"You just can't tackle someone in the United States!" Oh yes you can!
Earlier this year, surfers were gifted the fascinating saga of Alex Burdett vs Jordan Montgomery in what quickly became known as the “World’s Lamest Surf Assault”.
Do you remember?
Here’s a quick refresher.
A small crowd was surfing a two-foot windswell at First Jetty, Virginia Beach. It ain’t Pipe but what is.
As recorded by the Surfline cam, and posted on Instagram after the fact, we saw a shortboarder, take off deep on the peak and go left. A longboarder wobbled down the face of the wave from the opposite side of the peak. As they collided, the shortboarder jumpsed over the other board and the longboarder stayed on his craft before flopping off the back of the wave.
Shortly afterwards, the shortboarder, Alex Burdette, who is a twenty-eight-year-old tattoo artist at Ghost Ship Tattoo in town there, was cuffed in the middle of a job and jailed on a charge of assault and battery.
“I asked if I could finish the tattoo and he told me to find a way for them to come back another day,” Alex told BeachGrit, and said he had to spend a thousand bucks on a lawyer and stay in Virginia Beach for the next month, missing any swells that hit nearby, but interstate, Cape Hatteras as well as a vacay in Nicaragua. “I have a completely clean record. It was the only time I’ve been in cuffs outside of the bedroom.”
The accuser, who felt the non-incident was worthy of state intervention, was a kid Alex said he taught to surf ten years earlier, the filmer Jordan Montgomery.
When BeachGrit called Jordan, who was twenty one at the time, he said he’d had “ongoing problems with Alex since he was a kid.
And the collision?
“It was five-thirty, low light, dusk. He stood up and jumped at me. He put his hands on my shoulders and I grabbed him and rotated him. I was confused, like, dude why are you tackling me on a one-foot wave? He didn’t punch me in the face. You can see in the video he doesn’t push me off the board, but his hands hit me in the bottom of the neck and chin area. I felt it! He laid a hand on me and in the United States you can do that. Surfing is a recreational sport and I’ve been surfing for fourteen years. I’m not a kook. I rode for Hurley for ten years… I’ve done all the Rip Curl GromSearches, NSSAs. I know what the hell I’m doing! This happened so fast. I felt his hands on me! He was tackling me out of aggression. Surfing shouldn’t be a scapegoat for violence.”
Afterwards, he said Alex announced to the lineup, “All you bitch-ass longboarders, if you go right I’ll kick your ass!”
“I’m not trying to get him in trouble. I probably went a little over bounds. I did what I had to do to protect myself,” admitted Jordan.
Anyway, according to a Virginia Beach resident and BeachGrit reader, the charges have now been dropped after Burdett’s lawyer got the Surfline footage and showed it to the DA.
Watch the World’s Lamest Surf Assault again here!