NOTE: Sent to me anonymously to be forwarded to Windtracks. Had to put it up here because its such a classic & unfortunately still somewhat relevant.
17 April, 1993
Editor Sheetin's, Wind Tracks
RE: So Goes California Sheetins from a Malibu Activist
After reading the So Goes California opinion in the Sheetin column, we are compelled to rebuttal the Malibu Activist.
First off, you left enough clues in your letter to personally I.D. yourself, so everyone concerned knows who you are. But we knew anyway because you have been touting your trash for the last few years (just about the time of your citation for reckless and unsafe conduct while windsurfing at Leo Carrillo Beach.) We think it would be fair to define your WE, as one other dolt of a sailor, that also defies the lifeguards and rangers at Leo Carrillo State Park. But more about you. You are the one that was recently arrested for assault on a Malibu Sheriff and your "impudent" snaking practices in the surf have netted you the nickname of the notorious son of Homer Simpson by other wavesailors. Oh yea. You are also the guy who asks the local shop manager to give you this magazine for free by tearing off the cover. What a class act!! So much for supporting the windsurfing industry that you want to support you now. One other thing, just because you recently purchased a surfboard and are learning to surf, doesn't make you a surfer. But enough of that. I think we're beginning to understand who you are.
We will labor once again to put this in a proper prospective for you. We know this must be the 100th time you've heard this. So try to listen this time because everyone is watching. Surfers have been enjoying the late afternoon sideoff to offshore conditions at Leo Carrillo (Secos) since the 1940's. Before that, the Chumash Indians rode their canoes in the waves at their village in the coastal arroyo sequit. Yes, it is true that Leo Carrillo is one of a few good surfsailing spots in North L.A.County. But, it is common knowledge that the surfing conditions actually improve with the arrival of the prevailing Summer winds, as other So Cal surf spot conditions deteriorate. It has been a Mecca for the unfortunate working stiff surfers, who need that afternoon session to wash away the daily grind. We should know, because we still paddle out, grab a piece of kelp for an anchor out at the rock, and side a few quality rights with friends, as the sun sinks behind the hill. It wasn't until the early 80s that we started to notice the first 3 or 4 local guys sailing down at the 2nd rock. They were always considerate of us, because they were surfers too. We had respect and admiration for those guys as they were getting 10 times the session we were. It was those now famous Malibu to Maui transplants, that got us stoked on sailing. Funny thing, they never felt the need to thread themselves through the surfers to get that extra few yards of a ride.
As windsurfing grew more popular, the crowds of sailors at Leo Carrillo became a problem. The wavezone is now choked with all forms of sailors, causing the wavesailors to pinch upwind, closer and closer into the main surfing area, (out of a desire to do the right thing, according to windsurfing surfsailing rules.) Here are some of the many reasons why this is a dangerous situation.
There are wind shadows that can suddenly cause you to lose control of your rig while sailing through the surfers; or during a set, a downed rig, loose in the surfing area, can take out a lot of guys, on its way to the beach. Planing windsurfers, winding their way through a pack of surfers sitting at the rock, is very intimidating and unsettling, not to mention extremely hazardous to them. And then there is the sailing competency factor. There's nothing like loose cannons to spice up an otherwise boring afternoon, eh Sinbad??
Anyway, the surfers complained to the lifeguards that even though they don't mind sharing the break, a very few sailors take advantage and are dangerous. Most surfers become catatonic when they see sailors coming towards them, because they don't know which direction to move out of the way, others panic and dart unexpectedly to avoid collisions. You say there has never been a serious accident between a surfer and windsurfer. Thank God! When it does happen, everyone will lose. Death is a result that pales all other coincidences of an accident. What is so damn important about a few extra yards of green, that you would risk serious injury or death to others? Chances are, it won't be you that is injured. You will no doubt weasel out of your liability with your money and sharp attorney. It will be the deep pocket of the State of California that will bare the brunt of the lawsuit that is a result of unsuccessfully keeping you and others from "impudently" sailing into surfers and bathers.
As far as restricting surfing in the afternoon, that will never happen. If you try, you will "awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve" against all windsurfers. There are many more surfers than windsurfers and they are in all walks of life, rich and poor, young and old. Even surfing/windsurfers will side against you. You will be awestruck at the level of support against your cause, and you will suffer a crushing defeat. Expect us to be leading them against you.
Get a clue you dolt! Don't be so selfish, we don't have to have it all! Learn to share.
As for the lawsuit by the surfers against the State of California protesting windsurfers: If that, in fact, does happen, we have you and your fellow activist to thank. Consider this letter our way of thanking you in advance. But fear not, thanks, will indubitably come to you, in a myriad of ways, rest assured. Most immediately by the closing of the surfing beach to windsurfing. But you could care less...You 're moving to Baja to cultivate your plantation mentality, leaving us your mess.
That is why steps have been taken to insure law and order at Secos. So none of these bad things will occur.
To maintain safety, the lifeguards have responded positively by creating policies to keep the two groups separate . This has been in the form of buoys and signs, designed to easily define surfing and windsurfing areas. These areas and boundaries are fair to both groups and allow each to enjoy their sport. They even have plans to divide the windsurfing area into wavesailing and speed and slalom areas by adding a buoyed race course south of the wave zone.
But you two activists want it all to yourself and don't want to share. When you say we, you really mean you.
The lifeguards should be commended for their efforts to remain impartial and fair to all groups. The lifeguards can and will close the surfing beach to windsurfing and move it several hundred yards south, or ban it totally, when they consider the situation to be unsafe. 99.9 % of the sailors understand this situation and cheerfully comply with the rules. You and your other "activist" openly defy the authority of the lifeguards and have done damage to the relationship between windsurfers and the California State Park law enforcement. Luckily the few surfing/windsurfing lifeguards have been able to define the problem to their superiors as "isolated incidents" from you and your fellow activist. They have been able to keep the surfing beach open so far and we thank them for it. The head lifeguard has stated that for the safety of all concerned, the two groups must be kept separate. If this can't be done, then the surfing beach will be closed to windsurfing, NOT SURFING!! He feels this is reasonable because there is almost a half mile of unpopulated beach directly south of the main surfing beach with equally windy conditions. That logic is hard to argue with, when only 20% of all the sailors are wavesailors while the rest make up slalom, speed and beginning sailors. That's why its so important to be on our best behavior. Get it?
But both of you have heard this all before, many times, too many times in fact, from a host of surfers and windsurfers, lifeguards and rangers alike. Take it from the ones you are hurting the most. You two are problem children that have a lifetime of run ins with authority figures. Get professional help now while you're still reasonably young.
You would do everyone (except the Mexicans) a favor by moving to Baja, and your fellow activist should take to bartending his friends' weddings instead of sailing, You two will not escape the law, when you break the rules this Summer. Guaranteed! We only hope we're there to see you two led away in chains. Oh what a glorious day that will be!!
In closing, let us say that you two are no Robin Hoods, but annoying, bonehead, kook, wannabee wavesailors that don't have a clue as to what it means to share and to try and get along. WISE UP or prepare to be spanked by the long arm of Momma Justice. Who knows, come to your senses and we might even be able to like you again.
Very Fed Up with your Antics!
....NEWS FLASH.... undisclosed sources have vowed to secretly place their boogers on the pair's sails until they lighten up. Informed sources close to the group report "Man...?.. that's alotta boogers!"