And surfboard co-op Channel Islands to replace savaged Fish Beard gratis…
Gav Klein is a twenty-eight-year-old contractor and a shredder who describes his surfing as “a poor man’s Jadson Andre.”
Last Saturday, while surfing at a westside reef notable as the place adaptive surfer Mike Coots lost his foot as an eighteen year old in 1997 (“I remember flying down the road to the hospital lying down in the bed of the truck with blood just pouring out of my leg and down through the tailgate. I got attacked pretty early in the morning—around the same time kids were getting to school—and I remember passing all these cars full of parents and kids. As we passed them, they would look at me in the bed of the truck with my foot torn off and they would just pull over. I’ll never forget the look on their face when they realized what was going on”), Gav paddled straight into a twelve-foot Tiger.
A pretty sorta day. Two guys out, Gav’s uncle and a grom. Gav remembers sitting up and looking to see if his Uncle had made a wave, and was pushing forward on his board when, he says, he ran into a rock.
It’s a reef, there’s rocks.
“But where I was it wasn’t shallow. Six feet deep.”
Gav looks and sees “this big grey head. No eyes. Super fast. Everything moving super fast. It latched onto the nose of the board. I let go of the board and then floated over its head as it pulled it down.”
Next thing, Gav grabs the board back, the shark has let go, and he climbs onto the flipped board, hands and feet pulled out of the water and starts screaming at the grom to get the hell out of the water.
“That’s when I looked at the bottom of the board and saw the bite. Oh, shit, it really was a shark.”
Gav says he froze for a moment, figuring the shark was going to come back and finish what he started. When he realised he was gonna have to get to the beach, he paddled hard, yelling at the kid, again, and his uncle to clear the water.
On the sand, a giant turtle had beached itself.
“It wasn’t there when we paddled out,” he says. “That the shark was chasing the turtle is a good assumption.”
Gav didn’t post about the attack until word and photos crept along the grapevine and Channel Islands, via nineties pro Rochelle Ballard, contacted him and said they were going to replace his banged up Fish Beard gratis.
The aftermath of the attack, he says, has been a couple of weird shark dreams, although he ain’t claiming PTSD, he’s surfed hard a mile down the beach since and has no qualms about returning to this wave, and a feeling of gratitude that he isn’t shopping for prosthetics.
“There was no time to be scared, no anticipation. If I had to watch the shark coming towards me and trying to eat me, that would be terrifying. It was almost like a I bumped into someone walking backwards on the street, like, ‘Oh sorry, man’, and we went our separate ways.”