It's not surprising that people wanna be able to surf the place. What is surprising, is that it's remained protected for so long. Photo: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times
So, Who The Hell Are The Lunada Bay Boys?
“It’s totally different to the Bra Boys. I went to high school there and half the kids’ first cars were either BMWs or Porsches.”
It’s localism, Beverley Hills 90210-style; where the bad boys are jobless trust-fund brats who spend their days gobbling up inheritances, snorting cocaine, drinking beer, surfing and harassing anyone without the millions needed to own a house there.
“It’s, like, one of the nicer parts of LA," says our source, who preferred to remain nameless for fear of reprisal from Lunada’s Bay Boys. “Imagine a Hollywood that is way mellower or a Beverley Hills where everything is a little more spread out, big houses and people with a shit-ton of money. Half the dudes or maybe a quarter who actually surf there are the guys who are the punks and all those guys are trust-fund guys. They grew up in PV (Palos Verdes) and their parents passed away and they have all this money they inherited. They don’t need to get a job, they hang down on the cliff and drink and do blow and fucken speed and all this shit, y’know."
Our man – let's call him Mole – has been surfing there since childhood and also attended the local high school. A decade plus of watching dramas unfold at Lunada Bay has given him a well-rounded view of the current scandal involving the area.
“I grew up there, my family grew up there surfing, so you kinda see both sides,” he says. “It is a surf gang-kinda deal. There’s a lot of guys who are really nice dudes. My dad surfs there, he’s got a family, he loves to surf and has been surfing there since he was a little kid. He just goes down there and gets a few waves every so often and goes to work. People portray all guys that surf there like gang members and stuff. My dad’s a 50-year-old lawyer*. He can barely hurt a fly. But then there’s the dudes like everywhere else who hang out and drink beers every day and they don’t do anything. All they do is bark at people. Those guys are the ones that suck.”
After years of “paying his dues,” Mole earned a spot in the lineup, though rarely surfs it because of the constant “drama” involved.
“You gotta go down there, make sure everyone has already got their waves, and then finally you put your suit on, paddle out after someone has gone in, you sit on the inside for a little bit and you paddle out little by little. It’s a whole ordeal.”
Even our man Mole has been set upon by the local millionaires.
“A few years ago I got jumped by five dudes… It was because I cut a dude off and said fuck you to him, and the older dudes were like, dude, you can’t do that. It’s time to get your beat down,” he recalls.
Localism is an established part of surfing and takes many forms depending on the country or culture you’re in. In Australia you have high profile crews like the Bra Boys; a surf community comprised equally of middle class, working class, and public housing commission tenants. In third world Indonesia you have a cutthroat brand of localism where disputes can end your life (but is for the most part an ultra-friendly place where respect shown by foreigners is both acknowledged and appreciated). Lunada’s Bay Boys are neither. They are a crew of rich, white, entitled locals who greedily hoard and furiously protect something that was given to them by birth.
“It’s totally different to the Bra Boys,” says Mole. “I went to high school there and half the kids’ first cars were either BMWs or Porsches. There were kids that just turned 16 and they got a Porsche Carrera for their first car! It was heavy! All the chicks got Audi R8s, in white – four chicks got that, all the popular chicks. I’m like, are you fucking kidding me?!”
However, some of the rules enforced at Lunada, he does agree with. “The trail is dangerous. If you walk down and up in your wetsuit the trail is gonna be wet, so then someone could potentially slip. That’s why they say, don’t go down in your wetsuit.”
As for why the police and local council authorities have repeatedly failed to come down on the wealthy brutes who patrol the area, it’s just another case of old fashioned American C.R.E.A.M.
“Imagine if you lived right in front of a really good surf spot right, right on the sand, and every morning when you go outside there is a dude waxing his board - krrrkrrrrkrrrkrrr - and then changing out of their wetsuit, changing into their wetsuit, talking to each other. If you lived in a really nice area and you paid a lot for the house that’d kind of turn you off. And so (the authorities) kind of make it okay that this is going on because it keeps out the knuckleheads and the tourists and stuff. It makes the area a lot more peaceful.”
*His occupation has been changed to obscure his identity.