Surf Rage

By Caroline Agbayani

From Sea to Shining Sea, 

The Quest For The Perfect Wave Can be Brutal

The rage epidemic has emerged among the high seas.  Come hell or high water (pardon the pun), surfers across the world are addressing the not-so-new phenomenon dubbed "Surf Rage".  Increasing acts of surfer violence have been so severe that at certain beaches, undercover police are needed to patrol beach-goers and surfers and some victims of surf rage required hospitalization.


Click on Blood On the Waves for original article

According to this article at, "Increasingly, surfers are losing it.  Fists are thrown, knives are brandished, out-of-towners are ganged up on, cars are vandalized and boards are speared at heads."


This CNN article demonstrates that world-class surfers, as revered as they are, are prone to malicious and aggressive attacks in the water by other surfers.  Surfing champion, Nat Young was a victim of surf rage when his face was beaten to a bloody pulp by another surfer.  Young, whose nickname is "The Animal" was attacked by another surfer because he ended up beating his attacker's son because he was swearing at him.  "Animal" instincts provoked the enraged Young to retaliate but ultimately, he got his face rearranged.  Young also plugs his book "Surf Rage" to help diffuse problems amongst surfers.  This story also gives descriptive accounts of "Blood on the reef" incidents that happened around the world.  I chose this article because I believe that Young is serving as a good role model for those surfers guilty of promoting surf rage.  He acknowledges his own problems as a greedy and aggressive surfer and uses that as a stepping stone to creating safer and surf-friendly conditions in the water.



Click on Surf Rage hits the beach as California for original article

Beware surfers...if you get caught for acts of surf rage, you may be engaging in a new kind of hate crime.


Many of the beaches in California are experiencing acts of surf rage because local surfers attack new surfers for invading their territory.  California lawmakers are considering surf rage as a new hate crime.  The state will also vote on the Open Waves Act which states:

  Lawmakers are considering adding surf rage to a list of federal hate crimes that includes attacks on racial and religious minorities and homosexuals. California will also vote this year on an Open Waves Act that would make the state's Pacific coastline a place where "no person, regardless of residence, lineage, social status or other reason, may lawfully claim the right to a wave". It will enforce a three-month prison sentence on those convicted of surfing-related attacks and ban offenders from popular beaches for a year.

The rising number of assaults are prompting lawmakers to address such a serious issue and can hopefully decrease acts of surf rage by creating and enforcing new laws that protect surfers.  As a resident of Hawaii, one of the premier surfing locales in the world, I am concerned for the safety of local surfers and surfers abroad who come in quests for the perfect wave and surfing competitions.  I agree that laws should be created for the sole protection of the surfers.  However, enforcing these laws may be difficult.   I don't want surfers from abroad bullied by local surfers because it ruins the paradise image of Hawaii and damages local people's reputations.

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