The “Warlord” Locals Of Lunada Bay

Lunada Bay, situated on California’s Palos Verdes peninsula, has long had a reputation as a singularly hostile environment for the non-local surfer. It’s a reputation that the locals work tirelessly to maintain, subjecting unwelcome visitors to a range of intimidation tactics that starts with constant verbal abuse and drop-ins, includes the hurling of rocks at prospective surfers scaling the cliff face, and occasionally extends as far as beating the shit out of people, although usually they stick to beating the shit out of people’s cars.

A nice bunch, then. Unsurprisingly, they weren’t overly thrilled when a Guardian reporter and his photographer turned up when the surf was pumping. The pair didn’t get beaten up and nor did their car, but it did get smeared with eggs, while the word “kooks” was scrawled in wax on the windscreen. The above video gives you a flavour of the unfriendly atmosphere; read the Guardian article for a more detailed account of their encounter with the “wave warlords”.

Undeniably the localism achieves the desired effect, and one of the best breaks in California remains relatively crowd-free. Last year Rory Parker, who nowadays writes for BeachGrit, wrote a piece for the Inertia entitled ‘Lunada Bay For All’, containing detailed instructions of how to access the wave and encouraging readers to descend en masse. The Inertia subsequently felt the need to tone the article down and append a disclaimer. Last week world famous designer David Carson, who surfs and grew up in the Lunada Bay area, told BeachGrit that the “Bay Boys” were “grown, outta-shape men acting like three year olds,” adding: “The irony is, of course, they’re rich enough to travel to all the exotic places and ruin someones else’s local break during California’s summer months when not a single ridable wave happens.” Read the interview here, it’s interesting.


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