Monday, October 31, 2011

Dorsal Finned Jackasses

As a budding surfboard collector, I’m constantly prowling craigslist and eBay, looking for boards with some bit of value.  More often than not, I see boards that aren’t worthy of a dollar store bargain bin.  It pains me to see so many boards in such poor condition.  There are pages and pages of boards that are all dinged to hell, yellowed, delammed, dented, busted finned, buckled, etc.  I’m still utterly amazed at how surfers neglect their boards.  The last time I checked, no one was giving these things away. 

But you want to talk about surfboard abuse?  Have you seen what a shark can do to a surfboard?  They make those surfers who don’t give a damn about their boards look like archaeologists unearthing a pharaoh’s tomb.  Don’t these senseless man eaters realize how special a surfboard is to a surfer?  Sentimental value aside, don’t these selfish beasts realize surfboards don’t grow on trees?  Again, the last time I checked, no one was giving these things away.  This wasteful behavior just grinds my gears.

Eric Tarantino's board
d. 10/29/11 R.I.P.
Last Saturday, Eric Tarantino, a 27 year old surfer from Monterey, CA, was surfing at a local beach when a great white decided he’d jack up Eric’s board (not to mention his neck and arm, missing major veins and arteries by a mere millimeter), ending his surf session not 10 minutes after it had started.  Sure, Eric could’ve kept surfing but have you seen what salt water will do to foam (not to mention what a severe shark bite will do to a person’s blood supply)?  Eric was essentially forced to paddle in and call it day because of this senseless act of violence.
I realize shark attacks are isolated cases of mistaken identity, that surfers rarely die from their wounds, and that you have a greater chance of being struck by lightening and attacked by a grizzly bear on the same day (none of which I imagine makes Eric or any other members of the shark attack survivors fraternity feel any better), but c’mon!  As I’ve stated in an earlier blog, boards are special and unique!  And these sharks couldn’t care less.  A-holes.  Each and every one of them.

So consider this a call to action.  We’ve got the disenchanted middle class Occupying Wall Street in every major city.  Let’s get the frustrated surfer class Occupying Shark Street (or reef, sandbar, etc.) on every major beach.  In the words of Mr. Smith, “we’re mad as hell and we aren’t going to take it anymore!”  Until next time, may your waves by head high and glassy.

P.S. On a serious note: Eric, if you or anyone else who’s been attacked ever reads this, please know I don’t make light of your harrowing, near death experience and I’d never ever want to trade places with you.  I surf in the Red Triangle too and know full well we take our chances everytime we paddle out.  That said, I’m of the philosophy that humor helps people heal and I hope this served as a brief, light-hearted distraction from your physical, psychological, and emotional wounds.  If it didn’t, I sincerely apologize.  Either way, I am truly grateful you’re alive and wish you a speedy recovery and return to the lineup.

Jake Heron's board
d. 9/4/05 R.I.P.
Bethany Hamilton's board
d. 10/31/03 R.I.P.
Hannah Mighall's board
d. 1/11/09 R.I.P.