Surf Tips

Surf Rage : How (Not) To Get Punched In The Face


You may have noticed, everyone is a tough guy these days, even irie surf cats!

The days of peace-loving, dharma quoting hippies are largely over.

Today, surfers are more likely to be angry flexers, guzzling caffeinated sports drinks and protein powders, training in the dark arts of choking foes to death, rather than spending flat days drinking rainwater, smoking Thai sticks, doing ‘shrooms and learning to play the sitar.

But rather than join them, and waste valuable surfing/meditating/lovemaking hours in the gym pumping iron, or in a headlock bursting a blood vessel in your eyeball, here are a few self defence tips that don’t require a lifestyle change, nor will render you an over-muscled stump that can only really do layback snaps.

Dan Malloy get into it with a few boogieboarders at Rocky Point a while back. Now having read this article, he’d probably turn the other cheek…

“Here are a few self defence tips that don’t require a lifestyle change, nor will render you an over-muscled stump that can only really do layback snaps”

1. Run, Run Away. Running away is under-rated as a form of self-defence. No one has ever gone to jail for running away, or been fined, or had to do community service. Know where the exits are in a bar or nightclub, just in case you get busted being over familiar with a tough guy’s wife (or boyfriend) and need to make a sharp exit.

2. Change Your Mind. In the surf, should a disagreement escalate in the heat of the moment into a ‘to the beach’ declaration of war, never be afraid to back down into a hmmm-on-second-thoughts no show.

Surfing wordsmith, dandy and handsome devil (despite decades of facial punishment from the harsh Australian sun) Derek Reilly told me that he had a set to in the water with a German at Bondi Beach recently. The guy told him to ‘Fuck off’, and they headed beach-ward for fisticuffs.

Upon realising that his Teutonic foe was a) much bigger and tougher than him and b) really, really angry, Reilly decided to dismount his whitewater and paddle back to the lineup after all, and remain at sea until danger had passed. Derek’s delicate bone structure remained as nature intended, and his fins remained in his 5’8″ Biolas.

3. Duck!. Most fights happen in a drunken situation, and most drunkards throw haymakers with an agricultural swing. Get down! They say you have to learn how to take a punch before you throw one, but even before that, learn how to swerve one!

4. Appeal for clemency. Shout ‘not the face!’ when faced with a certain assault, particularly if you are a TV presenter, model, jigalo or are just especially handsome. Plead for a body shot.

5. Make peace, then love! Avoid the common, yet understandable trap of thinking that bad boys who fight always get the girl. Even though at school, the baddest brutes always seemed to get the sweet punani action, bear in mind that the natural progression of a few bad lifestyles choices in the ensuing years can lead to assault charges and time inside the slammer, where you might attracting the advances of even larger, angrier dudes. Meanwhile, honey dip from 10th grade has since married the mild-mannered violin playing pacifist… who’d’ve thought it?!?



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