Beaches around Perth are being infected with rage! Yelling! Surf skis!
Oh of course you’ve been on the edge of your seat keeping up with the melee/fight/scuffle/kerfuffle in Huntington Beach, California. It is Riot City, USA! But if you live in Perth you shouldn’t be laughing too hard because you, dear Western Australian, are dealing with a surf rage epidemic (apparently).
And right when our boys are ready to head over to the nearby Drug Aware Pro. Could the timing be any worse? Should we read a little passage from Perth Now’s Sunday Times?
SURF rage is so out of control at one of Perth’s most popular beaches that board riders are calling for surf etiquette signs to be installed at popular breaks.
The Cottesloe Longboard Club has written to Cottesloe Council asking for “surfers’ code” signs — which explain the rules of the waves and encourage respect — to be erected at breaks including Isolated, The Cove and Dutch Inn.
(There’s a longboard club?)
Former club president Ken Hall said the surf breaks, all south of the Cottesloe Surf Life Saving Club, had experienced a huge surge in surfers of “varying capabilities” and riding diverse craft, including stand-up paddleboards and surf skis.
“The increase in the breaks’ use from all abilities and surf craft of the sport has seen some varied interpretations of the surfing rules resulting in physical injury, confrontation and verbal abuse,” Mr Hall said.
(Wait. What are surf skis? Are they…. jet skis? Or…. actual water skis that can be surfed on? How do you paddle? With a paddle? I’m sorry. I am going to have to press pause until I get some more information on surf skis. BRB)
(Ok. One Google later and I’m back. A “surf ski” is like an even deadlier version of a kayak. What would possess a man to take a surf ski into a lineup? Madness is right!)
He said the surfers’ code signs, which are used extensively at other surf beaches in WA and around Australia, clearly outline the rules of surfing to help reduce violent confrontations in the waves.
(Do you think, generally, this is true? That surf rage happens because people don’t know the rules or because people purposefully flaunt the rules? And, let’s be serious, if there is a beach with a longboard club, SUPs and surf skis what hope is there at all?)
Peter Dickson, a veteran Cottesloe surfer and editor of international surf travel magazine Longbreak, said fights were rare but tensions were always high at Cottesloe’s breaks.
“I wouldn’t take my son out there — it’s too crowded and too dangerous. There are people everywhere and the etiquette goes out the window,” he said.
“The surfers at the top of the food chain get all the waves and the poor beginners don’t get anything. What we really need are more artificial reefs to spread the crowd.”
(I thought artificial reefs were proven failures. Is there some new tech I’ve missed? Some barreling success?)