Also rogue logs!
Do you have a vested interest in the ski vs. paddle debate? Are you a bold jetski pilot, thrilling your friends with trips out to the big stuff? Are you a traditionalist who would rather give up surfing altogether rather than fill the air with an exhaust-laden whine?
I am neither but a new clash in my home state of Oregon makes me want to choose sides.
Nelscott Reef, directly west from Salem, is Oregon’s premier big wave even featuring a big wave contest but lately its also a battlefield. And let us turn to the Newport Times for more.
Surfing will take the spotlight at a city council meeting Monday, Jan. 28, where big-wave promoter John Forse intends to lodge a complaint against rival surfers over another dangerous incident at Nelscott Reef.
Forse released a photograph this week of a chilling encounter between a jet ski and a surfer that shows them on a collision path. No injuries occurred as the 750-pound watercraft veered away at the last moment. Forse said the incident occurred about a week ago during non-contest conditions.
“The jet-ski was going 30 to 35 mph,” claimed Forse, saying state marine laws forbid motorized boats from straying within 100 feet of surfers. “It’s like driving a boat through a group of swimmers.”
Meanwhile, Oregon State Police say they are monitoring the situation, which falls into their jurisdiction.
State Trooper Scott Severson stated, “Jet skiiers will be cited if appropriate, and we will shut down (any contests) if operations are unsafe.”
The newly-documented encounter comes in the wake of another incident that occurred during a Nov. 29, 2017, big wave contest where several onlookers were struck and briefly pinned by a log that swept onto the beach.
Forse, who founded big-wave surfing at the reef and has held an annual contest there since 2004, claimed the city contributed to the unsafe situation by issuing a license to a rival group that was fined in municipal court as a result of the 2017 beach accident.
Well that got very exciting at the end. The log that pinned onlookers during the event? A rival group of fans? What sort of log was it? Maybe one of Erik Logan’s @infinity_sup #blurrV2?
I’ll get to the bottom of it.