Coastal Access Fights

have become increasingly acute, but this is a very esoteric verson of the access fight:

My homebreak (located in a pennisula town) definitely has a “local contingent”. Perhaps, I am romanticizing, but I’ve only seen enforcement against those who show a lack of etiquette or inability to surf in control in a very defined break with only two main peaks, created by its consistent rocky/boulder studded bottom. Took me over a year plus of year-round surfing to get myself accepted into the main line-up. None talked with me initially, especially as a goat surfer, but I didn’t get any overt hostility given that I stringently observed etiquette and demonstrated good control over my ride. The only time I got “snaked” was by another outsider. He eventually got a talking to, along with a bunch or “drop ins” on his rides by the local enforcers.

“Localism”, like just about anything, can be a force of good as well as evil. It’s the underlying intention.


Being accepted in the line up of a very crowded “local” break:


It’s amazing how some claim an exclusive right to waves. Surf wars! I wonder (if they have a car) whether they have a bumper sticker proclaming “War is Not the Answer” or “Coexist”.

Looks like fun, but too much distraction for me. In fifteen years of kayaking, I’ve never seen another kayak past the mouth of the river where it meets the Bay, about 4 miles from the launch. I’m sure there are others who go out there, but I’ve never happened to see them. I was out there with my sister and her son when a Natural Resource Patrol asked if we were ok and if we knew where we were. Replied yes, then he recalled talking to us about ten years ago, explaining that he rarely saw other kayaks out there.

I feel fortunate to have so much open, unclaimed waterway for exclusive use. On rare occasions during weekdays, I’ll might only see one boat in the distance. When the conditions are calm, and the waterway is empty, that’s the time to paddle on!

… or “This truck protected by Smith & Wesson” or “Stop the Steal” stickers. Hot-heads who’d rather fight than win come in blue, red and everything in-between.


You are closer to describing the personality type. In California most of the very territorial surfers are 50 + year old losers who need to feel like they are protecting their vision of the past. A lot of them have grown up surfing the spots since they were kids, but truth be told many of them live inland a long long way from the beach, and have anger issues about being losers. The best surfers are pretty chill, just don’t drop in on them.

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The “we own”…fill in the blank…waves, trails, rocks etc…mentality is often perpetuated by people who have little control over other aspects of their lives. For example, I have a subservient position at work; therefore, I control the local mountain bike trails, water etc. I haven’t come across this yet on the water but there is a guy near me who puts in a lot of advocacy time on bike trails and he treats them as his own property as a result, notwithstanding that the land belongs to the local municipalities.

Adventure Journal had a piece in the printed journal about surf culture in CA. I was left with the impression that some areas are controlled by street gangs with surfboards.


I don’t remember having any localism issues in the last few years, but I pick my spots pretty carefully. I also have not had anyone complain about my waveski for several years, probably because I surf a lot better than the agro weekend warrior longborders. A few years ago a ~ 45 year old woman was telling me to get out of the break with a “kayak”; I was pretty amused by this. She got louder and more angry every time I would take a wave. Three of the locals, started burning her every time she tried to take off, one guy who is very calm and polite and originally from Kauai was an absolute expert at sneaky burns and snaking. She finally got the point and stomped off to her Audi and left.

Nah that is a pretty big exageration. There are three or four spots in California where I would not surf because of localism : Davenport north of Santa Cruz, Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz, Lunada Bay in Palos Verdes, and Windandsea in San Diego. The bad guys are not really anything like a street gang, just assholes with attitude.

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@Buffalo_Alice, I understand, but “use of deadly force” is a legal standard. It isn’t even a fine line, but requires three elements, and its consistent in every state and US territory.

Regarding recent news stories, it doesn’t justify shooting through doors or people pulling into your driveway or someone standing on your lawn with a baseball bat. Living in Florida doesnt change that either. I’m familiar with concealed carry but opt out, because I personally believe it requires a change in demeanor and becomes a psychological drain.

My personal approach is to never telegraph you’re capability. Especially if you’re unsure of the other person’s capability or intention. I’m more docile than most and would rather look for a less crowded place. I don’t like crowds or hostile people like Disney World.


I’m not really a ‘surfer’ per se, but love playing in the surf.
I paddle a seakayak (the Progression or Petrel Play being what I like to ‘surf’ in).
So, when I head over to Hanna Park (near Jacksonville,FL), I just stay out of the surfers way, in a seakayak - it’s easy enough (fast to get around) - even if they get the best (formed) surf (at Hanna - it’s by the ‘poles’).

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Where did this come from? Who said anything about anyone getting shot? I don’t disagree with you, but I don’t see how this is germain to the conversation.

Oh, nothing specific, but comments in general on this thread and some other threads, including my post of a shotgun to take care of pesky drones, so nobody gets the wrong impression from me. Also a few implied comments about “protected by Smith and Wesson”. Lost strangers happy they didn’t get shot for taking a wrong turn. The dangers of living in Florida if someone pulled into the wrong driveway.

Comments may have been separate theads, but it seemed to be a theme today, so if for no other reason but my shotgun picture, I felt compelled to let everyone know that “I” knew enough to not shoot somebody’s drone out of the air. Unless it made repeat visits to my bathroom window. Then . . . That would be a different issue for me.

$90,000 fine and a year’s suspension from surfing there for one of the defendants, huh? That could’ve bought him a lot of new boards, as well as more than a few surfing-vacation flights to some pretty wavy exotic locations. Heckuva price to pay for being an arsehole.

Cue: Beach Boys, “Be True to Your School.”

As I premised, this is a bit of an “esoteric” example of limiting beach access. But, it is more clearly more related to the larger issue for the “haves” and “have nots”. The folks in the story aren’t just a “surfer gang” , as some presume. Rather, they are folks with resources that are behind most of the access fights, such as these:


“What’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is mine.”

Yeah, reading between the lines in the CA case, with the judge in the lower court’s initial dismissal, it was clearly a tell to me that the “haves” had played their card.

And in that Andrew’s Point story, Ms. Elizabeth Fisher looks like such a happy and compassionate person! (I would hate to be a shipwrecked sailor who gets washed up on those rocks on the beach behind her house, desperate for some kind of help. Sleeping on the boulders at high tide would be more accommodating than expecting aid from such a pleasing visage.)

A good deal of this reminds me of people who buy a condo over the top of a bar/nightclub, then complain about the noise.

But it goes on all across the country
I know Florida is also rife with these type cases on both coasts.