Stab Magazine | Come To Oregon, Get Choked Out?
5639 Views

Come To Oregon, Get Choked Out?

“…before I blacked out, I removed the memory card and put it in my pocket When I woke up on the beach… my camera was gone.”

news // Nov 3, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Oregon is a strange place. Downtown Portland is an adult playground, overflowing with amazing food, killer beer. Oodles of legal weed. Mexico-tier prices compared to Kauai. I spent a lovely two weeks there just a few months back. The Multnomah Whiskey Library alone is worth the trip. I despise the wretched stuff but they serve up amazing food alongside that brown poison my wife loves to suck down. (The hooch makes her mean, but that’s a story for our marriage counselor.)

Once you leave Portland city limits things change. It’s rugged and raw and majestically beautiful. It’s also chock-full of insular beardo weirdos and terribly blatant racists. “The blacks are taking over.” “The illegals are ruining America.” “MAGA.” No shortage of hateful talking points and close-minded surety. I get it though. It’s damn easy to hate different people when everyone around you looks the same. God forbid you take responsibility for your own failures.

But I don’t want to be unkind. I’ve met many truly nice, welcoming, open-minded people there as well. They possess a rough and tumble pioneer type mentality I can’t help but appreciate.

I’ve never felt an urge to surf when I visit. It’s just too damn cold. I love surfing, but not to the point of masochism. That doesn’t mean I haven’t mind-surfed a thousand waves. I’ve watched overhead beach breaks fire for hours. There’s a dredging harbor mouth right that just begs for some young kid to risk his life. Playful fun surf rifles in the shadow of offshore monoliths.

I’ve almost never seen someone surfing. Once in while I’ve spied a lone warrior dorking around in tiny mush, or flailing about on an SUP. But it’s not like the state is crowded. El Porto-level hell can’t occur when ocean temps are in the 40s and full-sized logs bob about in the shore pound.

And so Oregon’s reputation for localism has always left me a bit confused. I know the state is a final refuge for too many misanthropes who couldn’t cut it down south. But violence in the name of protecting a resource that no one wants is beyond pointless.

Nevertheless, I guess it’s a real thing. Here we can see a group of humans acting like barking dogs. Strength in numbers enforcing poor impulse control.

Stepping in front of a camera and saying, “Yes, I’d like to face felony charges.”

Here’s the (very annoying, we admit) photographer shown in the film, Ben Mater:

“Yesterday before work I went to the beach to take some wave photos, had a nice gray/blue tint with the overcast. Several surfers assaulted me for taking photos of “their spot”. The main person shown here attacked me several times, tried to take my camera, and then he put me in a choke hold. You can see him holding my camera bag that he took. After the first attack where he knocked me to the ground, I tried leaving, but had to stop to recover. Another surfer walked by and have on video him saying: beat him up and smash his camera. I fought the best I could, but I was protecting the camera, and left my neck exposed. After about a minute of me holding back his arm, pleading to stop, he put a knee in my back and then I lost. BUT before I blacked out, I removed the memory card and put it in my pocket. What shit huh. When I woke up on the beach — lucky it was low tide — my camera was gone. The video of it all — I warned them I was recording it — was given to the police and I’m told they were identified. I’m not doing so well right now. Wondering why it’s worth going on, the way the world has treated me. But I’m ever so lucky to have a few great friends here who have given me some support in this dark hour. I’m homeless (but not helpless), living out of my car, but that pails compared to not having a camera by my side. I’ll be posting everything I’ve shot since I got the camera a few weeks ago. It’s what is keeping me going.”

I can tell you, there is good surf in Oregon. As far as I’m concerned, they can keep it. I live in a warm place. 

But, to anyone out there who wants to surf ice water and get in a fight, I can recommend Seaside, Oregon. Gorgeous place.

Comments

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

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

Be Yourself and Have Fun

An Interview with Jaleesa Vincent on her new film, 'Macaroni in the Pot'

Oct 6, 2022

Can Proper Surf Instruction Mitigate Chaos In The Water?

Here's why you need certification to earn the title "surf instructor" in 80 different countries.

Oct 6, 2022

24:30

No Contest Off Tour Heads To Thumping Fiji

Inside: Julian describes the mongo Cloudbreak milieu and AG does a Kava cooking course.

Oct 6, 2022

How Surfers Get Paid, Episode 3 

Nike has entered the chat.

Oct 5, 2022

“I Always Had A Mega Chip On My Shoulder”

UnSound Surf's Mike Nelson and Dave Juan have been the backbone of New York surfing…

Oct 5, 2022

Unlocked: Leonardo Fioravanti’s Stab Edit Of The Year Entry 

Watch 'The Cut' now, and baffle at the quality of both the waves and the…

Oct 4, 2022

The Pro Surfer Who Filmed A War Documentary In Ukraine

Damien Castera's got a story to tell.

Oct 4, 2022

Honest Review(s): O’Neill Hyperfreak Fire

Pushing the Limits of Wetsuit Tech for Men & Women

Oct 3, 2022

How Much Would You Pay For A Session Like This?

A cost-per-vision breakdown of Kian Martin and Tai Buddha's latest strike mission.

Oct 2, 2022

Ongoing Dialogue: Jack Freestone And Album’s Matt Parker On How They Get Sparks To Fly

"Nowadays, a standard thruster feels pretty alt to me." -Jack

Oct 2, 2022

Davo’s Death Strikes At Surfing’s Core

The underground icon battled demons til the end. His untimely demise is yet another cautionary…

Oct 1, 2022

Macaroni in the Pot

Jaleesa Vincent and 200 Lefts in the Mentawais

Oct 1, 2022

Introducing A Brand New Travel Series (With A Familiar Name)

Watch the first New York episode of Stab & Red Bull's No Contest Off Tour.

Sep 30, 2022

Leandro Dora: Pro Surfer, Businessman, Punk Rock Festival Organizer, Spiritual Mentor, And World Title Winning Surf Coach 

Meet one of the most beloved and effective individuals in the athlete's zone.

Sep 29, 2022

12:31

You’re Gonna Click On A New Oscar Langburne Video

Style that can't be denied.

Sep 29, 2022

Long Read: An Angel At My Table

From Stab Issue 15, October 2006: Chris Davidson has one more shot at the big…

Sep 28, 2022

5:07

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
Advertisement