"The recreational integrity of surfing has been so hopelessly degraded by… kooks and their endless gear fetishes."
The avant-garde stylist and artist Tyler Warren, “shaper of longboards for lazy people” as one reader puts it, has had a swing at the e-bike craze that has turned Lowers and surrounds into a tangle of two-thousand dollar electric bikes, an immense black grotto of steel and rubber.
“The time has come to put our foot down and stop the use of Electric Bikes in California State beaches and parks,” writes Tyler. “Please sign the petition in my bio and help keep our special places not over run with excess of people and over useage that takes away from the beauty and peace of our last naturally beautiful places. The electric bikes have gotten so bad they are littered up and down beautiful state park beaches on a daily basis. It makes it feel like the 405 freeway when your out to get your fill of beach sand and ocean.
“Kids younger then 10 have them and race around with no respect or license. In this more n more of a rat race world we live in let’s keep the traffic on the street and not on our sand. With more and more E-bike companies, stores and purchases this is a snowball effect that we can’t turn our backs to.
“I have plenty of friends that ride them and get there ease but it’s getting out of control and no one is speaking up so I feel the need to protect the places I love and want to share with further generations knowing what it was like walking up the beach with a view of sand and water not a pile of E-bikes.”
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The issue is an emotive one and as crazy as it is, it’s fascinating to watch the bile explode.
Andy St Onge, from Sunset Beach, Oahu, whom you’ll remember as the author of the magnificent “One single wave can epitomise or encapsulate everything imaginable or possible in a surfing life”, was especially riled.
“All Kooks — foils, sups, jetskiis, yoga creeps, sellout wannabes, etc etc etc. If you don’t live there don’t surf there. Beat it. The recreational integrity of surfing has been so hopelessly degraded by the combined compounded impact of unrestrained commercialism with hordes of par venu kooks and their endless gear fetishes. Charlatans all. Including of course the plebeian aspiring surf stars who whore themselves out to the lowest bidder. Rabble kook scum one and all.”
Of the three hundred or so comments, most were on the side of Warren, his followers regarding their use as vulgar and opportunistic.
I find the e-bike a fascinating invention and marvel, often, at how quickly they came into common use, particularly at such a high price point.
Do you own a little electric bike? Are they as good as they look?
And have you seen, at close hand, the conga line of bikes to Lowers, everyone lined up, pricks to asses?