Surfer (in white) getting taken off beach.

Contagion: Mexico catches “Jackboot Fever”; Pauses “War on Drugs” to send Federales after Coronavirus Super Spreader Surfers!

Public Enemies No. 1.

And there is no longer a single place on earth, outside of Huntington Beach, California, where it is safe to be a surfer. Shot at in Cosa Rica, capsized and arrested in San Clemente, shamed and chased in Australia, taunted and teased in South Africa, shot, hung and tasered in New Zealand.

Our sort has emerged as public enemy number 1. Apparent Coronavirus super spreaders and the burning fever to keep us out of the water has now infected Mexico where it has just been reported that Federales have paused their war against the cartels to seize surfboards and levy massive fines against any and all who dare dance upon the water.

Federales (pictured) with contraband.
Federales (pictured) with contraband.

Mexico.

A proud country where freedom isn’t free, it costs a handful of pesos, but is plentiful, warm and chased with margarita on the rocks, a basket of tortilla chips and a stone pestle of fresh guacamole.

A near perfect country that can’t have decided, on its own, to make us outlaws but also, a country where outlaws find their true place.

Once this wild Coronavirus has run its course will be allowed, once again, or stay forever banned?

When reached for comment, World Surf League CEO Erik Logan said, “I’ve told people to try not to be on phones, try to be on video chats, try to see people. At every turn, try to have a human connection. I was also saying to our teams that we need to get into a form of routine. You need to get out of your house, go for walks, try to get away from the screen, find different places to work. A lot of our employees have children – I’ve got two teenagers at home so I’m relegated to the garage right now; I’m sitting in my garage with a desk. You have to figure out how to set that up for yourself.”

More as the story develops.


Covid-19 rebel: Meet the shredder who took on no-surfing ban at Lowers and lost $US22k boat in south swell maelstrom! “It was a spur of the moment decision!”

Better to die on your feet etc.

Gotta love a man who ain’t afraid to put his head above the parapet.

Don Abadie is a forty-eight-year-old surfer, and jiujitsu expert as it happens, who took his fourteen-foot Caribe out to four-to-six-foot Lowers this morning, along with a pal, to circumvent the no-surfing law shutting down beaches across California.

Didn’t turn out real well.

Abadie caught one wave, and missed another, before a set shook his little inflatable off its anchorage and sent it into the rocks.

While that was happening, rangers, guns drawn, were on the beach.

Abadie, who shreds by all accounts on his little five-four Timmy Patterson twinnies, says he and his pal James Brent Jnr’s plan to chase empty, pumping Lowers, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, was a “spur of the moment decision.”

In an interview with Johnathan Wayne Freeman on Instagram Live a few minutes ago, Abadie said he figured the law extended only to the high-tide line and that by boating in, and not touching the beach, everything was cool.

“They (the rangers) let us know the ground rules. Once a beach is shut down, everything is shut down,” he said. “Regardless if you’re in the lineup or on the beach. It’s all the same.”

His boat was dragged across the rocks and it was later towed back to the dock by BoatUS.

Abadie lost his only set of car keys (“My car’s still at the dock”), an iPad (“I figured I could check work from out there”), a new phone; his buddy lost his keys etc.

No tickets were issued nor arrests made.

“We were cool to them so they were cool to us,” he said.


“I don’t have media training. This is my home beach, I’m in my community. That photographer has driven all the way out here to stand by the police taking photos. No one else is allowed to drive out here or come to the beach. What he’s doing is not exactly an essential service. That’s not journalism, that’s tabloid stuff.”

“Shot! Hung! Tasered!” New Zealand surfer fears for family, terrified to leave house after “horrific” response to iconic photo!

When did it become a bad thing to give cops a little hell?

Last Sunday, a New Zealand news site ran a provocative photo of a surfer giving hell to cops brought in to police the country’s draconian no-surfing laws.

The caption read, “A surfer is not happy to be spoken to by police for flouting lockdown rules at a West Auckland beach.”

Now, the surfer, who says the upraised digit was aimed at a tabloid photographer and not the cops, says he’s been hammered with death threats against him and his family.

As reported by Newsroom, 

A west Auckland surfer says threats have been made against him and his family after the Stuff news site published a photo of him with a caption erroneously describing him as “not happy” to be spoken to by police.

In the photo, published on April 5, the man is seen holding his surfboard and giving the middle finger to the camera while being spoken to by a police officer. He says the photographer had been hounding the surfers for a while and he was unhappy with the photographer, not the police officers.

The full caption beneath the photograph reads: “A surfer is not happy to be spoken to by police for flouting lockdown rules at a West Auckland beach.”

On closer examination it is clear the surfer is not looking at the police officer standing nearby, but directly at the camera.

The man, who was photographed going for a final surf at his local beach on Sunday, says he has been threatened with being tasered, shot and hung in multiple Facebook groups and reddit threads.

“When I walked up the beach I did the fingers to the photographer skulking around the beach, thinking nothing of it. I went and spoke to the police. They were lovely and were clear with their instruction and delivered their message and I acknowledged their advice and agreed.

“We then continued to chat for about 10 minutes. That afternoon I became aware of an article on Stuff using a photo of me. The caption of the photo implied I did the fingers to the police and resisted their advice. This is not true.”

He says he has had hundreds if not thousands of “horrific” comments – many driven by one stranger online who continues to share the article in community Facebook groups throughout the country.

“Over the following hours I was made aware of the photo being shared and some pretty scary comments being made. This escalated to the point that hundreds of people were saying all sorts of nasty stuff believing I did the fingers to the police.”

More, here, although the disturbing point, I think, is, when did it become a bad thing to give cops a little hell?

Specifically, when did surfers put their own necks under the police jackboot?

Is this a form of Stockholm Syndrome?


Who do you love the most? Quarantine Kelly or incorrigible flout-the-rules-get-tubed Kelly? | Photo: @sensitiveseashellcollector

Kelly Slater tells J-Bay local: “Just go surfing. I’ll help pay your ($US272) fine!”

“Kelly said that if he was here, he would have surfed the whole day…"

Yesterday was a day from hell for the J-Bay locals. Perfect lines, reeling down the point, with sets up to six-foot, crisp offshore winds and not a soul in the water.

There were a lot of hungry eyes on the line-up.

There are plenty of people with line-of-sight of somewhere along that miraculous line-up, and most of them are surfers to some degree or another.

Whether they are Supers chargers or Point cruisers, they all surf.

Local surfer Craig MacKay was one such surfer who was agonizing over it.

He posted a little clip to his private Insta account, and things escalated quickly.

Craig happens to be friendly with Kelly Slater, Taylor Knox and a host of other current and former pro surfers who have enjoyed his hospitality during the J-Bay events over the years.

After he posted his clip, Slater was quick to comment, “Just go. I’ll help pay your fine.”

The comment, liked by Taylor Knox amongst others, opened up even more anguish for the surfer, and a whole new level of a quandary.

“We (Kelly and I) had been chatting about it,” said MacKay, “and we were pondering as to why no surfing. However, we do understand that if we are allowed to surf, others should be allowed to do other individual sports.”

And,

“Kelly said that if he was here, he would have surfed the whole day, which I have no doubt he would have. He would have come in and paid the fine. I said ‘Sure, we would surf all day, get to the beach and the cops would be stoked to meet Kelly and take selfies, while the rest of us would be fucked, get fined etc.’”

R5,000 for a day’s surfing at empty Supers is a steal at US$272, but it’s still expensive for South Africans.

The problem is that it is breaking the law, and for all our significant advances and methodology for dealing with COVID-19, there is still the current totalitarian paradigm in place when it comes to lockdown.

In other words, it’s a bit of a crapshoot.

In a cruisy world of money in hand, bottle stores open, and restaurants and takeaways to feed the masses, there might be a few local police who would know Kelly and be stoked to meet him.

Still, in the current lockdown situ, there are members of the police that have been bussed in, the Defense Force has been deployed, and there are so many people of authority around who might not know or care about surfing.

It’s a moot point, but Slater is not here, his idea was good in theory, but the pressure was on MacKay.

It would have made most surfers sick to the stomach.

The thing is there is always the chance that the police could take offence to someone breaking the law by surfing, and simply throw them in jail instead of writing out fines. The authorities are already tired, COVID fatigue they are calling it, and they also just want this thing to end.

Still, an empty Supers line-up on a six-foot offshore day, and a benefactor willing to pay for any fines that might come your way. It’s a helluva thing, the biggest temptation ever for a surfer…

Would you do it?

“There haven’t been waves for months, and now we have non-stop waves,” said MacKay, who didn’t paddle out, despite the quandary and the enticement. “I was just trying not to watch because it was hurting my eyes.”

It’s firing again, quite solid, with a little bit of a devil wind on it, but no one out.

The line-up is as empty as death.

Luckily it goes onshore tomorrow.


Sitting at home, not surfing, waiting to choke on lung juice. That ain't no way to live.

Real talk: “How is it that I have survived so many gnarly things in my surfing life and now I am hiding in my house waiting to die from a virus?”

Where is the dignity?

Southern Californian surfers are not often challenged by eight-to-ten-foot swell at twenty-second intervals.

My friend and I had surfed an exposed point the entire day before dodging bombs and getting mowed.

Our intent this second day of the swell was to catch more waves.

Simple as fuck.

With an unusually westerly direction of 270 degrees, I drove us toward a refined point break at the base of a cliff that would offer us more riding time and less duck-diving for our lives.

The tide was high and whitewash was punishing the base of the cliff so we passed on the old trail leading into the bay. Rains had left the bluff dance at the top of the point treacherous, but we found a jump off point and made it out into the lineup relatively easily.

I kept seeing these perfect DOH lines wrapping the tar-filled shelf, like pinwheels of our imaginations and that was exactly the experience I was after.

My friend took a different approach, safe and sane, by waiting out the swing wide sets pushing TOH.

Without shading my bro, I had no interest in the fat end sections pushing out to sea.

The roll of these dice were an easy decision for me to make.

Until it wasn’t.

I caught two gems and hugged the point on the paddle back into position.

These paddles were crazy but the sweep outside in the “channel” was profound.

Regardless, everything was clicking and I had found my zone.

As I made it to the ledge boil I prefer to take off under, the next set hit.

I knew I was doomed.

Even the three guys sitting wide were scratching.

The maelstrom was easy to imagine. I dove as deep as I could and my 6’8” swallow snapped like a toothpick. Another lesson to stop riding paper-thin boards that I refused to learn.

I came to rest near the sea floor bottom and I opened my eyes as I heard another rumble outside marching towards me.

The sun shone bright above, but there was a forest of kelp trapping me in position as the next wave washed over.

Once again, I looked up after the steamrolling and I was still caged by kelp.

There was no way I could make the surface without getting trapped.

They say a million thoughts sweep your mind during distress.

That was not true this day in January 2009.

“Hippy, you’re in a tough spot, but we are all waiting for you…”

Fuck, my dad was talking to me from the grave?

His voice was clear as day and I could see his eyes smiling. I had lost my entire family above my age in the previous eighteen months.

I thought about my wife and puppy… they needed me.

That stroke of ego woke me into swimming laterally under the kelp bed and I finally made the surface when the next wave swept the bay.

Now I had become one with the current moving faster than a river, but at least I could breathe.

I had to find a way to shore at the cliff trail inside the bay or I’d be washed another two miles before the cliffs gave way to another landing spot.

This scenario has happened to me before and since, all too familiar and I’m kicking myself as I always do. That sirens call of perfection just yards inside the danger zone is my muse and I pay as often as I cash the sirens wave checks.

I missed the trail wash by five yards, but I found a foothold on a shelf as the set abated.

This wasn’t a safe place to remain as the next set would impale me in this position against the cliff.

Somehow, I negotiated twenty yards swimming against the current to my friends assist at the trail base.

I pushed past the spectators concerns and walked back to the car shaking.

Internally, I told my Pops that I wouldn’t be seeing him that day.

I never found the 6’8”.

Today, I purchased groceries and it felt like I’d accomplished a “Mission Impossible”.

My puppy’s eyes looked worried as I readied to visit the store.

Did she sense something?

On the way back to my car after shopping, I told my Dad to be patient, I haven’t caught the flu… yet.

How is it that I have survived so many gnarly things in my surfing life and now I am hiding in my house waiting to die from a virus?

There is no dignity is this kind of a death.