Cops don't mess around in Peru.

Watch: Surfer surrounded, arrested, by masked police as military locks down Peru!

What will the supreme lesson of the Coronavirus shutdown be for the world? That your government has startling and hitherto unused powers? 

In this short video, author unknown, we got it via @portugalsurfrental who got it from a WhatsApp group, a surfer is surrounded and arrested by masked police in Punta Hermosa, a beach resort forty or so clicks south of the country’s capital, Lima. 

Peru is currently under a military-enforced lockdown to stop the spread of China’s best virus so far, eclipsing even their 2002 hit SARS. There’s a curfew between eight pm and five am for the next two weeks, soldiers and cops with guns patrol the streets, borders are closed, the military guards the airport.

No surfing, either.

In the clip, the cops behave pretty politely for this part of the world, a country where it ain’t unknown for police to carry out illegal killings, and where death squad the Grupo Colina and revolutionary communists the Shining Path were shooting and bombing into the nineties.

The surfer is told he has to be detained for the good of the community of Punta Hermosa.

“Let’s go! Let’s go!’ they tell him.

The surfer, scared, protests, says he lives nearby and that maybe it might be a little easier for everyone if they let him go.

“I can go home!” he says.

“Let’s go! Let’s go!” they respond. “You must go to the police station.”

The clip wraps with the cops saying they’re going to wait for a second surfer in the lineup.

(Here’s a longer version. I trimmed ours down for IG attention spans.)

Perspective: “Surfers didn’t just survive the Great Depression, we aced it! Happier, healthier!”

A well-timed message from surfing’s great historian Matt Warshaw…

Every cloud is lined with silver, or so the saying goes.

In the case of a deadly-to-the-aged virus that was birthed in the filth and horror of China’s infamous multi-species wet-markets, it has fallen to surfing’s great historian, Matt Warshaw, to reveal a layer that shimmers.

Matt needs little introduction, of course, former editor of Surfer, keeper of surfing’s flame, a man whom I’ve always pictured as a lone cowboy entering a village on a horse, beholden to no one.

In his Sunday mail-out to Encyclopedia of Surfing subscribers, and on the eve of an economic apocalypse, Warshaw points out the enviable position of surfers when it comes to thriving in catastrophe.

There is value in reminding ourselves that the sport has already made it through hard times. On the disease side, surfing, along with the native population at large, was utterly decimated in the century following Captain Cook’s arrival in Hawaii.

From the 1900 nadir of that catastrophic event, however, we get Duke Kahanamoku and George Freeth and surfing’s rebirth. (While it messes up my point, I’m obligated to point out that Freeth died in the coming flu pandemic.)

As far as squaring up to economic hardship, surfers didn’t merely survive the Great Depression, we aced it. We slept on the beach, pulled entire meals from the ocean, went hard DIY on equipment, and if it wasn’t exactly a 12-year San Onofre clambake, surfers in general got through the Depression happier and healthier then the population at large.

Photographer Doc Ball put it this way: “We bought very little. We made our own boards and trunks; I even made my own camera tripod. It was good for you. After all that, you really knew how to get there from here. Of course, we had a little trouble getting gasoline. But then it was seven cents a gallon. Imagine that! We had surfing. As long as there’s waves—you didn’t have to pay for those. All we had to do was buy gas to get there.”

If you sign up to the EOS, you can dive even further into the surfers-thriving-during-the-Great-Depression thing. 

Here’s the smallest taste,

The Depression did good things for surfing in America. Being poor on the beach in Southern California was a lot better than being poor in the Nebraska plains or on a New York street corner—or anywhere else in the country, for that matter. Surfers were already familiar with living on the cheap: they made their own trunks and surfboards, pulled lobsters and abalone from the sea, gathered wood for their own fires, and could build an evening’s entertainment around a ukulele, a guitar, and a passed-around bottle of jug wine. Riding waves didn’t make up for being jobless or underemployed, but it was a nice way to pass the time if you were. With a long curl-beating ride to the beach, surfers could still find grace moments, just as they had during an era of prosperity.

In California, and to a lesser degree Hawaii, beaches and lineups during the Depression were commanded by down-at-heels journeymen like Tom Blake, who sold his swimming medals and cups to pay for meals. Another was the hulking surfer-paddleboarder Gene “Tarzan” Smith, who during the 1930s lived on and off in a cave he excavated in a sandstone cliff near Corona del Mar. On weekend nights, Smith, a binge drinker and predatory brawler, would roll his only suit and a pair of old dress shoes into a piece of oilskin, paddle across Newport Harbor to the enormous Rendezvous Ballroom, change next to a nearby boathouse, dance and drink and bust a few heads, then roll the suit back up and make the return journey across the harbor to his cave. Smith would became famous among surfers for his otherworldly paddling stamina. In 1940 he paddled from Oahu to Kauai, a seventy-mile, thirty-hour journey, on a board outfitted with a compass, flashlight holder, hunting knife, and pneumatic pillow. Over the last few miles, Smith hallucinated that he was stroking down Hollywood Boulevard. Sixty-five years passed before another paddler made the crossing.

As I said, give Warshaw a few bucks and sign up to the EOS, although as he told readers last week, if suffering and privation is your lot, he’s happy to carry anyone for free until a vaccine comes along. 

The Future is Now: NASCAR takes races online and shows flatfooted World Surf League a “Coronavirus-induced death-free” way forward!

Professional surfing, sleeping at the wheel. Per the norm.

And who would have ever guessed? Who could have ever thunk that rednecks, proper southern fried American rednecks, would showcase a vision of socially distanced sport for me, you, the rest of the world that our World Surf League, “young, sexy and free” can’t even halfway actualize?

Well, me.

I don’t have much/any faith in our World Surf League seeing as the only “sport” that not only encourages, but requires, social distancing didn’t see opportunity as opposed to fear, paranoia, complete shutdown.

Professional surfing should have been our apocalyptic way forward.

Instead racist NASCAR is and let us turn to ESPN for the latest.

The stands were packed, Jimmie Johnson caused several wrecks, Denny Hamlin raced barefoot and damaged cars were repaired with the push of a button — a few virtual signs that NASCAR backed quite an unreal race.

NASCAR eased off the brake in the real sports world brought to a sudden halt by the coronavirus and introduced the country to iRacing with some of the sports biggest stars. Hamlin, the three-time Daytona 500 winner, beat Dale Earnhardt Jr. off the final corner Sunday at virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway to win the bizarre spectacle.

“For the community, the racing community, the NASCAR drivers to come together and put drivers on the racetrack with such short notice, everyone is buying up simulation rigs this week and last week getting ready for the event, and for it all to come together and have a great finish, I think it was definitely a success,” Hamlin said.

“iRacing got involved and emailed everyone, said, ‘Hey, this is what we’re thinking about.’ NASCAR got involved, television got involved and said they’d be interested. But no one really talked to the drivers about unifying and participating. It was all free will, and that’s what’s exciting is you had full-time Cup guys out there willing to spend their time doing this.”

It was Hamlin’s 31st victory in iRacing, which is where he was first discovered by Earnhardt long before he made it to NASCAR. Hamlin was heavily involved in putting together Sunday’s pretend race, which was broadcast live on Fox Sports 1 and called by its regular team of Mike Joy and Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon.


And do you understand?

Do you get?

NASCAR drivers participated in online race to the thrill of The People™.

How much easier would it have been, would it be, to trot Julian Wilson, Italo F., Gabriel Medina down to Lower Trestles and make a surf contest featuring any local down there including you if you are there?

Or a robust game of Kelly Slater’s Pro Surfer online?

Damn it, professional surfing.

Consistently disappointing.

Wake up, please.

Get woke up. But if recruiting NASCAR fans take “woke” with many grains of salt.

No surfing in time of CoronaVirus: “Shuttering waves may have no Strategic Value, but that’s the point! We have to show we’re willing!”

Just because a line can’t be perfectly drawn, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t draw one…

The ‘jackboot’ has to come down somewhere.

To combat Coronavirus, Bondi was fenced off on Saturday. Manly followed suit on Sunday.

Many surfers aren’t happy.

Their reasoning? You’re more likely to get sick in the supermarket.

Also, “Fuck the police.”

And clubbies.

Nick Carroll suspects the Police and Emergency Services Minister, David Elliott, “possibly the biggest boofhead in NSW politics” is to blame for the initial over-reaction.

My take?

The government capitulated to clickbait (“World in crisis, Aussies hit the beach!”).

As a small southerly filled in, I found myself mildly annoyed.

Until, deep in a Youtube wormhole, I found a video of Bill Maher and Christopher Hitchens discussing “Vietnam and Communism.”

“The Vietnam war didn’t have to happen in Vietnam, but it had to happen somewhere.”

Maher likened it to a battle in Korea: “Hill 53 had no strategic value… but that was the point. We had to show them we were willing.”

Despite sounding like a local yelling at a VAL on a one-foot day (or an Aussie complaining about Brazzos at an Indo reef pass), he makes an interesting point: just because a line can’t be perfectly drawn, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t draw one.*

You don’t need to tackle that grommet, but over-reaching in the moment could save you five years of hassling.

Surfers intuitively know this, we just don’t like it when Clubbies are the enforcers.

Drawing the line allows for the masses to be kept away (or stop bussing it to Bondi), while the savvy few get their fix.

“I will return under the cover of sunset,” wrote Derek Rielly.

“Some tasty little wedges at Bronte this morning. Upon returning to shore, they were getting ready to shut the place down…..the message is to get out there early!” wrote Skinflute.

“I for one will not be curtailing my coastal activities,” – Longtom.

“Fuck off out of our national park,” – Channel Bottom and Surfads, (paraphrased), who are presumably setting up a Spanish civil war sex camp somewhere in the Blue Mountains.

What are your plans?

*Doesn’t mean they drew it right in Vietnam.

The tender loving we need at this moment. Photo: Steve Sherman, the greatest to ever do it.
The tender loving we need at this moment. Photo: Steve Sherman, the greatest to ever do it. | Photo: @tsherms/Steve Sherman

Concern: World’s greatest surfer Kelly Slater, last seen in New Zealand, gone missing during “The Great Coronavirus Kerfuffle” of ’20!

Foul play suggested.

The world has now come all the way off the rails. Over 1/3 of these United States of America officially shut down. Bondi Beach put under lock and key. Europe abandoned. Lonely days and dark, for many, filled with anxieties and dread. The present unrecognizable. The future unclear.

Making matters worse, for surfers everywhere, is the greatest to ever do it, our hero and north star Kelly Slater, has gone entirely missing during The Great Coronavirus Kerfuffle of ’20.

Vanished as if into thin air.

The 11 x World Champion was last seen three days ago in New Zealand, there in preparation of the Piha Pro and let’s go there, to Auckland’s 1 News for possible clues as to his whereabouts.

Imagine heading down to your break and getting a front row seat to the greatest ever surfer carving it up on your waves.

Well that’s just what happened for some Northland surfers with Kelly Slater.

Slater was supposed to be competing at the Piha Pro this week before it was cancelled.

In a settlement of fewer than a 1000 people, word was always going to spread quickly about Slater around Pataua, east of Whangārei.

“Some people told us, ‘Are you going to go and see Kelly?’ and I didn’t know what they were talking about,” one local said.

“I looked really close, and I kind of had a bit of a shock,” another told 1 NEWS.

“Got off the bus, came over and Slater was in the water,” a disbelieving local said.

Wonderful and happy. The sort of joy our Number 1 brings with him everywhere he goes but then… silence.


His usually robust Instagram account has been dark since Feb. 21, the last image very cryptic.


What does that mean?

Back to New Zealand, though, were the small-town locals so thrilled, too thrilled, and in a Deliverance moment, or maybe Misery-like, did they lock the champion up, refusing to let him leave?

"We love you Kelly Slater. Never leave us, ok?"
“We love you Kelly Slater. Never leave us, ok?”

Is he there, right now, dancing for Patauans and Whangāreians?

Somewhere else?

Why isn’t he singing us songs to make us feel better like other celebrities who cherish The People™ and imagine life with no heaven or hell on our behalf?

Very worried.

Extremely worried.

Kelly? If you need help we are here.