — So Does This Hectic Indo Clip

Finn McGill and a full-speed stint in Southeast Asia

Sep 21, 2022