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Board Surfers: Rotten to the Core?

Maybe it’s just bad luck, but I have encountered some of the nastiest people I’ve ever met while surfing my kayak. Considering that I go to great lengths to avoid board surfers altogether, this is a surprise. Here are just a few stories:

In the summer of 1999, I was out surfing by myself at Westport (Washington) on a beautiful day in August. I counted over eighty board surfers riding waves near the breakwater, so I paddled a half mile south to a nice break I had all to myself. After an hour or so, I was joined by four other kayak surfers and we were having a great time sharing the waves. Then two board surfers walked down the beach and joined us in the break. In about 20 minutes, there was a confrontation when one of the kayakers and one of the boarders hopped on the same wave and made contact…

In the Spring of 2000, I was again surf kayaking by myself at Westport. The surf was lousy and only a few of us were out in it. (And nowhere near each other.) A few days after I got home, I was called by the Westport police who were investigating me for fraud on the claim that I had left a private campground without paying! Since I still had my receipt from Twin Harbors State Park I wasn’t too worried about fighting the cops, but I did want to know how I was “framed”. According to the campground owner, some “surfer kids” had put my license plate number down on their registration and then skipped out of town without paying. I guess the kayak rack on my car my me a mark…

In the Fall of 2000 I was in Los Cerritos, Baja Sur, where I met a Canadian man who had been out kayak surfing earlier in the day. Nearby, an American woman was running a surf camp for board surfers. When he paddled in for a break, the American woman yelled at him and told him (a Canadian) he had no right to be kayaking on this (Mexican) beach!!!

Fortunately, no person or property was damaged in any of the above encounters, but I’m sure other kayakers could add stories of finding their tires slashed or their windows broken… The board surfers say kayakers don’t know the “rules” of surfing but apparently their rules supercede any legal code.

So what’s the solution? Hormone therapy? Segregated beaches? Police escorts? The surf is getting dangerous and I’m not talking about the water. Thoughts?