I will admit to you here and now that I’ve always been jealous of skateboarders and their adversarial relationship with law enforcement. There they are, on the streets, trying to poach this or that set of stairs, needing to always keep one eye out for little pieces of gravel and the other out for the fuzz. Oh it is such beautiful enmity. The skateboarder thin and scabbed. The cop chubby and authoritative. The seething distrust that pours from each their eyes when they spot each other.
Surfers don’t have this natural enemy and, untethered, drift easily into the dangerous esoteric spaces, imagining that surfing is somehow spiritual and/or decent. Hell, surfers and the law are apparently so tight that Redondo Beach’s police department is putting on a surf contest during the same weekend as Founders Cup. And let us turn to the local newspaper to learn more.
Coming off a successful skateboard contest in October, the department is planning its next community-focused event, this time a team surf contest titled “The Line Up.”
“We’re trying to reach people who we normally wouldn’t reach,” said Dinah Lary, community services program manager for the RBPD. “Usually when you have an experience with a police officer, it’s not your best day. It’s usually because you’re the victim of a crime or something is going bad, so we’re trying to have your experience be positive and do things that are more fun.”
The contest is designed for all ages and skill levels in partnership with the Special Olympics of Southern California, Wounded Heroes of America and the Redondo Beach Police Foundation. While the event is free to compete, donations are encouraged to any of three charities.
The contest itself will involve teams of up to six members that can either be pre-arranged or sorted out at the event. Each team will also include either a Special Olympic athlete, military veteran or police officer, many of whom do not have much experience surfing, Lary said.
“They are going to have to work together as a team to help that person catch their waves,” Lary said. “It’s really about the experience and having a good time.”
The winner of the event will be presented with a Golden Donut trophy, a tongue-in-cheek reference to a police officer’s favorite treat.
“We do have a sense of humor,” Lary joked.
So what’s next for the department that’s getting cooler by the day? Lary said there is no shortage of ideas. The only slow-up is organizing them and getting them funded.
To be honest, it sounds very nice. It sounds like a wonderful celebration of the brotherhood of mankind. Like the perfect balm to soothe our irritated times. Maybe surfing really is spiritual and/or decent.
Wiggolly’s Paddling Style? Is it?