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February 28, 1999

Surf rage hits the beach as California loses its cool....
could become newest HATE CRIME

Electronic Telegraph
by James Langton

THE normally laid-back beaches of southern California are becoming a hazardous place following a series of "surf rage" attacks.

Undercover police officers clad only in swimming trunks and wrap-around sunglasses are catching the waves on beaches where the problem of violence is so severe that some surfers have been admitted to hospital.

Most of the attacks have been perpetrated by angry local surfers who fear they are being crowded out in a fast-growing pastime that attracts thousands of converts every year. Several surfers face charges of using their boards as deadly weapons by launching them at interlopers to cause broken bones and cuts. An official guide to San Diego warns newcomers that there is safety in numbers and that if you do surf on one particularly territorial beach, "you do so at your own risk".

(...)

" There are now about 1.5 million surfers in America, competing for waves on a relatively small number of beaches in Hawaii, Florida and California. Many surfers are baby-boomers in their 40s and 50s who are fiercely protective of the waves on the beaches where they spent their best years. A surf-rage offender is as likely to be a lawyer or doctor as a thug with a record.

Surf etiquette requires that those nearest to a breaking wave should be allowed to ride it first, but the ocean is now often so crowded that protocol breaks down. It is not unusual to queue for an hour to enter the water. Outsiders who turn up at the more popular beaches face harassment by residents from the moment they park their cars until they paddle out to sea.

Last October John Holly, a veteran Ocean Beach surfer, and his two sons pleaded guilty to using a board to attack an off-duty lifeguard who they believed had given them the "stink eye", surfing slang for showing disdain to a rival. Holly, 55, was placed on three years' probation and ordered to attend an "anger management" course.

Lawmakers are considering adding surf rage to a list of federal hate crimes that includes attacks on racial and religious minorities and homosexuals. California will also vote this year on an Open Waves Act that would make the state's Pacific coastline a place where "no person, regardless of residence, lineage, social status or other reason, may lawfully claim the right to a wave". It will enforce a three-month prison sentence on those convicted of surfing-related attacks and ban offenders from popular beaches for a year.

The worst assaults involve the boards themselves, deliberately aimed at unsuspecting swimmers. Technological improvements mean that the boards are sharper and stronger than 20 years ago. Once the ultimate symbol of a carefree way of life, the Open Waves Act would reclassify them as deadly weapons.

Posted by: Cincinatus 02/28/99

found it here


November 22, 2000

By Ian Verrender

(...)

Outwardly, it's difficult to detect any damage from the vicious beating he took at the hands of a fellow surfer at Angourie Point in March this year that left him with shattered cheekbones and broken eye sockets. And the emotional scars also appear to be on the mend.

While he has sold his North Coast holiday unit complex, Nat's at the Point, and plans a couple of "reconnaissance missions" to the North American ski slopes, his earlier resolve to leave Australia for good has weakened.

Instead, Nat Young has directed his energy into the launch of his latest book, Surf Rage an attempt to educate surfers and the general public about the futility of violence.

"I think that if this just makes people stop and think about the way they behave in the water and elsewhere, then we will have achieved something," he says.

With contributions from a dozen writers and psychologists - all of them surfers - the book details the hilarious but occasionally ugly reality of a highly romanticized life chasing waves.

Like the time journalist DC Green took a photographer and a couple of professional surfers to a shark-infested "secret" spot on the edge of the South Australian desert and barely escaped with his life.

Surfing's growing popularity has placed enormous pressures on its participants who, instead of basking in the therapeutic benefits of the ocean, increasingly find themselves fighting for a share of the spoils.

"Surfers?" asks Derek Reilly, who collaborated on the book. "We're a mob of greedy, adrenalin-fuelled colonials participating in an unbelievably frustrating activity that drags out our worst instincts. And, as for the existence of a surfing brotherhood, that disappeared long ago in any mass sense.''

Young's experience in March was at the extreme end of a culture that enforces a strict but conflicting code of conduct through intimidation and fear.

But at the other extreme, thousands of young kids this summer will begin the journey when they experience the innocent ecstasy of that first ride to shore.

original here


6 June 2000


Plan to cut `surf rage'

By DAVID ADAMS

(...)

Now the best breaks are almost always crowded, with competition for waves fierce and occasionally violent.

Add to these problems the environmental damage at popular surf spots and the physical dangers faced by novices in the water and you have the main reasons for the introduction of Victoria's first surfers' code.

Launched yesterday, the Bells Beach Surfers' Code explains surfing etiquette, such as the importance of not "dropping in" on or "snaking" - that is, cutting off - other surfers. The code also calls on surfers to protect the environment.

The code is a joint project of the Surf Coast Shire council, Surfing Victoria, the Surfrider Foundation, Surfers Appreciating Natural Environment (SANE) and the Torquay Boardriders Club.

Posters detailing the code have been posted at Bells Beach and will be distributed through schools, surf schools and backpackers hostels.

The code is based on one at Margaret River in Western Australia that was developed to highlight health and safety issues among surfers in the water and as a response to incidents of what has become known as "surf rage".

The issue was recently highlighted when former world champion Nat Young was involved in a brutal fight with a local surfer over a "dropping in" incident on the New South Wales north coast.

(...)

"It's not a battlefield out there but just by reading this and knowing some of the rules ... people get an awareness of what they can do out here."

The code also aimed to warn the scores of tourists with little or no surfing experience about the powerful swells at Bells and the rules to abide by, John Foss, a member of the surf coast branch of the Surfrider Foundation, said.

(...)

"I think what we've got to learn is it's not our ocean and everybody's entitled to get out there and enjoy it. God keeps producing more waves so if you've got patience, you'll get your turn."

original here


November 27, 2000

In Australia...and the rest of the world

Blood on the waves as 'Surf Rage' rises

SYDNEY, Australia (Reuters) -- Arms stretched above his head, Australian surfer Bobby Brown leans his longboard into a turn off the bottom of a wave at Sandon Point south of Sydney.

(...).

A new book simply entitled "Surf Rage" and compiled by former Australian surfing champion Nat Young lists a litany of violence from downtown Los Angeles and the big waves of Hawaii to Australia's desert coast and Indian Ocean reefs.

(...)

The book details one incident where a surfer even inflicted surf rage on himself. After missing a big wave at Hawaii's Sunset Beach the surfer punched himself in the head for 30 seconds until a monster wave mowed him down.

(...)

"Increasingly, surfers are losing it. Fists are thrown, knives are brandished, out-of-towners are ganged up on, cars are vandalized and boards are speared at heads."

(...).

Young, who once earned the nickname "The Animal," says he has been guilty of surf rage and triggered his beating by hitting his attacker's son, who was swearing at Young as the two surfed.

"Surf rage is an ugly reality to most surfers. We've ignored it for a long time. Now it's time we took a closer look at ourselves," says Young.

The consensus from the surfers, surf journalists and sports psychologists is that surf rage is being fueled by the explosion in the surfing population.

(...)

In California, land of the Beach Boys "Surfin' USA," surf rage has entered the courts after a series of vicious attacks and surfers have done time on battery charges. The problem has become so bad police patrol the surf on jet skis during summer.

Blood on the reef But blood has also been spilled on the isolated reefs of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, Indonesia and the South Pacific, once idyllic destinations of perfect, empty waves.

(...)

In Mauritius in the Indian Ocean a local surf gang called the White Shorts orders visitors out of the water or else. In Bali, it's the Black Shorts.

In Hawaii, the infamous Hui dictate the surf law and locals and fists rule.

(...)

original here


April 22, 2000

Cornwall braced for 'surf rage'

BY LINUS GREGORIADIS

BRITAIN'S coastal resorts are set for an eruption of "surf rage" as board-riders become increasingly possessive about their waves. A surfing expert has warned that violence on beaches - common in California and Australia - is spreading to Devon and Cornwall as sufers cram onto the best beaches to try and catch the same waves.

At Challaborough, in south Devon, local surfers have scrawled graffiti on a wall, saying: Student surfers go home. Visitors' car-tyres have also been let down and matches stuck in the door-locks.

Dr Malcolm Findlay, leader of the surf-science technology course at the University of Plymouth in Devon, said: "Surf rage has been happening for some time, although it is not as bad in this part of the world as in California and Australia. There is a kind of unwritten etiquette that the person closest to the breaking wave has priority but sometimes someone who is less experienced doesn't follow that."

Many believe the only answers may be charging people to surf, or creating artificial reefs to make more waves.

Nat Young, a former world champion, was beaten up in Australia recently and California is set to bring in laws to control surf rage. There has been a four-fold increase in the number of surfers in the last 20 years and there is concern that surf rage could damage tourism.

(...)

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Surf Rage:  Surfer's Guide to Turning Negatives into Positives. See this book here.

By Tim Ryan Star-Bulletin  original here

SEVERAL years ago in the surf off Diamond Head, a visiting Brazilian dropped in front of a professional surfer known for his short temper.

The Brazilian fell on the local man who promptly snapped off the fins of the offender's board, then started to throw a punch before someone yelled that such action is assault. The angry surfer then ordered the Brazilian out of the water, yelling racist remarks.

Road rage, office rage, now surf rage is the subject of an anthology by former four-time world champion surfer Australian Nat Young following his brutal beating last year, which required seven hours of facial reconstructive surgery. Young, who is in Hawaii for book signings Saturday, calls war in the surf "nothing new."

In 1995, local professional surfer Lance Hookano was found guilty of battery and assault for attacking a body boarder in Malibu surf a year earlier. Along with another defendant, Hookano was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to perform 300 hours of community service. At Chun's Reef in 1997, professional surfer Johnny Boy Gomes broke the nose of another surfer when he punched him.

"Surf rage has existed for a long, long time," said Young, 53. "But no one has wanted to expose the dirty underside of what's supposed to be a very glamorous sport."


Blood on the waves as 'Surf Rage' rises

Violence and the perfect wave are examined in former Australian surfing champion Nat Young's "Surf Rage"

November 27, 2000 Web posted at: 1:19 PM EST (1819 GMT)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SYDNEY, Australia (Reuters) -- Arms stretched above his head, Australian surfer Bobby Brown leans his longboard into a turn off the bottom of a wave at Sandon Point south of Sydney.

The move is called a "soul arch," a name which embodies for surfers the spiritualism of the surfing lifestyle.

The photograph of Brown displayed at a surfing exhibition was taken in 1964, when the pioneers of surfing were regarded as rebels and forged a camaraderie as they chased the perfect wave.

But today the soul arch is a rarely seen maneuver and the soul of surfing is being corrupted by surf rage. As more and more people go surfing, the quest for not only the perfect wave, but any wave, is exploding into violence.

A new book simply entitled "Surf Rage" and compiled by former Australian surfing champion Nat Young lists a litany of violence from downtown Los Angeles and the big waves of Hawaii to Australia's desert coast and Indian Ocean reefs.

"We're a mob of greedy, adrenalin-fueled colonials participating in an unbelievably frustrating activity that drags out our worst instincts," surfer Derek Reilly writes.

The book details one incident where a surfer even inflicted surf rage on himself. After missing a big wave at Hawaii's Sunset Beach the surfer punched himself in the head for 30 seconds until a monster wave mowed him down.

"And, as for the existence of a surfing brotherhood, that disappeared long ago in any mass sense...," says Reilly.

"Increasingly, surfers are losing it. Fists are thrown, knives are brandished, out-of-towners are ganged up on, cars are vandalized and boards are speared at heads."

Surfing's battered face The primeval face of surfing made world headlines in March when Young had his face beaten to a pulp after a dispute with another surfer at his home break of Angourie.

After six and a half hours of reconstructive surgery, Young's face is today held together with titanium until the bones knit.

Young, who once earned the nickname "The Animal," says he has been guilty of surf rage and triggered his beating by hitting his attacker's son, who was swearing at Young as the two surfed.

"Surf rage is an ugly reality to most surfers. We've ignored it for a long time. Now it's time we took a closer look at ourselves," says Young.

The consensus from the surfers, surf journalists and sports psychologists is that surf rage is being fueled by the explosion in the surfing population.

"After you see a good bit of biffo (fighting) go down, the line-up clears itself a bit," says one Australian surfer quoted in the book. "It does it good. It really needs it some days. You need a fight to sort it out."

The resurgence of the easy-riding longboard has also allowed novices to challenge for waves, breaking down the natural pecking order.

In California, land of the Beach Boys "Surfin' USA," surf rage has entered the courts after a series of vicious attacks and surfers have done time on battery charges. The problem has become so bad police patrol the surf on jet skis during summer.

Blood on the reef But blood has also been spilled on the isolated reefs of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, Indonesia and the South Pacific, once idyllic destinations of perfect, empty waves.

In the remote Mentawai Islands in Indonesia there are now so many boats plying the surf trade that the first to reach a reef declares temporary ownership and is prepared to defend its turf.

In Fiji, the famed Cloudbreak off the surf resort of Tavarua island is patrolled by bodyguards who extract non-paying guests.

In Mauritius in the Indian Ocean a local surf gang called the White Shorts orders visitors out of the water or else. In Bali, it's the Black Shorts.

In Hawaii, the infamous Hui dictate the surf law and locals and fists rule. A Hawaiian local once offered a $25 bounty for every Brazilian surfer punched in the head while surfing.

In the Canary Islands in the Atlanta Ocean rocks are thrown at non-local surfers and their cars vandalized.

But the problem surfers face in stemming the rising tide of surf rage is that there are no hard and fast rules.

Look at a pack of surfers bobbing up and down in the water. They all have the same thought -- the next wave is mine.

Copyright 2000 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

original here


 

 




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Home>Other Rages> Surf Rage

Air Rage 1 | 2 |

Boat Rage | Surf Rage | Parking Rage | Shopping Rage | Bullying Rage | Rage Depression Spin Cycle |