Yesterday Was “The Safest Day To Surf Lunada Bay In 35 Years”
Questionable vibrations from a peaceful protest in honour of Martin Luther King.
Nothing, in all the world, is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. – MLK
Three years ago yesterday (Martin Luther King Day), at Lunada Bay, professional bodyboarder Chris Taloa was met by a local wearing blackface and an afro wig, who told him: “You don’t pay enough taxes to surf here.” He was then assaulted and held underwater when he tried to paddle out.
This occurred after Chris had planned an event to “celebrate the civil rights icon and protest the intense localism that has dominated the scenic surf spot,” according to an article in the LA Times.
By now, we know the saga of the Bay Boys – actually, we’re sick of it. We’ve heard stories of the rock and fist hurling, drone-smashing trust fund kids whose magnificent fort was demolished a month ago (but not before they could set fire to the demo equipment). We’ve heard tales of the surveillance state, and for some reason, like Donnie Trump, the media just can’t get enough of the stories regarding the affairs on the coast of Palos Verdes. Yesterday they were once again the subject of headlines. To be clear, we feel that in many cases, at many waves, certain forms of localism are necessary to ensure the safety of surfers and bodyboarders. As it can get heated and fights and verbal arguments become commonplace, the end goal is to create a safe environment, void of beginners occupying the inside section, or dropping in on top of someone already riding a wave. But when the locals are actively creating a dangerous and hostile environment, as Lunada has, that’s when the city and authorities are forced to intervene.
And, the Bay Boys are fucking assholes.
Yesterday, Chris once again organised a peaceful protest in honour of MLK, inviting surfers to join in surfing the break on a day that El Segundo Police Officer Cory Spencer called, “The safest day to surf here in 35 years.”
A friend of Stab’s, who prefers to remain anonymous, went down to Lunada yesterday and had his first surf there in four years. “It was a pretty interesting experience,” he tells us. “We got escorted down to the water by a cop. There were news crews there and you could feel the tension.
“Cars were driving by slowly, yelling ‘Fucking Kooks!’ And granted, we kind of were – we were out of place, didn’t have the wave dialled, so in a sense, they were right. But, immediately I felt I didn’t have any right to be there. It was this moment where the law had provided me with a rare opportunity to surf the wave. Which is unusual for surfers, who have for so long been thought of as pot-heads, burnouts and dangers to society. But yesterday, the police were protecting a group of well-minded surfers and keeping the area safe so we could surf. The whole thing was pretty strange.”
Yesterday at Lunada there was a non-profit event hold, in honour of Dr King, to protect the civil rights of surfers born into different social classes than those of the wildly affluent Palos Verdes folk. An event put in place to combat the prejudice against those who don’t “pay enough taxes” to be there.
“The wave itself is unreal,” says our source. “It has an easy roll-in and hollows out from the takeoff. Then it drains over the reef and peels for 50 to 100 yards before hitting a rock that protrudes out of the water.”
“The locals there don’t surf that well,” he says. “They’re almost more concerned about you not having a good time than catching waves themselves and having fun. They all surf bigger vintage boards and you get vibed quickly. If you turn on a wave, they start paddling immediately, when you pull back they pull back. It’s super intentional.”
“They were not happy I was there,” he continues. “The Bay Boys in the water were snaking us, but they knew if they messed with somebody they’d get arrested. They tried surfing me into a rock, hassled my buddy; they did everything they could short of physical assault.”
And the police were aware of this. Yesterday at Lunada, what happened in the water didn’t stay there. “We had a cop come up to our car after our surf because he heard the locals were running others into the rocks and he wanted to know if we wanted to press charges,” our source continues. “We didn’t, but the fact that they’re trying to hurt people is ridiculous. Imagine if you went to the gym and someone started throwing weights at you? It’s pretty much the same thing.”
But in the end, the continued localist-extremism proved successful. “There’s no way I’d ever go back,” our friend tells us. “The wave’s good, but I surf to have fun, not to get hassled by a bunch of rich guys from PV.”
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