Comparing surfers to climbers


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Jeffrey VanMiddlebrook

Boulder climber
Mountain View, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Mar 17, 2013 - 03:07pm PT
Just got an e-mail and FB from an old Pagrovian friend I haven't seen since our respective daughters who are now 28 were little girls. He's an accomplished artist of some repute and a well-known underwater cinematographer living in Maui. He found me on FB via a mutual friend of ours from Big Sur.

So I'm going to Maui in June with the hope of finding some waves to ride, and my old pal plans to meet up with me to share some waves.

So we chatted about what the vibe is at the surf spots over there and I'm disappointed to learn that it's as juvenile as it was when I was still a surfer in the 60s/70s. One of the main reasons I abandoned the waves for the mountains was that prevailing Mickey "Da Cat" Dora punk-ass mentality that dominated the surf scene: "Off my wave, kook, coming down, I'll kick out on your head!"

Who needs that childishness?

I cannot say that no climber(s) has/have never shouted "Off my rock, gremmie, coming up, I'll cut your rope!" but my guess is that the xenophobic insanity that rules surfing is totally devoid among climbers. It's been my pleasurable experience over the decades to find 98% of climbers to be friendly, engaging, helpful, encouraging, and eager to exchange ideas instead of fists.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 17, 2013 - 03:13pm PT
Good idea to see what is already under discussion...

Sportbikeville & Yucca brevifolia
Mar 17, 2013 - 03:29pm PT
Dude, it's in every sport!

Last weekend I'm entering the MX course on my CRF450 and some kid (20's?)
that was just sitting there jumps in front of me and sends me a huge gravel blast from his rear tire. Obviously he wanted to show what a badass he was. I chased him at speed for a couple of turns and passed him 2 turns before a huge mud hole. I made sure he was just left and back of me when I landed in the deepest nastiest part of the swamp. As I exited the next turn I looked back to see him wombling around at 5 mph trying to figure out where he was.
He looked like a bronze statue dipped in tar.

He had the 'tude so yeah brah, I "kicked out on his head"
Childishness has it's place :)
BTW I'm 52


Boulder, CO
Mar 17, 2013 - 04:21pm PT
six out of 30 of the topics on the first page are yours.

ponder that fact before it becomes seven.... maybe?

Edit: was surfing in costa rica yesterday morning. Now back in the Peoples Republic psyched for climbing season. that relates to something....

Sportbikeville & Yucca brevifolia
Mar 17, 2013 - 04:42pm PT
pay no attention to the peanut gallery.
Cut loose man!
This is a playground. Play.
Only rule here is: don't show your tits!
Spray brother spray!

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Mar 17, 2013 - 05:31pm PT
At least there is the word "climbing" in this title.
Ryan Tetz

Trad climber
Flagstaff, AZ
Mar 17, 2013 - 05:32pm PT
Try Kitesurfing. Kitesurfers are friendly across the board. There is plenty of resource to go around. Go out for an hour then come in and hang an hour on the beach and make friends then go back out! Lots of old guys doing it now days. Windsurfing is going out of style as more get into kiting!

Mar 17, 2013 - 05:33pm PT
Oh, I thought it said comparing surfers to clammers!
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Mar 17, 2013 - 05:52pm PT
Hey, stay there, JVM.
Comparing almonds to peanuts.
Tires to skateboard wheels.
Virgins to nuns.
Peanut butter to Nutella.
Nascar to the abandoned outhouse in your uncle's field,
it's all good. Nobody worh knowing cares anyway.
We're all dots on a blank page anyway.
You can't see the differences from where you are anyway.
You must rely on others to describe it anyway.
But you will be lied to, and cheated on no matter what.

That you may be cheating us of important schizz otherwise topical is a load of schizz in itself...

I gotta go locate my popcorn and kandy korn.

Thanks for joining the party/campfire.
Which way to the coffee shop?
Jeffrey VanMiddlebrook

Boulder climber
Mountain View, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 17, 2013 - 07:47pm PT
Don't know squat about Maui breaks. This old geezer ain't a-been on a board since 2004 when I tried to get my then twin 14-year-old sons interested in surfing in Santa Cruz. I found that I can no longer take that F-ing cold water on my head and ears, so I quit "again". But now my Maui artist pal wants to link up in June over there and go riding.

I just want a mellow experience without having to deal with adolescent testosterone junkies acting like displaying male baboons, if you get my drift. Been there, did that decades ago, surf clubs and surf-outs and all that childish bullshit we young bucks went through so long ago. I'm 63 and not interested in anyone's macho trip.

Back in the mid-1960s the surf club I was in went to an LA break called Lunada Bay for a laid-back day of brotherly intra-club competition when the Wind-n-Sea club showed up and a melee almost ensued simply because of that insipid territorial crap. A W&S hot-shot of that era by the name of Mike Purpus kicked out on me and our club's enforcer dude had to be stopped from trying to kill Purpus. That was the defining day for me when I decided I had had enough of that scene, and I quit the club and became a lone surfer.
Jeffrey VanMiddlebrook

Boulder climber
Mountain View, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 17, 2013 - 08:14pm PT
Don't worry, Pud, I'm never phased by the "peanut gallery". I've been a public writer/figure for decades very accustomed to people not agreeing with me and attempting to make me feel hesitant to be who I am. I chalk it up (no pun intended, but I'll take credit anyway) to the desire for others to control, and nobody controls me.

Best way to deal with the peanut gallery is to ignore them. Best strategy because they can't stand being ignored. But they joke back and forth between themselves just to make themselves feel important. I get it and it's pretty funny, very transparent.

Social climber
humboldt nation
Mar 17, 2013 - 09:47pm PT
when climbin' i'm surfin the stone, find the true line and link the sections, fluidity rules we all know,
so let go of this is that and that is this, it's all surfin man, ask jimmy he'll tell ya so
Captain...or Skully

Mar 18, 2013 - 12:17am PT
Anybody compares me to a surfer gets kicked in the nuts.

Social climber
Mar 18, 2013 - 12:36am PT
Comparing surfers to climbers

STFU, N00b!

Mar 18, 2013 - 01:03am PT
climbers climb more than surfers surf.

Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Mar 18, 2013 - 01:53am PT
Life is suffering.

Climbing is my life.

Climbing is suffering.

Climbing hurt my foot.

Surfing hurt by back.

Dancing hurt my pride.

Swimming hurt my feelings.

Shooting hurt my eyes.

I'm gunna die...
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Mar 18, 2013 - 02:14am PT
Are sharks the rockfall of surfing?

Women surfers dress better than women climbers.

Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane ~:~
Mar 18, 2013 - 02:23am PT
Dood, I'm a surfer and a climber. Sounds like I grew up around the same time period as you. Personally, I can fully relate to the Dora "mentality" regarding waves. The man paid his dues, surfed Malibu, Trestles, Saltcreek & Rincon during the late 40's & 50's when there were zero crowds. Then was hit with the "Gidgit" era. Must have been very demoralizing. He definitely had an attitude, and I would prollie would have kicked his ass (or he mine) if we had crossed paths, but i definitely respected the dood.

But, I can understand where he was coming from. Look at all the videos where these lame jerks are simply dropping in on him at Malibu, bitd ... zero respect. There is nothing worse than having some goon from who-knows-where show up at a surf break that you have paid your dues at by working/fighting yer way till yer top dawg, which can take years (out surfing, paddling & manuevering) your way up through the fearcly competitive crowd (hey, that is the way surfing is, there are only so many waves per set, 3-5) and then having some goon (or simply & totally disrespectful individual / disrespectful of someone already on the wave is what I am talking about, b'cuz them's the rulz, bro) dropping in on you during one of the premier days of the season. It's all about respect, always has been & hopefully always will be.

I grew up here in San Diego, paid my dues during the 60's & early 70's at a place called Nubreak at Sunset Cliffs. FWIW, I was there when Jeff Ching asked Steve Lis if he could take out his 5'2" Fish kneeboard (Steve was taking off/dropping in deeper in the barrel than any of us standup surfer's at that time) and he (Jeff) 1st stood up on the thing and surfed it. It statted a whole new era in surfing. I got my first Fish very shortly after that. Billy Caster (Challenger/Caster Sufboards) shaped me and Larry "Geppie" Gephardt (Geppie Keel Fins) Challenger Fish's, since we got free boards from him (BC was the primier shaper on the West Coast & in the whole world, imo). He shaped me a 5'7" Fish & Stevie Lis shaped my second Fish, which was a 5'6".

Those were exciting, and for the most part, laid back times. I really didn't give anyone sh#t, unless they gave me sh#t. But, like I said, whenever a big NW swell would roll through, the place would get hundreds of "surfers" from up north coming down. We were there every day. Rain or shine, shitty swell or whatever. We respected eachother, even the kooks from the colege (now called PT Loma Nazerene) on the hill above that came down and happened to get a good wave in front of us every now and then (we never cut nobody off) just as long as they abided by the same rules.

But these guys would come down in droves (mainly from Newport & vicinity) and shoulder hop you. Do you have any clue what that would be like at 8'-12'+ Nubes? Let me tell ya, in the very least, it would mean a long swim in and a gnarly rock dance over the jagged reef, which would take a good half hour or more when there was a big winter swell. BTW, there were no goon cords (leashes) then, and they still are not allowed/highly frowned upon at Nubes today (if yer entertaining thoughts of surfing there).

Back then, I personally would give somebody a not-so-polite warning when I eventually paddled back out. I could pretty much tell how it was gonna go from the response I got. I would have preferred a, "Sorry, won't happen again." or "Sorry didn't see ya.", and i would give him the benefit of the doubt. But things could get real nasty real quick.

Let me explain sumpthin. Nubreak is probably the very best (is in my opinion and i have surfed everything from San Miguel/Baja to Rincon and the Lane up north) reef break, or surf break period on the Mainland. But it is also one of the most dangerous at low tide (which happens to be when it is best). We were the very first crew to take off on the far backside of the second peak as the swell rolls in and therefore get covered up/barreled and come out and pump down the line and come in the backdoor of the second/inside barrel. That would require manuevering through/across some very sketchy boils & riffle areas where it is sucking up sand (inside the barrel) and you can see the reef, you eat it there, your gonna make contact (hard & very sudden) contact with the reef. That could have some very serious consequences, especielly on a double overhead and minus tide day.

So, like I said, you get somebody who shows up only a couple times a year (or less) and all they do is sit on the inside of the pack and shoulder hop people, well they are gonna get a major ass wipping sooner or later.

That was the very beginning (more or less). And it just got worse. I still have full status (for lack of a better definition) at Nubreak, because I am still recognized there by the guys I surfed with back in the day. Many have never left (other than to go to the Islands, etc). They still rule the area to this day. It is just the way it is, has become over the years.

Just go down to the Cliffs (Sunset Cliffs) during one of the pre-forcasted big winter swells and count the cars (let alone the surfers). You will see as many as 100 guys out at one f*#kin' lame ass (as far as the Cliffs go/there are a lot of so-so breaks at the cliffs, imo), and just as many or more scraping for a wave on a 3-5 wave set at such classic Sunset Cliff breaks as Ab's (Abalonie's), Subs, and Chasem's, etc! Something had to be done about Nubes. There has always been a crew there, even when i started, and I paid my dues the hard way from '65-'72, and therafter have represented/stood up for the place. It's just the way it is.

I go into surf shops in OB (Point Loma/San Diego) and young surfer's, ones that are well sponsored and on there way to being well known in the surfing industry (or already are/don't want to mention names) and they tell me they will go no where Nube's, even though they grew up just down the street (Ocean Beach) and have surfed other breaks, even the adjacent breaks (Abs & Chasims) at the cliffs all their lives. When I ask them why, they just say, "It ain't worth it, ain't worth the hassel." Like I saw/read somewhere on Surfline, it is known as being, "HEAVILY guarded". It is just the way it is.

So, if yer thinking of visiting the Cliffs, surf wherever you want and you will probably have a pretty good time (with the 100 or so other peeps out on the prollie stellar day ya chose to make the pligrimage) but there are LOT'S of regular days that you ill find great surf with practically no one out at many of the breaks. Just stay away from Nubes, particularly if ya don't have excellent manners, lol!

It was'nt like that initially, just grew steadily worse. People came down with their Malibu way of surfing (take turns dropping in on whomever was on the wave). I mean, go up to Malibu and watch them surf it. You get to ride the frickin wave for 20-30 yards and then somebody shoulder hops ya and its there turn. What a joke.

Plus, Nubes is a reef break with, like I said, two sections you have to make it through to get into perfect barrels. It is not a boring/monotinous (comparitively speaking) forever curling point break like Malibu where the most exciting thing that can happen is a nose ride or whatever. It (Nubes) is the closest thing that comes to the North Shore on the West Coast/Mainland.

I can only speak for Nubes/the Cliffs, my local territory. I rarely go/surf there anymore (since i screwed up my knee in '01) but could without any hassle. Not spraying, just the way it is. But that took a lot of time and hard work, and I still respect and understand why it is what it has become today. The world ain't a perfect place. And I got plenty of crap whenever I went to various other spots around San Diego, but I LIKED to kick ass (in regards to someone who first picked a fight with me, and particularly if they were bully's) so it didn't slow me down. I simply hate bully's and can understand how many people feel about the situation. And many of these guys are simply bully's (that i have seen on Youtube vids).

Like I said, it aint a perfect world. It's tuff out there. Sonny Garcia got his ass kicked here in San Diego a couple years ago for coming and thinking he could snake his way into the lineup and hog all the waves at one particular break. And Sonny is no stranger to fisticuffs, he protects his local NS breaks with a vengeance. And even Nat Young got a beat down in Aussie land for being an azzhole a while back. That is just the way it has gotten.

There are still plenty of places to surf without any hassle, all over San Diego. Pick just about any beach break from IB (Imperial Beach) to La Jolla, or Oceanside for that matter = No Problemo. You will be out there with every other kook and gremmie in San Diego (and during the summer, vactioner's from Arizona/Zonies & elsewhere) and their mothers & grandmothers who wanna try surfing fer a day. And there are some excellent beach breaks, btw. But there are places, not all the time but some time, where yer gonna get hassled, just the way life is. I personally never let it stop me, and I surfed pretty much regularly up until the early 00's!

I mean, there are places in the inner-city that are much more dangerous that i have entered time and time again handing out Gospel tracks, etc, for crying out loud. Think about it, handing out 'God Love's You' tracks and Christian rap tapes in "Gangland". Have known of young teens, etc, do the same, risked life and limb. Had, personally, 'Dirty harry' magnums (big mothers) stuck in my face by crack dealer's and told to haul ass or else. Probably shoould have, but I was there first. Some things are worth fighting for.

So, wudevah!

BTW, if ya think that the Valley etc., were a whole lot diferent, bitd (and currently for that matter) then ya never heard of Wings of Steel!

edit: Some of these guys these days are simply bully's and pricks and I am tempted, even at the age I currently am, to show up and tell them off, regardless of the outcome. You have probably heard about the, "Bird Rock Bandits" who all ended up in prison (the leader for 25 years to life) for ganging up on a world class surfer (& Christian, btw) and local from a break just down the street from theirs ( Wind & Sea) outside his mothers house (at W&S) and he ended up dying from a head injury as a result.

But hey, for the most part bitd, that is they way it was on the North Shore of Ohau decades ago tell now. When i was in High School and all my friends were coming back with these horror stories about how all the Mokes (local Hawaiins/BIG doods, btw) would single out Haolies (mainland white boy surfers/particularly blond haired ones) and kick their ass real good. It sent chills down our spines. We didn't have any nightmares about getting swept out to sea during huge surf or drowning during a double hold down,+ or getting sucked into one of the notorious underwater coral reef caves and not getting out in time. We had nightmares of getting a Royal Hawaiin Asskicking. Like they say, "Life's a beach, then you die." End of rant! lol

EDIT: I just wanted to add, we had one of our very best friends and Cliffs/Nubes local, die as a result of a surfing accident at Nubreak during the winter of '76, he bleed out right there on the beach in front of our eyes. His name was Bruce "Cornie" Cornwall (RIP). I went to High School with him (clas of '68) and surfed with him practically everyday for years on end. Like I said, conditions can get extremely dangerous at Nubes (and surfing in general)!
Ryan Tetz

Trad climber
Flagstaff, AZ
Mar 18, 2013 - 08:22am PT
Like I said. Kitesurfers way cooler way more friendly every day is a huge social party on the beach the more the merrier. Surfing is way too much BS.

El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Mar 18, 2013 - 10:33am PT
Embrace your kookdom.
Stick to a spot that matches your ability.
Respect the other kooks.
Have fun.
Simple as that.

You got hassled by Mike Purpus?


Boulder, CO
Mar 18, 2013 - 10:35am PT
Am I a kook if though I live in Boulder Colorado I'm thinking I need to own a surf board?
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Mar 18, 2013 - 11:31am PT
Mike Purpus today:

Purpus had a cousin that lived in Santa Cruz and was a surfing friend of mine back at the end of the Sixties. Looked a great deal like him but quite a bit taller and was similarly belligerent, Rick Noe. Rick grew up with Mike and was still griping about Mike and his little coterie of buddies long after he and Mike were "done" with each other. It's true, the worse thing about surfing is some of its young male participants. Some old ones too. Purpus had both hips replaced in the nineties, I gather. He even was a Playgirl cover model one issue. I found those images on google but haven't posted them as they are, exactly, nudes. But jesus, so funny. Here is a "safe" one:

Credit: Playgirl Magazine

For followers of this tiny bit of history, Purpus' cousin, Rick Noe with son, who still carries on the shaping business, Noe Surfboards. I think Rick is paraplegic here.

Credit: Noe Surfboards

Social climber
Mar 18, 2013 - 11:37am PT
It has more to do with where you live, then your sport. Joshua Tree locals, Idyllwild locals... coolest people to deal with. Mountain Folk who have to deal with bullshit don't get too precious.

Crowded places with people who are full of sh#t, they get the 'localism' shtuffs. San Diego is a prime example, the surfers are territorial and the climbers sometimes follow suit. I feel its more the proximity of crags to cities, cities that make you think that all this bullshit infrastructure means something.

If you slave away at a desk 5 days a week, 8 hours a day, f*#k yes you are coming down on that kook. If it's just another day at the crag or the beach, eh... another wave will come.

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
Mar 18, 2013 - 11:39am PT
nature. . . no. . . it's ALL ABOUT THE GEAR . . . but. . . if you buy a board and don't ride it for a year. . . THEN YOU'RE A KOOK!


Mar 18, 2013 - 11:43am PT

Mountain climber
Mar 18, 2013 - 12:37pm PT
Lost of writing on this thread so I didn't read it all - hope I'm not repeating what's been said:

I was surfing and climbing at the same time. About 15 years ago after I witnessed (for the millionth time) some good surfer out in the water wearing his underwear (tighty whities) yelling at some noob kook to get off his beach, I decided at that point "I don't want to be part of this culture anymore". So I stopped and further embraced climbing because it's a brotherhood where everyone for the most part is helpful to one another. Very chill.

That being said, I do miss being out in the water looking back on land and I miss working a wave face.

Maui is awesome, there are plenty of breaks there. Just stick with your friend as that will help you with the locals. Plenty of friendly breaks on the island, but The Harbour in Kahului I do recall as a fiercely competitive spot you may want to avoid.

Shaka brah!


Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Mar 18, 2013 - 01:32pm PT
If surfing were a sport that occurred in a gun-happy state, the problem would be self-correcting. All the aggro types would wind up killing one another. I applaud the notion that surfers seem to be able to restrain their violence to beating other people up, but then the idea of striking other people over something like climbing or surfing seems very odd to me. I'm very familiar with the culture, having grown up in PB, and living in OB for many years as well. Even in the very early 70's surfing was way too crowded and (I hate this word) "mainstream". Climbing was far more likely to get you killed back then, which made it more fun, and there were like two dozen hardcore five-days-a-week climbers in the whole city. Santee and Woodson ere ghost towns and The Gorge was totally empty during the week and often on the weekends. You could go to Josh and score a campsite in Hidden Valley at 11pm on a Friday night, and know every single climber there. Localism in climbing has always been confined to keeping your mouth shut about a place. If strangers wandered in, often as not you'd wind up sharing a fire with them that night. But in the water -- way too many surfers, not enough waves. It's a food riot and people behave very poorly. What makes it even more distaseful is the fact that localism and "beat-downs" have become deeply embedded, and even celebrated in an odd way, into the culture.

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Mar 18, 2013 - 01:42pm PT
It sounds a lot like the way I'm treated on the golf course when I get on with my noob set of skills. "Hey &#$hole, go play on a par 3, comin' through!"

I just reach into my bag, quaff a warm one and whack away into the nearest water hazard.

El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Mar 18, 2013 - 02:22pm PT
Remember the video posted recently of a couple of guys learning to aid on Freeblast?
Look at some of the replies to their TR.
Now imagine beginners doing their thing all over El Cap.
Would the locals eventually get fed up?

I'm glad localism isn't prevalent in climbing but I'll be damned if there weren't a time or two I wished there were a surly local around to tell someone to beat it.

Social climber
Mar 18, 2013 - 02:33pm PT
Sometimes bad behavior needs to be addressed. Not by me, I'm not the fighting type. There is always some borderline criminal that looks like a MS-13 member to lower the boom on the guy taking all the waves on a stand up board or whatever.

We have some localized spots around my town but they are increasingly rare. Santa Cruz is basically just overrun with masses.

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Mar 18, 2013 - 02:35pm PT
Yeah Jefe, I made fun of those guys, but gave 'em some good-natured advice as well. Thats about as bad as we get. Nobody was waiting at the base to thump 'em when they bailed. But there's no telling what would happen if there were only 50 routes in the Valley, they were only in good condition 5 times a year at best, and there were people jamming up the routes while a dozen others waited their turn...

Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane ~:~
Mar 18, 2013 - 06:21pm PT
Now imagine beginner's doing their thing all over El Cap.

Or, perhaps wrap yer head around this scenario/analogy. Yer leading some route that is at, or near the top of yer freeclimbing/leading ability. Yer about 20'+ out past yer last pro & in the middle of the crux (let's say it's an 11+ tips crack), another couple of moves and yer home free on easy ground. Suddenly some d00d swings/penjies over from an adjacent crack and sinks his hands into the 5.2 splitter just a few feet above you and starts fiddling with his rack and putting in some pro. Yer stuck right in the middle of the crux with nowhere to go and ya end up taking a 40'-50' screamer, into a dihedral and get busted up, or maybe ya even deck.

His excuse (if he even offers one) is he couldn't finish the lead he was on, so he exited to the top of yer route/easy ground. WTF!!!

Highly unlikely scenario in rockclimbing, I know, but it's what happens at the more advanced/expert (for lack of a better classification)surf spots all the time during big NW swells, etc! Like I said, you could be freighting it down the line into the backdoor of a spitting peak (over a very shallow reef) and just as you pull into it and are about to get barreled/tubed, some g00n drops into (shoulder hops) the far side of the peak. The wave closes out on you and you eat it big time on a jagged reef.

I'm not talking about some sandy bottom beach break. I got sucked over the falls twice (under water) a double hold down on a duble overhead day during a minus/low tide (-2' or so). Which happens to be supreme cliff conditions. I came within a couple (2-3) seconds of drowning/loosing my life. It goes/went like this...

I was sitting outside at Nubes inbetween sets and turned from watching the horizon (for the next set) to see what my dog was doing on the beach. When I turned back, everyone was scratching like hell because this huge (may 14'-15') cleanup set/wave was coming in. YIKES. I paddled like hell but got caught inside. I almost made it, but it came right over on top of me. Like I said, we don't use g00ncords/leashes at Nubes, so, rather than ditch my board and dive for the bottom, I decided to tuck the tip under my arm and dive hard into the base of the wave, hold onto it for just a second, and hope that it will pop up on the backside of the wave rather than get taken all the way in.

Wrong move. I hung on a second too long and I got sucked up and over the lip (all while being under water) and slammed on the bottom and drug along the reef. No big deal at that point, because ya generally pop up and are able to grab a braeth before ya get slammed by the next wave. But, instead of popping up, I suddenly feel myself getting sucked up and over the lip of this huge wave a second time (went through the cycle twice) and was slammed and drug/tumbled along the bottom a second time. That's a long time under water.

I recall that my lungs were about to burst. You reach your max (holding your breath) and you start to spasm. You fight it it with all you've got. But it's a reflex that you can only subdue for so long, and then it feels like a peep (only way I can describe it). PEEP (you spasm and suck in water). Your biting down on your jaw and piercing your lips with all you've got, but this (what seems like) this peep (actually a convulsion and you suck in water through your pierced lips) happens.

You then continue to fight it/hold it for a few seconds (maybe 5-6) then you have another convulsion/peep and suck in more water. I recall that happening three (3) times, while I was tumbling and not knowing which way was up or down. After that third convulsion/peep (sucking in water with it) I new that was it. I new I couldn't fight it any longer, and I was going to explode the next time. I had 3-4 seconds max to live, and I new it, but, fortunately I popped up. Like I said, I was within seconds of drowning. I was coughing up tiny pieces of kelp for weeks after that.

My point is, although that was of my own doing/mistake, it could have easily been the result of some g00n shoulder hopping someone.
Credit: Jeff Divine
^ pic circa '73-'74!

That's the head/start of the trail at the top of Ladera St that leads to the primo Cliffs surf spots that I was talking about (Subs, Abs, Nubes & Chassem's). I have prollie walked that trail (about 1/2 mile) over 1,000 times over the years to surf. Some of the very best days & memories of my life (outside of climbing & skiing).
east side underground

Hilton crk,ca
Mar 18, 2013 - 08:55pm PT
If you don't climb ......don't start.........heh heh heh

El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Mar 18, 2013 - 09:28pm PT
Localism is one thing, enforcers/regulators are another.

Most climbers are nice and welcoming to visiting climbers regardless of their ability level. In fact, local climbers are usually psyched to give visitors a tour- show off the area and, you know, sandbag ;-)
With surfing, no matter how hard you rip or how respectful you are, you show up at the wrong spot and you'll get hassled/vibed. That kinda sucks.
But then again, I didn't grow up surfing an heirloom "secret" spot that has seen a steady invasion over the years.
I've been hassled just for being out there, in Hawaii, Costa Rica, and California. I usually just stick to the known spots and/or put on my cloaking device.
The fact that most people avoid spots like Nubreak, Fullers, Lunada bay, and Silver Strand goes to prove that localism works. Unfortunate but true. Their reputation precedes them.
Hawaii can be a real bummer, especially being blonde. That goes beyond racism!
east side underground

Hilton crk,ca
Mar 18, 2013 - 09:45pm PT
my bro bitd was the "enforcer" at a few of the little dume surf spots, the rock , the hut etc. I remember him "persuading "more than one fellow who had wandered up and paddled out, that they wern't allowed to surf there. Kinda brutal but it kept the line-up mellow. A trip to surf good waves in the middle of LA with only a few guys and no hassels
Credit: east side underground

grew up surfing this spot , when it was heavliy localised, these days , no so bad. just DON"T BE A KOOK! Also, NO SUP, thankyou.
The Warbler

the edge of America
Mar 18, 2013 - 11:02pm PT
My experience has been that the "locals" who are the most vocal aren't true locals, as in born and raised in the town with the particular break in question, but rather outspoken imported wannabe true locals who use excessive aggression and intimidation to compensate for their lack of true localness.

That said, it can be a positive thing, occasionally, if a problem surfer is harassed out of the lineup, but mostly it just fuks up the vibe in the water as much as the offending surfer does.

Lots of surfers in California grew up on the beach with affluent parents and their elitism (localism) is bred into them to a certain extent. Climbers aren't that way so much. Also surfing is more of a performance sport with an audience, namely chicks in their underwear sprawled all over the sand, whereas climbing is, or used to be, mostly done in remote, rugged terrain, with a single partner. The personalities of climbers vs surfers reflect that. I would say that climbers on the average are significantly more intelligent than the average surfer.

Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Mar 18, 2013 - 11:08pm PT
yeah, all true Kevin.
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