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Beach Grit

Dear Australia: Please help us!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

Southern California needs you, oh Lucky Country, to navigate this brave new world!

And oh my goodness. Southern California is not used to this sort of shark activity. First a lady gets her leg ripped off at Church, then a bunch of whites frolic at Lowers and now a shark has chased the Seaside, in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, lineup straight to the parking lot. Seaside! The only shark Seaside usually has is the elusive tan shark (Rob Machado).

Australia, please help! You have massive shark populations both east and west. You know how to work it.

I think we especially need help with the aesthetics here. I think they’re called “optics” in politispeak. What are the proper optics around a shark invasion? What are we supposed to do in order to be safe and cool? I’ll list my questions succinctly.

  1. When a shark comes into the lineup do you yell “shark” in a low voice, a high voice or not at all?
  2. When paddling in do you make funny jokes about getting chomped or keep a somber quiet tone or do you not paddle in?
  3. Is it uncool to say, “I hope a shark eats you” to a person that just snaked or burned?
  4. If a shark swims close but doesn’t show its teeth is it ok to pet?
  5. If a shark’s tail is between its legs¬†does it mean it is afraid and you can tell it to shoo?
  6. If a good wave is coming in but you are not in position is it ok to yell “shark” in order to get position?
  7. If you are hazing a grom by holding his head under water and a shark bites it off are you liable or does this sort of thing just fall under the “grom had no respect” rule?
  8. If you are in position and a bomb is coming but a shark is ready to shoulder hop do you hoot it off or just let it take the wave?
  9. If you see a shark heading straight for a SUP do you say anything?
  10. When on the beach, or parking lot, after getting chased in by a shark is it cool to leave your wetsuit on all the way or better to strip it down to waist?
  11. When chased in by the elusive tan shark (Rob Machado) is it cool to get a tattoo commemorating the event?

That’s all for now but I’m sure I’ll have more after a few drinks.

And thanks, Australia.