"It's been a battle since the beginning."
A few days back, you were introduced to a Cronulla bodyboarder turned jet-boarder who ruled the day of the year at Shark Island, the heaviest of the area’s reefs.
Following a post on the Instagram account @sufads, however, the figurative knives came out from surfers apparently jealous of Skull’s innovative and effective approach to wave-riding.
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“He’s a known pest and they’ve been trying to get him for a while now.”
“After wathcing this i think im now done with surfing forever.”
“Tbh you have to give the man credit, he has been a pest at shark island for years however on Sunday during a bodyboard comp managed to run through the lineup for about 30 mins. Every single person there told him to fuck off and he just kept doing laps kinda finding it funny hahahahahahaha.”
“Is this guy trolling? Looks like hes really trying to piss off the lids??”
“…this warrants violence.”
I figured it be instructive to meet Ronnie, a high-level bodyboarder who first rode Shark Island in 1987 and who was regularly appearing in boog magazines back when the sport was still at thing.
Ronnie knows what’s it like to be hated for his choice of craft; he lived through the boog-surfer wars of the nineties, a conflict stoked into a fever pitch by the non-surfing photographer Paul “Sarge” Sargeant, who would later be banned from the pro tour “for performing an unsolicited sexual act on another male journalist in his sleep, who suffered from violent nightmares for two years afterwards.”
This interview took place at a joint called Island Inflatables in Menai, west of Cronulla, and where Ronnie keeps a workshop.