Dustin Barca
The former WCT surfer and mayoral candidate, Mr Dustin Barca, asserting the need to watch out for Lucifer and to maybe grab a gun too.

Blood Feud: Dustin Barca vs Lucifer!

Do you have the clarity of soul to tell hard truths from tempting lies?

Nothing warms my heart quite like the combination of guns and religion. Like peanut butter and chocolate, each sweet on its own, but together they create a flavor sensation unlike any other. Sometimes I like to get really high and dip a spoon in a jar of PB, then roll that spoon in M&Ms! Wash it down with a huge glass of chocolate milk. Amazing!

Even better is the melange of god and law, especially when we’re talking about our personal god, that little voice in the back of your mind that talks you through the day. I like that god, gives me confidence, ideas to write about, a close-minded surety that eliminates doubt.


Other times he gets a tad strange.

“Show the bus driver your dick!” “Seven beers makes you a better driver.” “You should kill yourself!”

Not very helpful, god.

Or is it Lucifer talking? Hard to tell, they both use my voice, talk over each other.

Gotta look to the bible for answers. Have you read the bible? I haven’t, but I got the general gist thanks to my Facebook feed.

“Throw a rock at that faggot!” God.

“Have pre-marital sex.” Lucifer

“Women are weak and stupid and the source of all sin.” God.

“Tattoos and meat on Friday are awesome!” Lucifer.

“Vote Trump.” God.

“Socialized medicine for all.” Lucifer.

Pretty straightforward stuff, until you consider that one of the bibles, I’m not sure which, was written by the Jews, back around the time they were busy burying fake fossils to deceive true believers. Confusing, until you remember that voice in your head is god, and ask him what he thinks, if there are any bible quotes that apply.

“And Jesus did appear before the gathered masses, and sayeth he unto them ‘If thou dost catch some motherfucker taking your shit verily thou must use thy shooting iron to shed his blood.'”

Interesting. I wasn’t aware there were swear words in the bible. I guess you learn something new every day.

Or do you?

The devil loves to lie, to play off your hubris and pride and that terrible self determination with which we’ve been cursed by the almighty creator. Can I trust my instincts? Do I have the clarity of soul to tell hard truths from tempting lies? Where can I turn? Who can I trust, if not myself?

Should I look to Dustin Barca for guidance? I may not love all his rhetoric, but I’m on board with most of his goals. I believe he truly cares, that his activism springs from a place of selfless regard for his fellow man. A tad rough and tumble, sure, but as yet unsullied by the small-town politics that pervade the Garden Isle.

If I had a wish, though, I’d wish he’d urge his brethren to turn to bow and arrow in the name of home defense.  Not because guns aren’t cool, or because we have no right to own them.

I’d just rest a little easier knowing an arrow won’t penetrate my single wall home when a neighbor lets fly in the dead of night at whichever chronic is rifling through his garage.


Saga: Lunada “Bay Boys” new enemy!

..."some of the Bay Boys yelled, 'You can't surf here' and 'Kooks.'"

Oh those crusty locals from Lunada Bay! You know the ones and if not catch up here and here. Enemies have rained down upon them this year, from a British reporter to a Facebook activist to local police. Now, the California Coastal Commission wades into those tumultuous waters.

Today’s Los Angeles Times reads:

For generations, a small group of locals in wealthy Palos Verdes Estates has maintained a reputation for keeping other surfers off Lunada Bay’s well-shaped waves.

The so-called Bay Boys bombard outsiders with dirt clods, slash their car tires and assault them in the water — sometimes coordinating the attacks with walkie talkies — witnesses have said.

Surfers who say they have been victimized over the years have accused local authorities of complacency, cowardice and even complicity.

Now an unlikely new sheriff of sorts has ridden into town: the California Coastal Commission.

In a letter to Palos Verdes Estates officials, Jordan Sanchez, one of the agency’s enforcement officers, wrote that the Bay Boys are so entrenched in this beautiful notch of California coastline that they are subject to the commission’s watchdog regulations and permitting processes.

The letter says: “Precluding full public use of the coastline at Palos Verdes Estates, including the waters of Lunada Bay, whether through physical devices … or impediments, such as threatening behavior intended to discourage public use of the coastline, represents a change of access to water, and, thus, constitutes development.”

“We are not in the position to do a sting operation like the police or tear down structures like a building and safety department,” he said, a reference to a stone fort at the water’s edge allegedly constructed by the group as a party spot and outpost for coordinating harassment of outsiders.

The fort features stone and cement masonry, and on one recent day it was outfitted with cooking utensils, lighter fluid, trash cans, cushions and an ice chest, as well as a paved step way, seating areas and a fire pit. At the table, someone had etched “Respect this place.”

Palos Verdes Estates City Manager Tony Dahlerbruch said he agreed with the commission that the fort — whose construction is said to have begun three decades ago — will now need to undergo the permitting process or come down.

“In the meantime, that structure must be available to be used by all,” Dahlerbruch said.

“Lunada has some of the most powerful and perfect big wave spots in California,” said Jordan Wright, 31. “It’s the wave that is most like Hawaii in Southern California in terms of its strength, power and longevity.”

And, said Wright, he has had to retreat each time he tried to surf Lunada Bay, even though he has surfed in 13 countries and on waves with 40-foot faces.

Even when he went with his father, a detective for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

“It’s run like an organized crime or racketeering outfit,” Wright said of the Bay Boys’ grip on the slice of public coast.

Cory Spencer, a 44-year El Segundo police officer and surfer, said he has watched the dynamic play out since he was 14 years old.

“I’ve driven by and looked at the spot probably 10 to 15 times just to see it, but never really took my board out of the car and just traveled on because of the fear, intimidation and vandalism,” Spencer said.

In recent months, however, small groups of outsiders have decided to challenge the Bay Boys’ grip, and Spencer said he was inspired by Wright to finally give it a try. “I worked South Central for the LAPD, but it took time to gain the courage to go down there,” he said.

On his first outing in late January, Spencer said, “immediately, from the time we were on the rocks, we started getting the verbal heckling.”

Wright said some of the Bay Boys yelled, “You can’t surf here” and “Kooks.”

After they paddled out, Spencer said, he caught a wave and locked eyes with one of the Bay Boys who had heckled him on the shore.

“He was 75 yards away on the wave behind me. We had plenty of space, but he tried to spear me with his board … and he left a nice little slice in my hand,” Spencer said. “That was a nice introduction to my second wave at Lunada.”

Efforts to end the behavior have been largely ineffective. A former police chief installed a surveillance camera in 2002 to help keep an eye on the less-than-pacific bay. The City Council had it removed three months later.

Jeff Kepley became Rancho Palos Verdes’ chief of police a year ago, shortly before the Guardian newspaper caught on tape one of his employees as she dismissed visitors who came to complain after capturing footage of being harassed at Lunada Bay.

Kepley said he has sent patrols to the bluffs about 400 times and is determined to make an arrest during the current winter season when the waves and tensions are highest.

“It would not be hard,” said Spencer, the El Segundo officer, “if they really wanted to take care of this problem. But they need to get out in the water instead of just looking down from the bluff.”

For now, the Coastal Commission enforcement officers said, they are not preparing to fine anyone or take other punitive steps.

“If we work cooperatively,” Willis said, “we don’t need to think of enforcement mechanisms.”

So….umm…..I don’t get it. I actually don’t really get any of it. Lunada is a big rolling mushburger and if someone wants to surf it they should just go surf it and if they ain’t up for being hassled and/or good enough to not get hassled then they should not surf it.

It is amusing to watch an older form of heavy-handed localism. The fact that the Bay Boys now have so many city and state enemies makes me want to cheer for them. Though if one shot his board at me I would smash him in the dentures.

Albee Layer wipeout
"I feel like Jaws owes me one now," says the pop-gun pithy Maui surfer Albee Layer.

Just in: Jaws Busts Albee Layer!

Pop-gun pithy Hawaiian Albee Layer takes gas at Jaws! Not spinal, but close!

An hour ago, Maui’s Albee Layer made an appearance on Instagram, trussed up in spinal care equipment, with the message:

“So I’m alive and luckily no fractures in my neck or spine tons or muscle and other damage but nothing that will stop me from a quick recovery. I feel like Jaws owes me one now. Really hope there’s a redemption swell before the year ends.”

What a year it’s been for name surfers, usually immune from the worst of injuries, suddenly thrust into emergency wards all over Oahu and Maui.

“So I’m alive and luckily no fractures in my neck or spine tons or muscle and other damage but nothing that will stop me from a quick recovery. I feel like Jaws owes me one now. Really hope there’s a redemption swell before the year ends.”

Do you remember at the Pipe Masters when Bede Durbidge busted his pelvis and had his stomach and ligaments ripped from the bone, requiring a 17cm metal rod and four screws to harness the girdle back in shape?

Evan Geiselman was knocked unconscious at Pipe was saved from death only by the strong hands of a bodyboarding stud. 

Owen Wright, who fabulously won the Fiji Pro, was belted so hard at Pipe and suffered a brain injury so traumatic he’s struggling with amnesia and rumours surround his current condition. Can he talk? Does he need help standing?

The list of well-wishers for Albee is long, and include the chair-ridden Bede Durbidge (“Feeling for you man @johnjohn_slater speedy recovery mate 🙏”).

Do you remember Albee Layer’s blood feud with “72 Heroes”?

Is today’s wounding a karmic rebuttal for Albee’s loose tongue?

Or is karma a dumb concept cooked up by human beings adrift in the world and unable to accept the essential chaos of being?

BeachGrit sends Albee its best wishes for a quick recovery etc…

Taj Burrow retires
If this loosely slung rumour is true, Taj Burrow's 19th year on tour will be his last. Will you miss his dazzling jams, and those enormous orang-utan sprays? An energy that never wavers? Twelve grand prix wins (including beating Kelly Slater in the final of the 2009 Pipe Masters, a Mundaka, and three Quiksilver Pro's), a rookie of the year (1998) and two runner-up finishes (1999 and 2007). | Photo: Steve Sherman/Surfing/@tsherms/Photo Union Worker

Rumour: Taj Burrow to retire in 2016!

Will you miss those enormous orang-utan sprays? An energy that never wavers?

Last year, the once-perennial bachelor Taj Burrow tapped out of the European leg of the tour so he could see the birth of his kid with girlfriend, the model Rebecca Jobson.

Rated sixth at the time, Taj figured even though he was a mathematical possibility for a world title, maybe even his last shot, there ain’t nothing in the world that compares to the moment when a living, breathing jewel sparkles and flashes from the cleft of a soul mate.

In an excellent interview with the Australian magazine Tracks, Taj said:

“I don’t yearn for [the world title]. I’m not upset with my career. I don’t dwell on it at all. And I don’t have the drive for it… . In events right now I feel so much more relaxed. I’m not as fired up anymore — not even close — but I’m still enjoying myself. I just look at how lucky we are at events to be surfing good waves with one other guy in the lineup.”

Now, at least according the rumour I was just fed when I bumped into an old pal of Taj (“Did you hear? Taj is quitting after this year! Wait, was I supposed to tell you that?”), 2016 is going to be the 37 year old’s last swing on the WSL merry-go-round.

Can you imagine sitting at the same desk, in the same office, for nineteen years? Sure, swinging your bag on the tour ain’t working in the office cubicle at an insurance company, but all the same travel routes, all the same faces, all the same jokes, the same parties, it gets old real fast.

Can you imagine sitting at the same desk, in the same office, for nineteen years? Sure, swinging your bag on the tour ain’t working in the office cubicle at an insurance company, but all the same travel routes, all the same faces, all the same jokes, the same parties, it gets old real fast. Twenty years of it is a haul.

And when his coach-trainer-confidante Johnny Gannon quit in 2014 after seven seasons to have his own kid, y’didn’t need to be a mind reader to know TB was feeling the baby thing, too.

As far as retirements go, it’ll be one of the more elegant in recent years.

Kelly barely kept a spot in the top ten last year (his year included four second-lasts), Freddy P and CJ were done competitively when they shelved their quivers, and for a surfer with a legacy like Taj, who has miraculously avoided any visible sign of ageing within his surf game, to leave at the 2016 Pipe Masters would bookend a remarkable career.

Let’s examine.

In 1997 he qualified for the world tour but, on the advice of his then mentor Maurice Cole, he turned it down saying he was too young.

The following he qualified again, finished 12th on the tour, was rookie of the year.

In 1999, he finished runner-up to the world title.

In 2007, he was runner-up to the world title.

Taj jas beaten Kelly Slater in the final of a Pipe Masters, he’s won J-Bay, the Quik Pro at Snapper (three times), Mundaka, finished second at Teahupoo (to Kelly), won Bells, and done with style, good humour, a stream of bewitching films and video parts, and never once turned into the borderline psychotic one must become to get close to a world title.

Will you miss? What did you enjoy most about a world tour featuring Taj Burrow?

"But it's ok!" Joe Turpel says, "The waiting period runs all the way to Feb 29! We have an extra day thanks to leap year!" That sort of spin is why he gets the big dollars (to be paid later).
"But it's ok!" Joe Turpel says, "The waiting period runs all the way to Feb 29! We have an extra day thanks to leap year!" That sort of spin is why he gets the big dollars (to be paid later).

Just in: The Eddie is off!

After much build up, the world's premier big wave event is cancelled.

Ain’t the ocean a big bummer sometimes? I wanted to go surfing this morning too but a fat tide and no waves has forced me indoors with only the glow of a raspberry jelly tainted MacBook Air lighting my heart.

And the Eddie is off. The swell pinging buoys is not right, not enough, and there is no immediate indication as to when it might run. The window ends this month.

Where is Kelly’s wave pool when you need it? Do you think it could, someday, produce the height necessary for us to never have to cry these tears again?