Rage, rage against the dying light.
It is undeniable that we live at a time of heightened surf rage. Of LaJolla at malibu across the great Pacific to snapper rocksand back to San Francisco, “uncontrollable violence” is our motto. Why? Hard to say but I think easy to blame Covid, Costco and… I don’t know, anything else that starts with a “C”.
Anyway, David Lee and I got a call from a furious TikToker today during our weekly chat. He was furious that the anonymous account he made to disparage surfer Andy Lyon, nicknamed “the angriest man in surfingdidn’t get the crowd action he was hoping for, that David Lee and I didn’t interview the victim “boy” who turned out to be a twenty-year-old man, or bystanders.
That Lyon essentially skated.
“And you call yourself surf journalists…” he bubbled into the phone.
David Lee immediately distanced himself from the “surf journalist” moniker, but I didn’t. Sure, my form of reporting isn’t “rigorous” or “good” sometimes not “accurate” but it gets to the heart of things every once in a while, which brings us back to the rage of surfing.
No act of this is ever “righteous” but who among us here has not sinned?
First I’m going to throw myself directly under the bus. A few years ago, I was surfing up front. Considering it was up front at Cardiff by the Sea, I’m sure it wasn’t epic, but epic isn’t here or there. So here and there I was out with a little knot, including a very old woman on a longboard. A wave came, I caught it, it fell right in front of me and couldn’t get out of the wave even after I whistled. Another wave came, it fell right in front of me and failed to come out when I hooted. Another wave came, she fell right in front of me and failed to get out when I screamed and paddled up to her and screamed “HEY! What is your offer? You have wronged me three times in a row! She, confused, replied, “I was paddling first.”
Oh how my blood boiled.
“You were paddling first? Yeah? It has no importance ! I was in position and you are an absolute jerk and an idiot! I exploded in the face, sprinkled with many swear words.
Now of course I was surfing in a place popular with old ladies and I was getting burned by one it was all embarrassing to me and my surfing rage only made the scene more embarrassing but I did some surf rage because that’s what we do.
Not acceptable, a stain on my ledger, I cursed an old lady but, again, who among us is spotless?
Are the new generation of Covid, Costco, climate change surfers living for the party waves? Do they hate the greatest surfer of all time, Kelly Slater, for dreaming of the days when fins were pierced?
Listen to the entire conversation, now or later, and share your favorite indiscretion below.