"Desperation is objective and real. Surfing is now prohibited. Is that inglorious or fucking what?"
The drive from my home to quiet surfing is equally quiet. Rarely traffic. The beach breaks don’t seem to capture the imagination of those socially inclined to easy cove surf. Something about tighter transitions and a little more girth keep the VAL’s at bay.
Or so it seems so far.
With a historically poor winter on the points, I’ve dug in deeper to the sands of random beach breaks.
I laughed at the concept of social distancing because I’ve been practising for this my entire adult life and these misfits of sand and short-period windwell fit the profile I’ve become. Plus, you can work on quick twitch, tight transitions… at least that’s my favorite rationalization on the eve of any trip.
The drive today was very familiar, it feels like my car can execute the distance without my attention.
I pulled up to an empty lineup scattered with dog shit peaks trying to lure this angry, grumpy local out of my warm car.
“Roll down your window, please,” the dark shadow on my passenger side requested.
I never saw him pull up behind me.
“What is going on, officer?”
“I’m going to ask you to drive home. If you require an explanation, I will ask for your license, registration and insurance docs. The fine is exorbitant.”
He had his ticket book in hand and opened to a page he has reserved for me.
Two weeks ago, I opened three emails that wiped out my business. I’m very sensitive to new debts and I didn’t want to find out what he means by “exorbitant”.
Rumors are floating that the new fines for surfing are one thousand dollars. That’s more than the flight to Auckland I canceled just three weeks ago.
I drove away from a virtually empty, mile-long stretch of beach and was now acutely aware of my surroundings.
Past the point break I’ve spent four decades surfing, I see the police barricade.
How did I miss it on my way just minutes before?
Two more sheriffs standing sentry over the beach park that the RV’s occupy. Another motorcycle cop sitting by the mushy reef I never surf.
Why are there so many law enforcement occupying such an innocuous roadway, empty of fellow travelers?
The freeway is vacant.
I stop to shoot the flashing warning signs without pulling over… there is no need to. There is one car in sight and it’s well ahead of me.
The turnoff to Rincon is not usually lonely.
And there he sits, another sheriff and there it sits, another flashing sign in the lower parking lot.
The waves don’t warrant a citation, but the message is clear, Ventura County surfing is being shut down.
Another “Brick in the Wall” or is it another attack on our common sense/logic?
We don’t have LA/OC/SD crowds beyond the dormant points, how can law enforcement close long stretches of lonely beach and why?
I drive by a horrible stretch of sand within the Santa Barbara County and notice young kids at play together looking like a surf school. The beach is relatively busy, just four miles from the closure zone.
How long until SB beaches are shuttered?
I drive home and grab the puppy for a short walk to look at my sand point, the venue of last resorts.
It reminds me that I’m looking for diamonds in a pile of coal.
Puppy doesn’t seem to mind and I aspire to have her attitude, though it’s too late to change my tiger stripes.
Tiger stripes, has that fucking show infected my consciousness?
I never watched TV beyond sports before this paradigm began.
I am now a Tiger in a cage.
Will the legal goal posts ever be removed or has the game changed?
How often have goal posts moved and then moved back again?
I can’t remember.