Tourists surfing Tamarin Bay get gang-banged!
We all know about the White Shorts in Mauritius, and there is so much terrible examples of their uncivilised behavior all over the internet.
It escalated at Tamarin Bay recently.
Kyle Kahn, a Cape Town surfer who is married to the grand daughter of John Whitmore – the doyen of South African surfing – saw his 13-year-old son get a smack from the crew and went in to intervene.
The 13-year-old was emulating one of his heroes in Jamie O’Brian, by surfing on a pink foamie with a GoPro on his mouth. Not acceptable. Hit the child, hit one of his friends, then gang up and wail on the dad.
Is the wave good?
Fuck yes, and it’s a rare kind of beast is Tamarin, but there are so many other waves around the world that have sorted their shit out and understand how to deal with crowds through hierarchy and respect.
Supers in J-Bay has a pecking order and it’s hard enough to get a wave, but you will not see children getting punched out here.
Keramas is busy with blockings, and with locals getting barrelled, but there are few legitimate fisticuff incidents, much like Uluwatu.
In Hawaii, the rules are fierce, and one step out of line and you’ll have the boys on your back, but in USA and in Australia for that matter, the threat of litigation is massive and throw a punch at a kid or to anyone, and get on the wrong side of a zealous legal team and you’re going to find yourself in a world of shit.
What is a crazy is that the White Shorts, from all accounts, are not even pure locals. They are blow-ins who arrived years ago and took over the Tamarin domain. The true locals barely surf at Tamarin, and anyone who knows the island and who knows all the variables knows that there are many other waves around. There are waves in the north-west, there are a bunch of waves in the south, and there are a few others on the Le Morne peninsula.
“It gives Mauritius a bad name and it doesn’t help me because I am from Mauritius. When people find out where I come from, there is anger pointed at me and it just makes my career path that much more difficult. These guys do need to know the far-reaching consequences of what they choose to do. Many people are affected.” Brian Furcey, a WQS surfer from Mauritius.
Most waves on the peninsula, however, have some sort of White Short dominance. You’ll get chased out the water at One Eyes on the odd day, and you’ll even get chased out the water At L’Ambulant if you happen to be out there when a local posse arrive.
WQS hopeful Brian Furcy is a Mauritian surfer who has been travelling through South Africa over the last month or so competing in the WSL Africa series. This situation is not ideal for the travelling professional.
“Of course this does much damage to me and makes my job so much harder,” Furcy told me. “It gives Mauritius a bad name and it doesn’t help me because I am from Mauritius. When people find out where I come from, there is anger pointed at me and it just makes my career path that much more difficult. These guys do need to know the far-reaching consequences of what they choose to do. Many people are affected.”
It’s a bummer.
There are enough waves for everyone, but the vibe is horrendous. On my third to last trip I got heavily vibed at One Eyes by the other guy in the water. That’s right, there were two of us in a perfect line-up, and he had to tell me that this “‘isn’t fucking South Africa.”
We surfed excellent waves together, with him glaring at me and paddling past me after every wave. He didn’t make many of his waves because he wasn’t that good a surfer, but wouldn’t if have been cool if we had chatted about surfing, about our families, about the absolute non-real idea of surfing a perfect reef-pass on an island with one friend and no one else? If we had hooted each other into set waves, warned each other about approaching sets and claimed each others’ bombs all the way to the channel.
Instead, we didn’t become friends and we surfed in silence, kind of both enjoying the waves but hating the experience.
The thing is, if you start hitting kids, it’s not about localism anymore.
It’s criminal behaviour. That shit’s got to be sorted out.