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Grom Abuse: Christian Fletcher Speaks!

Michael Ciaramella

by Michael Ciaramella

SoCal is hot right now!

After the whole London incident, there’s been heaps of chatter about grom abuse. What is acceptable, what isn’t, and why are these goddamn kids so disrespectful?

Most people over forty believe that the hardened, hierarchical surf culture of the seventies, eighties, and nineties bred fairness and respect. Today, they argue, the promotion of lineup equality has wreaked havoc on surf spots all around the world, most notably Salt Creek and Lowers.

I took a stance that doesn’t quite refute their overarching sentiment, but more or less scolds old men who think it’s cool to physically or emotionally assault a kid. Even if he’s being a shit-head.

However, one voice has stood out above the rest, and it’s not just because all his letters are big. The following has been attributed to Christian Fletcher and reposted onto FB from somewhere. Maybe the Stab comment section!

I FUCKING LOVE THIS!!
MY NAME IS CHRISTIAN FLETCHER AND SORRY ABOUT THE LANGUAGE AHEAD OF TIME BUT THIS HAS GONE ON TO LONG AND IF YOUR OFFENEDED BY IT GOOD YOU SHOULD BE CAUSE YOU ARE THE PROBLEM!!!
FUCK LONDON FUCK HIS MOM AND FUCK IAN CAIRNS THEY CAN ALL EAT A BAG OF DICKS.
IM SO TIRED OF THESE ENTITLED LITTLE LIMP WRISTED FUCKING PUSSIES THEY DROP IN ON ME CRASH INTO ME AND THEN TELL ME “FUCK YOU LEAVE” AND THEN I GO TO GRAB THEM AND THERE FRIEND START YELLING “FUCK YOU HE IS ONLY 17 “SO I SAY “FUCK YOU I DONT GIVE A FUCK” AND THIS HAPPENS KINDA REGULARLY TO ME AT MORE PLACES THAN JUST SALT CREEK
MY DAD HAS DROPPED IN ON ME AND RAN ME OVER MY WHOLE LIFE AND IF HE DIDNT RUN ME OVER ON THE WAVE HE WOULD RUN ME OVER WHILE I WAS PADDLING OUT AND I THANK HIM FOR THAT CAUSE HE TAUGHT ME HOW TO SURF WITH ANY CROWD
THEN GUYS LIKE Q -TIP WOULD BE YELLING BEAT IT GROM FROM THE WATER WHILE I WOULD BE WALKING DOWN THE SAND DUNES THEN DROP IN ON ME AND DING MY BRAND NEW BOARD AND YOU WHAT I DID ABOUT IT, I DIDNT DO SHIT CAUSE THATS THE WAY IT GOES I WAS A KID AND I LEARNED RESPECT AND THE KIDS NOW HAVE NONE SO FUCK THEM FUCK THIER PARENTS AND FUCK THE POLICE FOR WASTING OUR HARD EARNED TAX DOLLARS THE MOM AND KID SHOULD HAVE BEEN ARRESSTED FOR MAKING A FALSE CALL AND HAVE TO PAY RESTITUTION FOR FOR IT AND IAN HAS DONE NOTHING BUT HOLD SURFING BACK FOR THE LAST 30 YEARS ATLEAST HAHAHA HAVE YOU EVER SEEN HIM TRY TO SURF IN THOSE 30YEARS WHAT A JOKE BIGGEST KOOK IN THE WATER MY GRANDPA IS 85 AND STILL SURFS BETTER THAN IAN AND IAN IS YOUNGER THAN MY DAD!!!
SO IM SORRY BUT ABOUT THE LANGUAGE BUT BUT ITS THE ONLY WAY PEOPLE WILL UNDERSTAND HOW SERIOUS THIS PROBLEM IS, EVEN AT TRESTLES THERE IS PARENTS PUSHING THEIR 5YEAR OLD KIDS INTO WAVES IN FRONT OF PEOPLE WHEN I WAS YOUNG KIDS WERE NOT ALLOWED TO SURF TRESTLES JUST LIKE THEY SHOULD NOT PLAY KICKBALL ON THE FREEWAY
SO I SIT ON THE INSIDE AND DROP IN ON THEM SOMETIMES AS WELL BECAUSE THIER PARENTS ARE TEACHING THEM WRONG FROM THE START SO I FEEL INCLINED TO COUNTER ACT THAT BEHAVIOR RIGHT WHEN IT IS BEING LEARNED!!!! GOOD JOB DIVEL AND I JUST MIGHT NEED SOME OF THAT INSURANCE YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT CAUSE IM NOT PUTTING UP WITH IT AND JUST SO HAPPENS IANS KIDS FAVORITE SKATEBOARDER IS MY SON HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA THATS WHAT I CALL KARMA

My ears are ringing but it’s imperative we analyze this masterpiece!

First of all, poor Ian Cairns. “You surf worse than my grandpa” is a pretty hard one to come back from. Maybe he just needs a coach? What do you guys think? We could crowdfund and get him surfing under Micro. They’ll be called Freak the Mighty and will take the WSA Super-Senior division by storm!

Then there’s this quote:

MY DAD HAS DROPPED IN ON ME AND RAN ME OVER MY WHOLE LIFE AND IF HE DIDNT RUN ME OVER ON THE WAVE HE WOULD RUN ME OVER WHILE I WAS PADDLING OUT AND I THANK HIM FOR THAT CAUSE HE TAUGHT ME HOW TO SURF WITH ANY CROWD

Having recently watched the greatest surf film, Surf’s Up, Christian’s anecdote couldn’t be more hilarious. If you haven’t seen (and you must), the movie’s antagonist is an impeccably skilled, exceptionally douchey surf-penguin named Tank “Shredder” Evans, and one of the movie’s best scenes has him pulling a “Herbie”! Please watch:

Then, maybe the best part of Christian’s whole spiel comes out:

EVEN AT TRESTLES THERE IS PARENTS PUSHING THEIR 5YEAR OLD KIDS INTO WAVES IN FRONT OF PEOPLE WHEN I WAS YOUNG KIDS WERE NOT ALLOWED TO SURF TRESTLES JUST LIKE THEY SHOULD NOT PLAY KICKBALL ON THE FREEWAY
SO I SIT ON THE INSIDE AND DROP IN ON THEM SOMETIMES AS WELL BECAUSE THIER PARENTS ARE TEACHING THEM WRONG FROM THE START SO I FEEL INCLINED TO COUNTER ACT THAT BEHAVIOR RIGHT WHEN IT IS BEING LEARNED!!!!

Is this not the greatest image your mind has endeavored to conceive? A forty-something Christian Fletcher — covered tip-to-tip in tattoos and riding a fluorescent dildo of a surfboard — purposefully sitting on the inside-third of a world class wave with the sole intention of snaking five-year-olds? Is there anything more Fletcher?

Now a word on Christian…

By legitimizing airs in the competitive spectrum, Christian Fletcher altered our sport’s trajectory both literally and metaphorically. In that sense, I appreciate what he’s done for surfing.

But does that mean I have to respect him as a person, or give credence to his middle-aged immaturity? Of course not!

If Christian believes that his abusively-depicted upbringing has led him to become a role model for groms then, holy shit, that’s actually fucking crazy. I can’t imagine someone I’d less like to share a lineup with, let alone influence my nonexistent children. Maybe Wardo. Maybe.

So while he’s right that kids are becoming less respectful in lineups, it’s important to consider the flip side. Many of the grumpiest, least tolerable people in lineups grew up in Christian’s dystopian/utopian era. So did it actually do them any good?

One of the most overlooked aspects here is first-child syndrome. Parents are typically extra-careful with their firstborn — something about the evolutionary drive to pass on their DNA to future generations — but by the time the Kid Two comes around, they usually realize he’ll be fine with a little less “parenting”. The end result is Kid Two gets to attend parties, watch rated-R films, and have more fun.

Naturally, this causes jealousy in Kid One. “Why can Tommy go to concerts? He’s only fifteen! I had to wait until I was seventeen!” he can be heard shouting from community college.

Maybe old guys are just jealous they couldn’t catch set waves when they were fifteen?

Rea Part 2 of the saga, here