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Bulletin Board

February 15, 2001

We got quite a bit of e-mail about the Feb. 8 e-Review column on Web sites on surfing. Here are some of the reader responses:

Why is it that every time I turn around someone is trying to persuade yet more people to get in the water? If you were really into surfing, you wouldn't sell it out like the rest of the idiots who want someone to talk to while they sit in the lineup. Write about something else. And keep a low profile for a few weeks. I'm sure someone up there will be happy to teach you a lesson for the rest of us who appreciate surfing for solitude and soulful reasons.

Zack Griffin

Ventura

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I'm that grumpy, kind of overweight old guy you see sitting just outside the lineup on a board that looks like, in a previous life, it was a lifeboat on the Titanic. There's usually a scowl on my face because I'm wondering where all these young, whippersnapper punks have come from to invade spots I've been surfing since the 1950s.

These Johnny-come-lately children are riding things that look like skateboards without wheels, and the colors they put on their boards are enough to make Warhol puke. They don't so much ride a wave as chew it up, trash it, rape it and then fall off their mini-stick rather than kick out like a real man.

They surf as they live: frantically. Commune with nature? Sure, about as much as they commune with their toilet: use it, flush it, walk away from it. And these territorial little twerps get their fur up whenever someone they don't recognize has the audacity to drop in on "their" wave in "their" surf spot. All that fightin' and cussin' gets old in a hurry.

What really ticks me off is that they wouldn't even know how to find the best break just by reading the weather page in the L.A. Times. Heck, I'm surprised they can break away from their video games long enough to log on to Swell.com. If it weren't for some microchip doing all their thinking for them, they probably couldn't find their way from their flatland homes to the beach.

It used to be you had to hunt for waves. It was part of the fun--an essential element of the culture. They even made a song about it. Remember "Surfin' Safari"? The kids today expect good waves to be delivered to them like some kind of Domino's extravaganza freaking pizza!

The only surf links guys like me ever used was when two woodies, one heading south and one heading north on PCH, stopped in the middle of the road and swapped info.

"Anything up north?"

"Nah, Sunset's flat and so's Malibu. How about south?"

"The cove might break later, when the tide drops. Same with Haggerty's."

That was it. But somehow we produced some of the finest surfers the world has ever seen: Noll, Dora, Weber, Munoz, the list goes on and on. Now it's cell phones, faxes and dot-freaking-coms.

Now here's my bottom line: Since you're a computer-type guy, I'm thinking maybe you can help me come up with some kind of surf virus that'll invade all the surf Web sites, surf cell phones, surf faxes and even the chips in those little rice-rocket surf-mobiles.

I'd like to be able to ground all those little pre-pubescent twits for about two days. Just long enough for me to get in a few good sessions like I had when I was their age, when I could sit on my Velzy-Jacobs at El Porto and count on both hands and feet the number of guys in the water between me and the Manhattan Pier.

Help me do that, and I'll personally provide you with a surfin' safari you'll never forget.

Steve Switzer

Redondo Beach

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