Things boiled over in 2016 when former Los Angeles police officer/current plaintiff Cory Spencer, pictured, and filmmaker/model Diana Reed sued members of the Lunada Bay Boys for assault, claiming that the boys were nasty to them.

Viability of “America’s most notorious surf gang” threatened after members’ hometown is sued following alleged assault, “We used to just pack our trauma into a country song, but now we’re in therapy, running into the arms of lawyers!”

Making a whole town exposed to lawsuits may force 'em to police the beach. Wouldn’t it be fun to be on the Anti-Localism Surf force?

Is your town responsible for your behaviors?

Will Taps be played over localism forever?

A California appeals court on Tuesday resurrected the lawsuit against the city of Palos Verdes Estates filed by two Los Angeles County surfers. The suit claims that the city of Palos Verdes is liable for injury to the surfers at the hands of the local Lunada Bay Boys, “America’s most notorious surf gang,” according to Newsweek.

This would mark the first time that a municipality, not an individual, would be held responsible for acts of localism.

If you are unaware, here’s the short of it:

A group of locals hailing from the well-heeled Palos Verdes estates compelled outsiders to surf elsewhere through various techniques. Rocks tossed, tires slashed, surfers finned, hurt feelings and the like.

Things boiled over in 2016 when former Los Angeles police officer/current plaintiff Cory Spencer and filmmaker/model Diana Reed sued members of the Lunada Bay Boys for assault, claiming that the boys were nasty to them.

Spencer states that one of the Boys ran him over while in the water.

The original suit went after members of the Bay Boys; A new suit is going after the city.

At the center of the litigation is the rock fort the Boys (men) built. The structure served as all around hang-out and ground zero for the alleged terrorist acts. In addition to serving as a place to gather, drink beer and grill meat (a euphemism?), the fort acted as a barrier to visitors, restricting free access to the beach and its waves.

Spencer’s lawsuit claims that the city allowed the rock and wood fort, now deconstructed, to stand, knowing that it acted as the bees’ nest of intimidation.

Spencer and his attorneys claim that the city basically “conspired with the Bay Boys essentially to privitize Lunada Bay.”

Because Palos Verdes Estates knew of the structure but failed to have it removed until after Spencer’s assault (twelve of the Boys agreed to keep out of the Bay for one year or pay up to ninety grand), they might be liable for damages as well.

According to the California Coastal Act, the creation of a structure such as the rock fort on any public beach is considered “development” and requires approval and strict planning process, which the town obviously did not do.

“The city, as landowner,” the appellate court stated, “violated the Coastal Act by maintaining the unpermitted rock fort on its property for decades.”

The city of Palos Verdes has maintained that they were steadfast in monitoring the area, keeping it safe for all.

However, the suit could spell trouble for Palos Verdes Estates and potentially any other municipality in California with localism issues. After all, who cares if one or two guys get arrested and fined a few bucks for fighting on the beach.

But making a whole town exposed to lawsuits may make city councils sit up straight.

It also may force towns to police the beach a bit more. Making sure everyone is smiling and such.

(Wouldn’t it be fun to be on the Anti-Localism Surf force? I’m dreaming of uniforms already.)

Now, a word about both parties:

The Lunada Bay Boys— the moniker whips up more impressions of chiffon and leather boardshorts with tap shoes in the evening than it does a surf gang— don’t have the legal right to keep anyone away from the waves. Some might see the Bay, however, as their house and every house needs a solid door with keys.


Matt Warshaw’s Encyclopedia of Surfing notes that “visiting surfers since the early 1970s have had rocks thrown at them while walking down the cliffside Lunada trail, and returned from the water to find their car windows broken and their tires slashed — the work of local surfers, the sons of millionaires, determined to keep their break free of outsiders.”

If Spencer and Reed hadn’t filed suit, these incidents have remained sub rosa. And Spencer’s lawsuit only asks that the city “pledge to keep the beach open to everyone, install a few signs, maybe a few benches.”


Could Spencer also not find a more hospitable place to surf near his home in LA?

Some might consider his actions too extreme. We used to just pack our trauma into a country song, but now we’re in therapy, running into the arms of lawyers.

“Show the court on this doll where the city hurt you.”

We’ll see where this all goes.

For now, the lesson can be simply to stay away from grown men playing in forts in the sand.

Chief of Sport Jessi Miley-Dyer (pictured) muddling messaging. Beth Hamilton barreled.
Chief of Sport Jessi Miley-Dyer (pictured) muddling messaging. Beth Hamilton barreled.

Devastating rumor proves true as World Surf League vindictively cancels Bethany Hamilton over trans-exclusionary views!

"We take pride in our efforts to promote equality and inclusion."

Yesterday, an explosive rumor floated from a fine source that Bethany Hamilton had been axed from the World Surf League’s second annual International Women’s Day celebration. Oh, you’ll certainly recall last year when Championship Tour surfers donned competition singlets adorned with the names of inspirational women during the MEO Rip Curl Portugal Pro. A wonderful gesture and, of course, Hamilton’s name was chosen not once but thrice.

Deservedly so.

The Kauai native burst onto the scene after a devastating shark strike stole her arm as a young teen. But did she give up? No. She persevered and wow’d the world. Not a bad word could ever be said.

Fast forward a decade or two and Hamilton may be the most well-known surfer on earth though became frustrated by the WSL’s new trans-inclusionary policy. She voiced her opposition, vowed a boycott and received much support with even Chief of Executives Erik Logan saying he “respected her views.”

But did he really? For according to the aforementioned source, professional surfers had asked to wear her name and were told, pointedly, “not allowed.”

Well, the complete list has been released today and let us review.

2023 WSL International Women’s Day Honoree Selections:

Kolohe Andino (USA): Sydney McLaughlin
Jadson Andre (BRA): Victoria Barros
Jackson Baker (AUS): Carissa Moore
Teresa Bonvalot (POR): Patrícia Mamona
Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR): Nawal El Moutawakel
Gabriela Bryan (HAW): Haven Shepherd
Macy Callaghan (AUS): Emma McKeon
Ryan Callinan (AUS): Poppy Starr Olsen
Joao Chianca (BRA): Tatiana Weston-Webb
Griffin Colapinto (USA): Janice Aragon
Courtney Conlogue (USA): Lisa Andersen
Johanne Defay (FRA): Laure Manaudou
Yago Dora (BRA): Hortência Marcari
Ethan Ewing (AUS): Helen Ewing
Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA): Teresa Bonvalot
Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS): Layne Beachley
John John Florence (HAW): Alex Florence
Ian Gentil (HAW): Amanda Nunes
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS): Susie O’Neill
Brisa Hennessy (CRC): Jimena Ruiz
Maxime Huscenot (FRA): Serena Williams
Caio Ibelli (BRA): Taliê Hanada
Kanoa Igarashi (JPN): Naomi Osaka
Ezekiel Lau (HAW): Melanie Bartels
Barron Mamiya (HAW): Moana Jones Wong
Caroline Marks (USA): Katie Ledecky
Matthew McGillivray (RSA): Bianca Buitendag
Sophie McCulloch (AUS): Jessica Watson
Jake Marshall (USA): Alyssa Spencer
Gabriel Medina (BRA): Marta
Seth Moniz (HAW): Kelia Moniz
Carissa Moore (HAW): Megan Abubo
Carlos Munoz (CRC): Frieda Zamba
Isabella Nichols (AUS): Rhiannan Iffland
Liam O’Brien (AUS): Pauline Menczer
Connor O’Leary (AUS): Akemi Karasawa
Lakey Peterson (USA): Venus Williams
Molly Picklum (AUS): Ash Barty
Miguel Pupo (BRA): Luisa Stefani
Samuel Pupo (BRA): Rayssa Leal
Jack Robinson (AUS): Amanda Nunes
Callum Robson (AUS): Cathy Freeman
Michael Rodrigues (BRA): Tita Tavares
Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW): Rell Sunn
Caitlin Simmers (USA): Nora Vasconcellos
Kelly Slater (USA): Margo Oberg
Jordy Smith (RSA): Natalie Du Toit
Filipe Toledo (BRA): Stephanie Gilmore
Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA): Beatriz Haddad Maia
Rio Waida (INA): Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu
Tyler Wright (AUS): Sam Kerr
Nat Young (USA): Kerri Walsh Jennings

Alex Florence 1 Bethany Hamilton 0.

Now, while I understand why the World Surf League’s various chiefs might feel sad about Hamilton’s view re. them, but doesn’t cancellation smell vindictive?

Chief of Executives Logan said, “We take pride in our efforts to promote equality and inclusion, not only as a global organization, but also as a sport and community. Our commitment to equal prize money and combined Tour schedules is a holistic approach that propels our sport forward and sends a strong message to up-and-coming surfers worldwide. As a league, we strive to set an example for other sports and act as a channel for ongoing transformation.”

What about the equality and inclusion, though, of surf and TERFs?

An unprotected class?

Chief of Sport Jessi Miley-Dyer added, “We are deeply committed to equality and the progression of women’s surfing. Our athletes and the WSL recognize the importance of using our platform to celebrate the values that make us unique in the sporting world. It is with great pleasure that we celebrate International Women’s Day and honor the trailblazers who have paved the way for women. I am thrilled that our athletes have embraced this opportunity to use their voices to champion women’s sports.”

Notably missing from the entire list are any trans athletes.

Much mess in messaging.


Scientists make shocking discovery at Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch flipping eons of conventional wave wisdom on its mangy head!

Minds officially blown.

The very first line of a new study appearing in the Journal of Fluid Mechanics and co-authored by scientists from the University of Southern California, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington as well as “scientists and engineers from the World Surf League” was enough to send shockwaves rippling through the surf community.

“Offshore wind (blowing from land to sea) tends to encourage development of the tubular barrel waves favored by advanced surfers.”


The smartypantses traveled to California’s dusty guts, Lemoore and home to Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch, in order to examine waves and wind up close and were astonished by their own findings.

“Surfers know when wind is offshore, the surf is generally better than onshore,” Scripps Oceanography coastal physical oceanographer and study lead Falk Feddersen said. “This is common surfing wisdom, but it has not been something that has been scientifically studied.”

The corollary “onshore winds, those blowing from the ocean onto land, instead tend to contribute to ‘spilling’ breaking waves in which whitewater cascades down the faces of waves resulting in lower levels of turbulence generation” was also witnessed in the field.

“It is remarkable to see a facility built exclusively for recreational surfing being used as a scientific instrument. The controlled environment and repeatability of the waves were of prime importance to this function,” added study co-author Adam Fincham, chief scientist of the KSWC and also a researcher at USC.

Between Chief of Sport Jessi Miley-Dyer, Chief of Executives Erik Logan and Chief of Science Adam Fincham, the World Surf League is a veritable confederation of tribes.

The study, anyhow, was sponsored by the Mark “Marko” Walk Wolfinger Surfzone Research Fund.

I would love for the fund to study the correlation between snarky comments and Joe Turpel during “Open Thread: Comment Live” on BeachGrit.

Margaret River, heavier than you think.

Surfer dies after being pulled from water at notorious WSL tour stop; police say other surfers’ efforts to save doomed man were “heroic”

Popular local surfer dies of suspected heart attack while surfing at stop number five on the World Championship Tour.

A man in what should’ve been his golden years has died after suffering a suspected heart attack at Main Break, Margaret River, around twelve pm today. 

Boyd Burkhardt, who was fifty-five and from nearby Cowaramup, was pulled from the water by six other surfers who carried out CPR until paramedic volunteers arrived and took over. 

Local police described the surfers’ efforts to get him to shore as “heroic”. 

Burkhardt’s family were on the beach. 

Margaret River, a powerful deepwater reef a few hours drive south of the Western Australia capital Perth, has a well-deserved reputation as a heavy wave. 

Two years ago, another popular Margaret River surfer Frank Hayter, who’d surfed in the amateur world titles, died when he got caught inside and his legrope got caught on the cheese-grater inside of the notorious Surgeon’s Table. 

Visitors to Main Break will have seen the the monument to indigenous shredder Creed Barnes who was eighteen when he was killed in identical circumstances in 1989.

In 2014, a man at Main Break was killed after being speared by his own board, bleeding out on the beach in front of is wife, two daughters and father. 

John John Florence and Carissa Moore, slinging medals for the USA or Hawaii?

World Surf League’s Che Guevara-esque Chief of Strategy lambasts International Olympic Committee as “shameful” for refusing to recognize Hawaiian sovereignty!

A crisis brewing?

Uh oh. Oops. Etc. The World Surf League is known for many things including ridiculous positivity, no negativity and serving milquetoast lukewarm. Thus, professional surf watchers were stunned, days ago, when Chief Strategy Officer Dave Prodan blasted the International Olympic Committee as “shameful” for refusing to recognize Hawaii’s “surfing sovereignty.”

As you well know, surfing was introduced at the 2021 neé 2020 Tokyo Games with much thrill and happiness. Certainly the waves were small and the show not so great but historic, nonetheless, with Brazil’s Italo Ferreira and the United States’ Carissa Moore wearing gold medals at the end.

Except shouldn’t it have been Hawaii’s Carissa Moore?

In World Surf League parlance the wonderful archipelago is considered a sovereign kingdom even though dastardly American capitalists stole in 1950 and rebranded a “state.”

John John Florence surfs for Hawaii. Kolohe Andino for the U.S.A.

Well, the IOC apparently ain’t as generous as the WSL, forcing Hawaiian surfers to Olympic surf under the Stars and Stripes and much to Prodan’s chagrin.

A “shameful act,” according to Prodan in his recent chat with fine Hawaiian Mitchell Salazar.

Oh, I’m with the Chief of Strategy Officers here. Absolutely pro revolution, as is the BeachGrit way, but fomenting trouble is really not World Surf League-esque.

In fact, very off brand, especially in light of Chief of Executives Erik Logan’s “seismic shift” telegraph which very much depends on surfing’s Olympic success.

Will there be heads?

I can’t imagine, but I’d also love to see Prodan put his opinion re. Hawaiian sovereignty where his loyalties are and campaign hard for a breakaway.

Chief of Strategy Officers Prodan, Kingdom of Hawaii has a real ring.