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Thursday, 19 June 2008

NZ Surf rage assault leads to charges

Heres and article from a New Zealand paper "Hawkes Bay Today", which may resonate with many of us who face more and more crowded surf spots. I'm sure most of us have experienced a bad vibe in the line up at some point (or in our case from the local beach fishermen, who feel they own the beach and can't quite get their head round surfing!) I guess theres no real answer other than taking the lead from the Hawaiians who worked it out many years with an Aloha spirit

A Te Awanga man has been charged with assault following an alleged surf-rage incident.

A 58-year-old surfer was arrested on Monday, said Clive constable Alan Daly, who would not name him. The man will appear in Hastings District Court next week.

Another surfer, Susie Smith, claimed to Hawke's Bay Today a man slammed into her board last week, and held her head under water for more than five seconds.

The assault was caught on camera, Mrs Smith claimed. The 62-year-old said she had been targeted by local longboarders since she and her husband, Phil, moved to Haumoana.

She said she was being intimidated and bullied because she was a good surfer.

But the "old guys" she says have threatened her, argue that the Smiths are the problem. Regular surfer Trevor Richards said the pair had been unreasonable. Surfers had to share the waves but the Smiths didn't.

The "over 50-year-old" said he had been pushed by Mrs Smith after he "dropped in" on a wave she was riding, after watching the pair take wave after wave: "It's so frustrating. It's like putting a whole row of 20c pieces on the pool table at the pub and playing all night - it wouldn't make you popular."

Mr Richards said he tended to wait for a surf until after the Smiths had gone in because of the "edgy atmosphere". He admired the Smiths for surfing aged in their 60s, but said locals had had enough: "They have to understand they need to be a little more sharing ... let others have a fair go."

Mr Richards hadn't seen the alleged incident with Mrs Smith but said if her account was accurate, "it's not cricket".

"It's quite sad for them and us. It's going to be pretty uncomfortable out there."

He hoped the situation could be resolved, possibly by mediation, but the Smiths should take responsibility for their role in the row.

Source-Hawkes bay Today: Rebecca Stevenson


Esoterica said...

Sheesh ... that funny and sad. I miss the days of almost drowning due to my own ingnorance rather than somone else's

Anonymous said...

Man, I remember the last ugly altercation- in Sayulita Mexico. Major attitudes sometimes there. Dude pulled that shite with me, and I told him if he wasn't gonna share the sets we could take care of it right there, at which point he of course whistled his much bigger brother over. Nice. Ate some crow, didn't surf the rest of the trip. Crowded spots are such a drag, too many testosteroney heads out there. Too many places where the spirit has left the water. Can't we all just swim along?

Ash said...

Look, my wife cuts me off waves all of the time. I figure if a 46 year old women is willing to drop in on the big faces that I prefer then more power to her. Every break peaks up in more then one location. Just paddle down and catch the next set, kook. Shut up and surf, looser.

Anonymous said...

The local news is this surter Suzie Smith has done this before. This will be the third time she has been in the news trying to claim assault. She doesn't abide by the rules of sharing waves and they are just known to cause trouble amongst the surfing community, which is acutally really tight and polite. She has cast Te Awanga in a bad light and caused some serious stress to a local surfer who was just trying to do his thing. 'Just because you're old Suzy, don't think you have us fooled.'

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