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longboarders, how to deal with them one at a time. with prejudice.

Nothing can be done about longboard riders, they surf in their hundreds of thousands these men and boys – yet once they were human, like us. Savage and uncompromising, greedy and slit-eyed, cold-blooded and cunning. Handsome, virile and able to leap tall buildings with a single stride.

That’s what it took to be a boardrider once, all those things, before we allowed the few longboard resurgers (that’s a technical term) to breed into millions and cover the planet in their teeming hordes.

They do go away eventually, one by one and all at a venerable age. Wise old men who have spent 95 years talking about waves and 85 catching them. That’s how bad it is out there. We’ve got the local surf club ducky equipped with a blood transfer unit, a nurse in a short skirt and a second hand defibrillator in an old waterproof camera housing.

However there are things we can do to discourage them and hasten their departure from the beach. Follow us on this journey.

The wrong call.

We have a long ocean beach, waves about 6′ plus and a lot of movement in the inside channel – a hard sweep to the north. Good big waves are breaking a long way out.

What we are looking for here is someone who has lost his (long) board because of a leg rope fail. So he’s still way out there after ten minutes because he’s a piss-weak body surfer {see below}, and his (long) board has been swept all the way in and is now being fanged up the beach by the sweep at about 8 knots. Another half K and the rip will take it back out to the break and beyond. This is our fervent hope.

A couple of surfers are lounging up on the dunes when he finally wades ashore and starts looking for his board. He looks everywhere with an increasing desperation. Wilfred Thesiger in The Empty Quarter. The board meanwhile is about two k’s north and halfway to the horizon.

He stops, looks over at the loungers and gives a classic ‘ can you guys help ? ‘

Too easy. They all point south.

The timing problem.

This is a group activity.

Take the Avalon pool jump-off, a reasonably easy entry if you can separate the five seconds you need from the twenty you don’t. Sometimes a few surfers line up by the pool chain while they wait their turn. The local mongrels go out four at a time but they’re kids.

The long boarder is number two in the queue.

Number one is a decoy and number three is the prompter. They have a plan.

The decoy picks the very end of a lull before he makes his dash over the chain and exposed rockshelf  – the next set is 100 feet away. This is the prompter’s cue and he urges number 2 (our man) forward. ‘ C’mon mate, go NOW! ‘

Two goes. He heads for the chain.

The decoy slips into the water.  The set is now 50 feet away.

The long boarder has managed to climb over the chain with his big board and is watching where he puts his feet on the half-submerged rock shelf, he is now in a dreadful hurry.

He looks up. The first wave of the set is now 5 feet away from him and it towers over his head. Any man with an ounce of integrity would feel something for this poor bastard, and all the lads who were lounging on the ledge above him are now up on their feet.

– and here comes the carnage.

Some victims make an eyes-shut jump into the monster – it doesn’t matter – others turn back, this is worse. The real crowd pleasers are the ones who dump their (long)board and dive into the wave still attached. This manoeuvre results in a drama of heroic proportions. Firstly they have to get the 20′ leg rope off underwater while avoiding the jagged rocks( the board is gone) that surround them, then they must swim out far enough to be able to turn back towards the beach without having the rip take them away. They might catch a few waves on the way in, if they can {see above}. Then comes the slow trudge up the beach and the heartbreak that awaits them.

The board is completely trashed; the top, the bottom, the rails and fins. It has been mightily scourged and will never be ridden again.

One down and one at a time, this must be remembered.

header pic ripped from tarrastravels blogspot – san diego.

15 Comments Post a comment
  1. I’m tryin’ to feel pity for ’em. Really. I’m tryin….

    Nope. Won’t come.

    February 12, 2012
  2. WTF Pete, clever piece you’ve penned here but how did you completely miss the fact that these hoards of bogan loggers have just had their life expectancies completely extended by the coming of that new product….

    motorized surfboards.

    http://www.facebook.com/WaveJet

    February 13, 2012
  3. About to read the Empty Quarter.
    Did my best vertical Ninja jump with McTaggart
    at The Wedge about 30 years ago.
    Can still recall it in slow motion.

    February 13, 2012
  4. I’ll bet you don’t re-tell it in slow motion ..

    February 13, 2012
  5. For a guy who rides a “Dooley” you have a lot to say. We longboard fossils know where you live and also know you stashed a “Corky Carroll” on Vancouver Island, so one day you can ride the longest wave ever ridden all the way back to Bondi, but you are going to do it on a longboard. Show some respect or I will come up and visit you and tell the locals who you really are! See you soon.

    February 13, 2012
  6. This sounds nasty, leaving you all to slug this one out . . .

    February 15, 2012
  7. Well PK, if you have ever been to N Ireland and travelled the country roads in the dusk you may imagine seeing a shadowed figure leaning up against his gate watching you go by, shotgun down by his leg. Back in the days.

    Well, now he’s over here and he rides a longboard .. So come and get me dearthair

    February 15, 2012
  8. Oh my – loving all this testosterone chest puffing…
    man Pete, you have forever ruined my vision of laid back surfers

    February 16, 2012
  9. Sad really no one worth re telling except your good self.

    Most of the new breed are more interested in how they hold their hands and who is looking when they do there drop knee thing !

    February 16, 2012
  10. I know people who know people, and they say, you were seen saving a waveski rider at Mona Vale beach. I may not be the only person who feels your actions cannot be justified or forgiven.

    February 16, 2012
  11. In point of fact, Mike, that may even be an idictable offence.

    And I thought this was a family site. Tsk, tsk.

    February 17, 2012
  12. Peter totally destroyed Darwin’s theory of “survival of the fittest” . God only knows what damage that waveski rider went on to cause after Peter intervened in the selection process. Shame that one so well versed in the ways of surfing, would stoop so low as to save a “bottom feeder” of the species. It could have been the reason Peter left Mona Vale and started his migration north around the bends to Avalon.

    I believe his writings are an effort to free his tortured soul.

    February 17, 2012
  13. Next thing it’ll be kneelos. Talk about floodgates….

    February 17, 2012
  14. I have them covered stiv – name of Deadly, he gets a trip.

    February 17, 2012
  15. SjH #

    ohh i must share a longboard story,

    I was up in Perth once upon a time when goat boats were coming on strong i had just ben up to the city to buy a very collectable 10ft hollow D fin special now , having this tucked under my wing i decided i would take it for a run out a triggs [ pigs] point , well low and behold i snagged a few of the point then driffed down to the left for a couple of back hand death traps to see how the no rocker soft rail beast would run , anyway i slid into a little lovely left, clean and crisp a side ways nose ride take off a quick shuffle to the tail and i was wiggle wagging along having a hoot, when down the line i noted two old goat boats paddling out , i could see they were going to try and race me up the face instead of wearing the white water , so i did the right thing and yelled out to “fuck off” but they just bent to their paddles and made a run for the green shoulder , i dropped down the face and made it around behind the first one but as i went back up the face on my 10ft beast i ran smack dab nose first into the chest of the second goat boater

    to this day i do not know if i killed that prick or not all i fondly remember is hearing a sound like a whale breaching “WHHHOOOSHHHH” as my board smashed into that goat boater and the air escaped his battered chest i simply jumped back on me stick and paddeled back out and stole a few more waves before heading in and trucking back down south

    still one of my most treasured surf memories.

    April 1, 2012

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