Longboarders, Legropes and the Law

Stu Nettle
Surfpolitik

A summertime reprise of a popular topic...


This is an article about blame and responsibility. I was provoked into writing it after getting hit by a loose surfboard at Manly Beach on a midsummer Sunday. As all right-thinking surfers know, the chances of getting hit are greatly increased when surfing at such an hour. Therefore, if first principles are to be observed I'm at fault simply for being out there.

Now, with that small issue out of the way let's move on...

Allow me to paint you a picture: It's 10am Sunday, baking hot, and every parking space within two blocks of the beach is taken. The crowd situation is reflected in the water with fifty people jamming every bank from the south end to the north. The surf is only two to three feet but has good shape with clean lines hitting low tide banks. I choose the least crowded bank and step into the fray.

Whilst walking across the shallow sandbank a longboarder takes off on a wave that's clearly going to close out. Unperturbed he gets to his feet and tries to pull into the hollow closeout which is breaking twenty metres beyond where I am on the bank.

As expected the wave closes out and his board shoots out in front of the whitewash at speed, there's no legrope attached. I notice this and quickly move to the left. The board bounces and bites, taking a sharp turn toward me. I'm in knee deep water, too shallow to duckdive, so at the last second I make a quick movement back to the right. At that moment the board springs out of the wash and hits me I the ribs. I recoil in shock but the pain isn't too bad.

The impact stopped the board's forward motion so I'm standing with it when the owner walks towards me.

"No legrope, mate?"

"Nah, don't need it."

"Your board just hit me," I seethed.

"If you can't get out of the way you shouldn't be out here," was his snappy response.

The red mist descends as I realise this guy is not only unapologetic but downright surly. We're standing two feet apart and the temptation to lash out is strong. It takes willpower to resist a violent response but something needs to be said if only to resolve the tension.

"You looking for a lawsuit then?" I surprised myself by saying it.

He didn't answer and we eye each other off momentarily. When it was clear a stalemate had been reached we paddled back out, veering away from each other to give distance while the pack hushed and stared.

The confrontation throws me, however, and I can't get into the session. After twenty minutes of average waves I call it quits and head for shore. Whilst on the beach I notice two longboarders heading out for a surf, both of them without legropes, just as the longboarder whose board hit me had been.


In the following week I played the event over and over in my head toying with various scenarios and endings. After the indignation and anger faded what I was left with were two separate yet related issues. The first being longboarders and their predisposition to shun legropes. Aside from SUPs, longboards are the least ideal surfcraft to use unharnessed and yet it's deemed acceptable to do so.

The second issue involved the legal implications of not wearing a legrope. It might've been a throwaway line but my taunt about a lawsuit stuck in my mind: What are the legal rights of someone hit by a loose board? In this case it was only height that prevented injury, someone younger or shorter would've been hit flush in the face with the longboard. What then? Could a parent respond to an act of surfing negligence with a lawsuit, and if so, under what law?

While doing research it struck me how little such issues concerned longboarders. If media images are to be believed the modern longboarder has little need for a legrope at all. From Pacific Longboarder to Slide Magazine, to the many longboarding blogs and websites, including Swellnet, the majority of images show longboarders surfing without a legrope.

An argument may be mounted by longboarders who walk the board that legropes get in the way, though for the majority of longboarders and all those who surf mid-length boards it's a moot point. For them there's no functional gain by losing the leggy. So if it isn't for function why then do so many longboarders not wear legropes?

Conducting informal interviews over the next few weeks I found that the majority of longboarders put the reason down to how it feels. "It feels free" being the simplest way to summarise their collective responses.

Longboarders, however, don't have the mortgage on this feeling. Shortboarders can doff the legrope and also delight in the buzz of being disconnected. Bodyboarders too, even SUPs, no surfcraft are excluded and yet on any given day the number of longboarders without legropes far outstrips all other craft.

At this juncture it's hard not to point the finger at fashion. Longboarders didn't always ride leashless, it's a trend that's appeared in the last five years and coincided with the rise of surfing hipsters. The simplified aesthetic has found a natural home in retro longboarding where the stripped down, 'leave it all on the beach' ethos is strong, and seemingly applies to surfing staples such as legropes.

The thought of it infuriates; that longboarders would forego the safety of others for the mere sake of fashion is recklessness writ large. Surfing amongst like-minded folk at, say, Noosa is one thing but elsewhere they are indulging their freedoms by jeopardising the freedom of others.

One of the most famous statements pertaining to freedom was uttered by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes in 1894: "The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins." In this context a surfer's right to ride leashless ends when his board hits me in the fucking ribs.

So what can be done about it?

After the initial incident I rang Manly Lifeguards to ask of their opinion. The person who answered the phone offered a friendly and sympathetic ear as I explained what happened. However, when I told him I was a journalist exploring hypothetical legal scenarios in the surf zone he took a wary tone and avoided further discussion. "I can't say any more," he said, "you'll need to contact council."

Before hanging up I asked one last question: Do Manly lifeguards ever stop surfers from entering the surf without legropes. "We have no legal right to do so," was the blunt reply.

In the following week I called Waverley and Cronulla lifeguards, engaging in similar conversations and receiving similar responses. An email reply from the office of the General Manager of Manly Council shed little light on the issue except to reiterate what I'd already discovered: Lifeguards have no formal power to stop surfers who paddle out at a crowded wave without a legrope. The feeling I got was that no-one wanted to discuss it.

I then went looking for legal precedents, lawsuits created by victims of stray boards. In the US they were easy to find as some states have leash laws making it illegal to enter the surf without one. If an accident happens due to a protagonist not wearing a legrope they are automatically assigned blame.

In Australia, where no such laws exists, cases are harder to find. In 2002 the NSW State government introduced the Civil Liability Act. The Act created significant hurdles for injured persons to recover damages, even in instances where the other party was negligent or at fault.

Andy Munro is a senior associate with Slater & Gordon Lawyers, Coffs Harbour. Prior to the Act, says Munro, "a number of high profile personal injury cases...prompted the then government to significantly change the laws insofar as they related to persons injured in public places."

The Civil Liability Act includes restrictions that relate to 'obvious risk' and 'recreational activities'. "In my view," says Munro, "the courts would likely find that surfing is a dangerous recreational activity within the meaning of the Civil Liability Act. That would apply regardless of whether the board rider was wearing a legrope or not."

Further, says Munro, "the act of placing oneself in a crowded line up in the circumstances where it may be expected there will be a varying degree of skill and experience would likely leave the courts to conclude that there was an obvious risk, notwithstanding the use or otherwise of legropes or the type of surfcraft being used."

The Civil Liability Act therefore protects irresponsible longboarders on two fronts. "The prospect," Munro concludes, "of a person injured by a stray surfboard in recovering damages, is not impossible but fraught with difficulty."

Which ultimately means that the law doesn't protect surfers should they be hit by an errant longboard – or any other surfcraft - irrespective of how negligent their owner is. Just how the victim responds is dependent on their temperament and tolerance; they may turn the other cheek, take an eye for an eye, or like me, stop surfing at 10am on summer Sunday mornings.

Comments

leftinmanly's picture
leftinmanly's picture
leftinmanly Monday, 25 Mar 2013 at 3:50pm

I signed up for an account as I feel so strongly about this.
Last year in Manly corner I was paddling out when a Longboarder lost his board about 20 metres in front of me.

I tried moving out of the way but the speed of the wave I had no chance. Too shallow to duck dive the longboard caught my near brand new board and tore off 2 inches from the nose.

I awaited the owner of the red & rainbow patterned longboard, who meekly walked out of the water... said 'sorry about that' and literally grabbed the board and ran out of the surf. I was not confrontational at all i just wanted to know if he was going to pay for my board. Instead he chicken footed out of the water after seeing my new stick in nearly 2 pieces.

Fast forward 8 months and I am just leaving the water from a mediocre surf and I see the same rider and the exact same board barreling towards the beach. I stop in the sand and grab the board, i wait for the owner:

'I really think you should wear a leash mate, you smashed my new board last year and if there was a kid here that would have smashed him in the face'

His reply ' I dont need a leash'

'Well it seems from the $200 bill i have .... you do '

'Nah dont need it'

'Well the next time I see your board flying through the waves and you arent on it... im going to knock the fins out'

I have a feeling this is going to rumble on until one of these mugs seriously injures someone in the water with there errant logs. Until then If you want to be a complete mug and not wear a leash at least apologize, and pay for the repairs.

wombatwombat's picture
wombatwombat's picture
wombatwombat Monday, 25 Mar 2013 at 3:55pm

as a grumpy old cunt who grew up with a crowded session being less than 5 people....imho it is now totally irresponsible not to have a leg rope.

bondisteve's picture
bondisteve's picture
bondisteve Monday, 21 Apr 2014 at 6:02pm

Experienced Longboarders demand legropes be worn at all times.
Don't hate experienced Longboarders.
Please!

brendo's picture
brendo's picture
brendo Monday, 25 Mar 2013 at 3:58pm

captain obvious but if it's that busy you MUST have a legrope on, unless you can guarantee you'll never fall off, which nobody really can. I wouldn't punch a fin out, if he doesn't pay up, just put a nice hole right in the bloody thing next time!

muzza's picture
muzza's picture
muzza Monday, 25 Mar 2013 at 4:05pm

its not just longboards either, too many super heros who think they are soooo good they dont need a legrope...

bryonsurfer's picture
bryonsurfer's picture
bryonsurfer Monday, 25 Mar 2013 at 4:10pm

Come to Byron Bay, not only will you see hippies riding without leg ropes but they do it with finless boards too. The lack of control and blatant disregard for fellow surfers leaves half the line up gobsmacked and often terrified when these unattached boards hurtle down the foamball. But as the article so gracefully implies: if these idiots want to feel free then the rest of us should embrace that same freedom by uppercutting the shit out of these thoughtless imbeciles. So for all the Northern NSW surfers forgoing their legropes: if you are caught there are those of us who prefer not to threaten you with a lawsuit, we'd rather beat the shit out of you! There's one of us in every line up just waiting for you....

whaaaat's picture
whaaaat's picture
whaaaat Monday, 25 Mar 2013 at 4:19pm

Actually, I think brendo's and ww's comments are both on the money. Each state's Civil Liability Act has a section that talks about obvious risks, true, but they also have a section that talks about what precautions a 'reasonable person' would take against a risk of harm and what criteria for these might look like, including:
(a)the probability that the harm would occur if precautions weren't taken;
(b)the likely seriousness of the harm;
(c)the burden of taking precautions to avoid the risk of harm;
(d)the social utility of the activity that creates the risk of harm.

Wearing a leggie is sometimes a pain, but hardly a burden, and wearing one in a crowded line-up has great social utility, whereas the probability of seriously harming someone by not wearing one and kicking out dramatically increases the odds of harm.

As the court is fond of intoning, the categories of negligence are endless.

Lionel Hutz would go.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain Monday, 25 Mar 2013 at 4:24pm

Fucking retro hippy wannabee rock-stars.

Can't stand them. More often than not you'll see their ability about line-ball with their intelligence.

I'm without a leggie in my avatar, but the total number of surfers in the water at that spot that day was 2. The bloke that took the pic and me.

It's common sense really, if you're surfing in a crowd, wear a bloody leggie! If there's nobody else out, go for it because there is something to be said for surfing without one.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain Monday, 25 Mar 2013 at 4:26pm

I was hoping we'd hear from you on this one Mr. Whaaaat.

surfworks's picture
surfworks's picture
surfworks Monday, 25 Mar 2013 at 4:26pm

Great read Stuie!.....As a youngster playing R/League there's a saying, what happens on the field, stays on the field. I feel in this case the same ruling should apply.....unfortunate really that it has to go down this road........especially if you can't fend for yourself.......

savanovaovait's picture
savanovaovait's picture
savanovaovait Monday, 25 Mar 2013 at 4:36pm

I've got no problem stopping a free-living dudes stray leggyless mal by swinging my board in its general direction and driving my fins into his techni-coloured dream machine.

bornagainst's picture
bornagainst's picture
bornagainst Monday, 25 Mar 2013 at 4:37pm

I'm a patent lawyer, not a personal injuries lawyer, based in Queensland, so I have no knowledge of the Act; but to my mind it seems quite improbable that it would preclude any recourse for injury occasioned by this sort of arrogant disregard for the well-being of others. If I recall correctly, the Act was introduced to insulate the State from personal injuries claims against it arising from senseless behaviour (such as diving headfirst into a sandbank without first checking the depth of the water). That's a rather different scenario to one where the principal claim is against the owner of the errant board. Like I said, it's not my field, but I'd been staggered if the Act did in fact preclude such a claim. If what whaaaat states is correct, all the Act does is restate the criteria for determining whether a duty of care exists. Plainly, it does whenever you step into a crowded lineup.

ben-colyer's picture
ben-colyer's picture
ben-colyer Monday, 25 Mar 2013 at 4:38pm

In the same breath I'm amazed at the stupidity and unsupprised at what is going on.
Unfortunately wherever you go there is a small proportion of wankers who don't give a shit. It is fortunate that South Oz has a relatively small surfing population and the number of wankers is low.
I think if I were to find myself in situations described above, the offending board might accidently run into my car key a number of times. Wetsuits have key holders in all sorts of places.
Perhaps if enough leggyless riders have their stray boards damaged when cleaning up people, they might just change their mind about it.

turtlehead's picture
turtlehead's picture
turtlehead Monday, 25 Mar 2013 at 4:50pm

Yesterday at Warriewood in Sydney there was a couple of guys on big Mals who fell off on just about every wave - did'nt have a clue and of coarse no leggie. They were so close to wiping out families and young guys 10-12 etc who dont have enough experience to deal with a big board like that. My first thought was to tell them to fuckoff and go somewhere else, but I did'nt want to set an example to my son and his friend.

roubydouby's picture
roubydouby's picture
roubydouby Monday, 25 Mar 2013 at 4:55pm

@ Ben - I believe they are called speed holes!

In this case they help speed up the time it takes for the offending rider to realize they are an asshole.

bonza's picture
bonza's picture
bonza Monday, 25 Mar 2013 at 5:01pm

its dickheads like these that ruin it for the rest of us. the last thing i want or we need is a another rule or law enforced by another power tripping hero wannabe cop telling us what we can and can not do when I go to the beach. Faark – what ever happened to some common sense and a bit of mutual concern or respect for others. What next lawsuits? Beach rent-a-cops, an army of terrified angry mummies and daddies lining the beach with camera’s. All because of some little entitled turd can’t or won’t give a shit. Fark all this – I’m going bush.

undies's picture
undies's picture
undies Monday, 25 Mar 2013 at 5:22pm

you have really hit a raw nerve here stew, a little while back I took a new board for its first surf, surf was shit but the board felt great, unfortunately for me some dick thought he was to cool for a leggie and the end result was a smashed up rail on the newbie.Lucky for him my kids were with me or he would of gone home with a finless board. Not usually that kind of guy but the complete lack of regard this kid showed really pissed me off. We all know how good it feels to ride without one but unless its just you and your mates on the bank its a selfish act... Felt really good to get that off my chest, thanks for the topic and a chance to rant

benski's picture
benski's picture
benski Monday, 25 Mar 2013 at 5:26pm

Great article stu. Made me f*cken angry just reading about it. I can't stand people with that kind of attitude in general but I really get the shits with people who surf without a leggie when they shouldn't.

I've been out in the water on a crowded day on the sunny coast with a couple of guys riding longboards without leggies. Total hipsters with the retro wetties and everything. Even haircuts to match. But they surfed so bloody well, best nose riders I've ever seen, and they knew how to keep their board. I've seen em in the water a few times and never seen em lose their boards. They know how and when to pull out without losing it. And they clearly know when not to pull in/take off or whatever. I don't mind it if guys like that surf without a leggie.

But pulling into a closeout without one is just fucken dumb and doing it on on a crowded is deadset negligent. I'm not gonna pretend I'd do anything fighty about it, I'd have a word and that'd be about it I reckon.

"Nah, don't need it." bloody hell. Honestly, you might not mate but the rest of us need you to have one. Bloody idiot.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno Monday, 25 Mar 2013 at 5:26pm

I've always considered a leggie on a longboard a must, as a safety measure for other people. This is after being steamrolled by a stray 9'6" once. And after surfing my planks extensively without leggies early on, in small waves when there was nearly no one around - I lost the board many times and had a swim, but if other people were around it's better safe than sorry.
The other thing is if you surf rocky shorelines, you're gonna get dings! And if it's volan cloth, repairs are harder to make nice.
That said, surfing leggie-less no matter what you are riding (*assume, low crowd area to "you are the only one out") will make you a better surfer inasmuch as you learn to judge and anticipate situations. To avoid a swim you begin to consider if this takeoff is worth it, maybe surf more conservatively, or more fluidly. The appeal is great, but the responsibility to protect those around us is greater.
It would be sad if Law intersects with these incidents and results in blanket controls on how we can enjoy surfing.

braithy's picture
braithy's picture
braithy Monday, 25 Mar 2013 at 5:36pm

I tell you; beware the hipster apocalypse.

It's just negligent in crowds not to wear a leggie.

whaaaat's picture
whaaaat's picture
whaaaat Monday, 25 Mar 2013 at 5:42pm

Yeah, I hear you, VJ, but who's gonna pay the medical bills or lifetime care costs of the poor sap who duckdives into a closed-out section but comes up headfirst into a stray log and, through no fault of their own, ends up a paraplegic or worse? That's what the law of negligence is primarily concerned with, or what it should be at least. The insurers lobbied hard in the early norties to get state parliaments to limit the potential liability of, particularly, public authorities. I get that we don't want the law of negligence in Australia to go down the path of juridictions such as California, but my first question is still worth thinking about.

PS. NZ has a no-fault system.

willywonty's picture
willywonty's picture
willywonty Monday, 25 Mar 2013 at 5:44pm

someone keen for extra coin should set up shop on the beach, a mate in a van in the car park at the ready, and run off with all the boards that wash up on the sand.
if the law doesnt make someone wear a leggie, can it protect someone from "finding" a board?

richkotch's picture
richkotch's picture
richkotch Monday, 25 Mar 2013 at 5:44pm

It's not just the kooks and the clueless I'm afraid. I remember being in Hawaii a few years ago, I'd just got out of the water when a certain longboard world champ and highly regarded "waterman" took off on a closeout. He had no chance of making the wave and in seconds his board was rushing broadside towards the beach where three teenage Asian girls were watching the action while standing in the shallows, it hit one of them full force in the leg with an awful crack (I later found out that her leg was broken). The life guards were with her in seconds but she was clearly in agony. Waterman dude body surfed in, looked nonchalantly at the screaming girl, retrieved his board from amidst the chaos and paddled back out....

harryy14's picture
harryy14's picture
harryy14 Monday, 25 Mar 2013 at 5:54pm

Possibly one of the stupidest things i have ever seen posted about surfing, all you thruster riders who think your kelly slater need to wake up. surfings an art and your killing it.

el-classico's picture
el-classico's picture
el-classico Monday, 25 Mar 2013 at 5:57pm

Like the guy before me, I signed up purely for the purpose of imparting my view and praise for this great article. I've wondered about this very issue probably more often than most. Though I was born on the north coast, a few years ago I moved to the city to study law and was greeted with the complex task of acquiring an unmolested wave in one of most treacherous undertakings known to man, a practice known as 'surfing in sydney'. Slowly adapting to the beat of the drum, I too have learned to ditch the stick on a summer sunday morning anywhere within a 10km radius of a 'boards for hire' sign.

When I prompted a longboarder friend of mine with the question he offered a simple and surprisingly sexually orientated response. "It feels like sex without a condom". Applying his thesis to your situation at Manly, I guess the two are comparable because if you don't pull out when you should you might leave someone with an unpleasant surprise. But he admitted there was nothing worse than someone who was surfing 'without protection' when they're 'straight out of an alex knost clip, all the gear no idea'. Thousand dollar long john, two thou on a crafty log and 3 thou on half a hair cut. Everyone knows the type.

While I've never been party to an incident of this nature, I feel strongly about it. In fact this is the first time I've felt brave enough to wield the weapon of the social media warrior in one of the most cut-throat arena's know to man (aka using my keyboard in comments section of swellnet).

In my degree, we are constantly told to back up our point of view with authority. If we are talking about establishing whether there is a duty of care owed by one surfer to another, there is no greater source of wisdom than that of Lord Atkin in the case of Donoghue v Stevenson (the big kahuna case which created the modern concept of negligence). Have a read at what he had to say about the issue and replace 'neighbour' with 'fellow surfer'.

"The rule that you are to love your neighbour becomes in law, you must not injure your neighbour; and the lawyer's question, Who is my neighbour? receives a restricted reply. You must take reasonable care to avoid acts or omissions which you can reasonably foresee would be likely to injure your neighbour. Who, then, in law, is my neighbour? The answer seems to be – persons who are so closely and directly affected by my act that I ought reasonably to have them in contemplation as being so affected when I am directing my mind to the acts or omissions which are called in question"

lazzy-100's picture
lazzy-100's picture
lazzy-100 Monday, 25 Mar 2013 at 5:57pm

sorry mate that's a big load of badly researched shit a week thing to do. You have stereotyped him because you don't have the guts to say what you think face to face .how shit is it to be you.
You even consider suing him then find out you have no legal point.

This is a pissa im sending this to all my mates! lmfao

tricky_dick's picture
tricky_dick's picture
tricky_dick Monday, 25 Mar 2013 at 6:37pm

Well what a topic, In my local area with the lack of swell over the last couple of years ( summers ) there has been great conditions for the gromms/longboarders/sups/retired old boys giving it a go. Problem now is that when the surf is actually happening they are all frothing, and are out giving it a go, Obvious to a fella like me is most are out of their league, witnessed some of the worst dangerous/unruly/blind stupidity ever todate, the worst were the old boys (longboards) who obviously only know basics,thought of nobody but themselves and was pure luck that nobody was injured. They seem to be guys moving close to the beach thinking they are now local (in the surf sense) have met a few new mates and have a right to be in any line up they choose, ignorant of surf etiquette (oblivious to their real abilities), It's all relative in terms of sponsored surf culture. Future problem is that eventually people will be injured, councils will have to step in.
Not wanting it but that is the cost of numbers/people.
I know their is the obvious to be said in all this but thought i'd share.

savanovaovait's picture
savanovaovait's picture
savanovaovait Monday, 25 Mar 2013 at 6:41pm

harry 14. art comes in many forms but a 9ft mal smashing some kid in the head on a sunday arvo at a crowded city beach is not one of them. do u drive drunk with bald tyres? no! as that would be negligent, same as no leggy on a mal in crowded surf.
wanker

shaggydog's picture
shaggydog's picture
shaggydog Monday, 25 Mar 2013 at 7:02pm

Today on the goldy 2ft clean really easy waves. As i go out there is a 9ft mal speeding towards the beach no rider, how? Leggys are there to help everyone. So you don't have to get your board and so you don't cause damage. If my board hit someone because i was to lazy to spend 2 minutes attaching a leg-rope i would feel gutted, especially if it was just a grom learning to surf it would ruin his surfing motivation for months if not forever. We spent years trying to attache the things to our boards, it must of been for a reason? i think a law in place would be a great thing, yes accidents do happen. your board catches the rail you lean to forward you lean to back but having a leg-rope would dramatically lower this from happening. They put dead-man switches on jet-skies, you wear a mouth-guard in contact sports all the pros wear legropes why cant some amateur. However, if there is no one out in the water at all and its just you and your mate go for it but to be honest when does that happen.

dimdim's picture
dimdim's picture
dimdim Friday, 27 Jan 2017 at 4:41pm

Not all the pros wear legropes.

mick63's picture
mick63's picture
mick63 Monday, 25 Mar 2013 at 7:22pm

Just an idle thought here, would salvage rights apply? Grab the board and do a runner, that might teach the [email protected]*er to wear a legrope!!

lazzy-100's picture
lazzy-100's picture
lazzy-100 Monday, 25 Mar 2013 at 7:45pm

harry14.Your right this bloak is obviously a thrust-er head. narrow minded probably wanks off too much and talks allot of malformed shit.

seeks out the biggest crowd he can in the smallest surf because he's scared of surfing by him self.

lazzy-100's picture
lazzy-100's picture
lazzy-100 Monday, 25 Mar 2013 at 8:31pm

savanovaovait Your only agnolaging mateariol to suport your argument .

", longboards are the least ideal surfcraft to use unharnessed and yet it's deemed acceptable to do so."

Allow me to paint you a picture: It's 10am Sunday, baking hot, and there's nary an empty parking spot within two streets of the beach. The crowd situation is reflected in the water with fifty people jamming every bank from the south end to the north. The surf is only two to three fee

he knew the risk saw the longboarder and continued and expects all out in the surf to make room for him. get over it! I dont ride longbords im just sick of hodads that think you know more about surfing and you have priority over all surf craft because he or she rides the latest thruster. Harry14 your right

patty's picture
patty's picture
patty Monday, 25 Mar 2013 at 8:44pm

"Your only agnolaging mateariol to suport your argument."

Hope you kept the receipt for your voice recognition software. That shit's on the fritz.

whaaaat's picture
whaaaat's picture
whaaaat Monday, 25 Mar 2013 at 8:50pm

"he knew the risk saw the longboarder and continued"

Dunno about your analysis, L100. Why wasn't he entitled to base his risk assessment on the presumption that that the logrider was wearing a leggie? It's 2-3' and every bank is jammed full.

Hardly Waimea. viz. The logrider's not gunna lose his leg.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy Monday, 25 Mar 2013 at 9:27pm

For better or worse it really is up to surfers to self-regulate. Since we do not want any formal authoritarian system put in place we need to work on the informal processes, such as explaining exactly where an individual has, in your opinion, gone wrong. Words of one syllable usually being the best way of obtaining said individual's undivided attention.
"Mate, what the fuck were you thinking?" said in a level tone with a steady, yet not hostile, gaze, usually produces some response.
It is surprising how often this is a fairly sheepish, "Yeh sorry mate, didn't see ya" or something similar. Of course, more predictably, as in Stu's case, it induces some defensive bullshit, to which, in all fairness you are entitled to respond with a contemptuous wave of the hand and a suggestion that consequences, within the letter of the law, may follow a repeat of such behaviour. Should they respond aggressively then references to their personal deficiencies of character and to the sexual behaviour of their ancestors are appropriate.
If you happen to be a local then, at any stage, a wave of the hand towards the crowd and a hint that they are unfamiliar with prevailing customs, is always a good tactic. Body language is important here, a stern countenance and a posture suggestive of high levels of testosterone are helpful. The trick is to suggest that while you personally would never consider violence you are unable to guarantee that from others of your acquaintance who happen to be sharing the same location at the present time.
Best of all, of course, is when this happens to be true, if only to the extent that the young and muscular descendants of your boon companions of years gone by, are happy to play along with charade by directing fierce looks in the general direction of the miscreant.

More seriously, there are a lot of wannabes out there with minimal skill or respect for the traditional patterns of behaviour. The middle aged crisis mal rider is a source of significant personal grief, along the lines of
" Mate you're twenty years younger than me, riding a board three feet longer than mine and you still want to drop in/hassle?"
Then there are the junior hipster, haircut and tat masters. They see a grey hair and think you're fair game. It's always a pleasure to disillusion them but it gets tedious. I' ve never been one for rules. It's a free flowing game out there and you have to be willing to lose a few rounds but it should always be about commitment, ability and fairness. Different mixes for different days, but if you don't paddle out with either of the first two and a weak sense of the third, you should expect to have your deficiencies explained to you. Forget this equal opportunity crap. This is surfing. Nowhere in the charter of human rights is there a right to a proportional share of the set waves at any location you choose to surf. I mean, you paddled out expecting exactly what? The Presbyterian Ladies Sewing Circle?

whaaaat's picture
whaaaat's picture
whaaaat Monday, 25 Mar 2013 at 9:41pm

@BB

Votre travail est beaucoup plus compréhensible quand il est écrit en francais.

shaun's picture
shaun's picture
shaun Monday, 25 Mar 2013 at 10:08pm

What, Whaaattt said. No I meant what did whaaattt say. ahhh forget it.

shaun's picture
shaun's picture
shaun Monday, 25 Mar 2013 at 10:13pm

If your thinking of salvaging a board washed up on the beach and taking it home, that's called theft by finding or something along those lines. So if you do plan to do that hand it into the cop shop, 3 months later there is a slim chance you might own it.

hungryhippos's picture
hungryhippos's picture
hungryhippos Monday, 25 Mar 2013 at 10:30pm

Here is my arguement on the matter.

"Duty of Care"

"A duty of care is a legal obligation which is imposed on an individual requiring that they adhere to a standard of reasonable care while performing any acts that could foreseeably harm others."

If your not wearing your leg rope, hurt someone, and the victims lawyer can link the duty of care argument, prove damages, has evidence, and convinces a judge, well, bend over.

jidge's picture
jidge's picture
jidge Monday, 25 Mar 2013 at 10:35pm

Stuart, does the same apply to surfing without boardshorts?

I remember seeing you surfing in 2009 at a famous break in the Mentawai, wearing nothing but Y Fronts! I believe this is equally offensive and infringes on one's right to enjoy the visual beauty of the ocean without the excess display of "white Thigh"

mundies's picture
mundies's picture
mundies Monday, 25 Mar 2013 at 10:52pm

Make pretty legropes so they become trendy.

mundies's picture
mundies's picture
mundies Monday, 25 Mar 2013 at 10:54pm

I'm thinking something that glows in nightclubs.

hungryhippos's picture
hungryhippos's picture
hungryhippos Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 at 12:14am

Stu, Next time, strangle the feeble minded hobgoblin with your leg rope.

Just to lighten up the mood, here is a funny joke.

What should you say to someone that doesn't wear a leg rope and has two black eyes? Nothing, his been told twice.

tricky_dick's picture
tricky_dick's picture
tricky_dick Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 at 6:33am

blindboy, that is exactly how it works, and it seems the line up is just waiting for the first injury before the application of these tactics, just seems unnecessary to have to be in that situation, but on our given days we are all frothers.

Love your humour hungryhippos.

shaun, good call if i'm ever in the extreme situation of blindboys calling it how it is, not working think i'll try that one.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 at 6:42am

Wow, I've never seen such a divided response on what I assumed would be a pretty reasonable and straightforward issue. Some of the posts on our Facebook page are incredible! http://swllnt.com/10dr11b

mick-free's picture
mick-free's picture
mick-free Sunday, 22 Jan 2017 at 8:00pm

Is that page still up??

scoopmaster's picture
scoopmaster's picture
scoopmaster Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 at 7:13am

Stick to low tide reef breaks and you will find this is a far less common problem. The novelty of dragging yourself up onto the barnacle covered rock ledge using any available cunjevoi as handholds to prevent the receding waves using the previously mentioned barnacles to slice and dice you while you look for your most likely damaged board quickly wears off.
For the record i've been hit in the side of the head by a mal many years ago, it didn't tickle. In that case the mal rider got caught inside and either bailed or duckdived unsucessfully (and i assume he was wearing a leggie). I viewed that as my fault as i shouldn't have been paddling out right behind him.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 at 7:33am

And here's a classic response from the FB page by a high school kid named Fin Wegener:

"Or, you could all pull your fucking head in and deal with it. Leg ropes are for incompetent people who don't have the skill to actually pull out of the wave or make it through a shorepound. If there were no leashes in the first place we wouldn't have this problem. The leash opened the ocean up to kooks and idiots who are stupid enough to throw their board or not pull out before a closeout, completely ruining the idea of surfers being able watermen. Keep surfing real, don't wear a leggie and simply don't lose your board. Easy."

"Wearing a legrope is like admitting to being a kook, admitting that you aren't tough enough to swim after you board and admitting that you are a loser who doesn't know what you're doing and shouldn't be in the water in the first place. This really shouldn't be accepted in the lineup."

And with that response I can't see these idiots changing anytime soon. No regard for others personal safety or the consequences of their actions.

Even the most skilled surfer will lose their board at some stage as the ocean throws a curveball their way, it's that unpredictable.

Sure all of us have had a dig without legropes when no one else is around, but when other peoples safety is at risk it's selfish to continue on without one.

whaaaat's picture
whaaaat's picture
whaaaat Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 at 7:51am

Yeah, I'm with Fin. But a couple of steps further on.

I blame Mother Nature. If she hadn't created waves, then kooks would be forced to remain indoors wistfully whiling away on surfing blogs.

D'oh!

peterb's picture
peterb's picture
peterb Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 at 8:52am

There was a time when longboards were made of heavier stuff, and leg ropes were years in the future. Times when young blokes took off on closeouts in front of the massed crowds in front of the Bondi flags, or through them, they called it the Death Cut.

Nobody was spared. Pregnant women and small children were routinely flattened by loose boards, so they banished boardriders to the southern end of Bondi.

- and that's where it all began. You blokes have forgotten your roots.

benski's picture
benski's picture
benski Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 at 9:03am

I would have thought a kid from a "famed" shaping family would have a be bit more respect for other surfers than that but there you go.

Thing I don't get is how someone can carry on as though pulling into a closeout at a crowded urban beach break on a log without a leggie is a smart or safe thing to do.

bonza's picture
bonza's picture
bonza Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 at 9:26am

Wow. “Fin” sure is the man isn’t he duuuuuuuude! Couldn’t help but notice his face book friend is :“We grew up here, you flew here.....”. Wonder what ol’ Tom reckons of his representative’s aloha attitude so eloquently expressed under the banner of his company name. Who are you Fin? Hipster longboard filmmaker? Fear mongering Racist? The essence of surfing? Pro? Heavy local enforcer?? Do tell us duuuude..

top-to-bottom-bells's picture
top-to-bottom-bells's picture
top-to-bottom-bells Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 at 9:29am

It might explain why his Dad always rides 'Fin'less.

harryy14's picture
harryy14's picture
harryy14 Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 at 10:33am

I think the problem is all the shortboard riders surf 2 foot waves that are clearly too small for a short board and that is what makes the surf crowded......

darrendobbie's picture
darrendobbie's picture
darrendobbie Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 at 10:44am

Let us pray that a dozen, legrope-less surfers on 12 foot 40 pound timber boards all take off at once, on a straight hander, directly in front of Fin.

benski's picture
benski's picture
benski Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 at 10:56am

haha! Yeah. THAT'S the problem harryy.

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 at 11:51am

I think part of the cause to the reaction on facebook is in the photo and caption.

"Longboarders everywhere and not a legrope to be seen!"

Not enough stress on the respect and care that should be taken, and especially in heavy crowds.
It looks like a direct attack on just the longboarders rather than everyone knowing there limits and when it is appropriate to wear a leggie for safety reasons. Not one of those pictures in the facebook collage show one other person apart from the rider, let alone a crowd at all.

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 at 11:57am

And I know the issues I pointed out were addressed in the article. But headlines draw debate too.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 at 12:48pm

@Lostdoggy,

Trust me, I didn't have to look hard to find the images contained in the Facebook post.

And in actual fact the article is mostly directed at longboarders. Not all longboarders mind you, but those who choose to ride without a legrope in a crowded environment, and, until I was hit, I hadn't realised just how many there are. I believe this is connected with the many media images showing longboarders without leggies as it's deemed acceptable by the longboard community to ride without a leash.

I've no doubt there are shortboarders who ride leashless but their numbers are far fewer. Respect and care should be given irrespective of surfcraft but I think the longboard community has to stop hiding behind antiquated notions of purity and realise they also have a responsibility to fellow surfers.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 at 12:59pm

@LeftinManly,

Thanks for posting. Defiance is one thing but repeat offenders are another issue altogether; at what stage does someone like that say, 'I'm a hazard to other surfers?'

My guess? Without a bit of prompting - never. Look to the art of gentle persuasion.

tricky_dick's picture
tricky_dick's picture
tricky_dick Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 at 1:10pm

whaaaat, thought you had a better handle on the issue.
fin is right but full of ego, shame.
admitting to being a kook, what the heck, no clue really has fin.
We (shortboarders) only really are sharing a lineup when the froth level is up and the bank is worth it, otherwise we usually are at reefs ( enjoying a good laugh at fin's expense when he happens to come through town), or it's to big for the majority of the kooks.
Today my froth level was not high enough to tackle .5m wind slop swell so of course you leave it to the longboarders/sups/desperate learners/frothers.
But when it's .5m to 1.m + on a reasonable bank and cleaner swell it's go time.
let the game begin.
But come summers day with small swell, the froth level is up, crowded, either go home or go for a swim and enjoy the show, people watching can sometimes be quite fun.
Lets face it guys technology gets us more waves than the old days, if that equates to being a kook in small minded people so be it (but really do you think that our mates/lineup family/locals really think that kook would fly for us?)

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 at 1:11pm

I guess it's hard for me to grasp the scale of this issue as it doesn't seem to be much of a problem here in Victoria. You don't see many longboarders around to be honest and most of them wear leg ropes. And on my yearly trip to Bluesfest when I stay at Lennox, I guess the rocks persuade the loggers to wear a leggie.

Funny how some people are happy to risk taking others out, but not risk their board getting smashed on the rocks. Eg. The pass has 60+ guys out with many not wearing leggies combined with many more swimmers/bodysurfers. 15 minutes drive to Lennox point and you've got 30 or so out, no swimmers, and everyone has a leggie on.

lolo's picture
lolo's picture
lolo Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 at 1:40pm

It's pretty straightfoward if you ask me Stu.

If you're surfing at Manly on a longboard on a super crowded weekend you are either so full retard level stupid you don't understand the potential risks you are creating, or so extraoradinarily arrogant, disrespectful and self-indulgent that you really don't give a fuck about potentially hurting other people. It has to be one or the other or a combination of both.

I think the guy that ran into you definitely qualifies for the full retard category when he tried to blame you for not being able to get out of the way. Think young Fin up there ^ does too.

noidea's picture
noidea's picture
noidea Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 at 2:29pm

Thermalben, I assume the reasonable and straight forward issue can be put plainly by saying that we should all wear legropes, at least in crowded line ups?

Following that reasoning I am more than sure you would be happy to commit this website to never publishing a photo of a so called "professional" surfing a wave at Kirra after doing a step off? Or towing through a paddle in line up at Ours or The Reef.

I don't think anyone could argue that driving a jet ski through one of the most crowded surf spots in the world is at all safe, its certainly not legal nor in the spirit of tow surfing. Particularly as at almost all times the driver is looking back at the surfer, not where they are going.

Then there are the clubbies. I cant ever recall seeing a clubbie on any form of surf craft using a leg rope. I once saw the Freshwater Boat Crew plow through the entire line up sideways, completely out of control with the boat making sickening thumping sounds every time it hit some one.

At least twenty people where hit, I cant believe no one got knocked out!

Surfing spots are only getting more crowded. Leggies, learn to surf classes, buoyancy vests all make it more accessible. We even now have a Federal Government funded organization dedicated to increasing participation in surfing via programmes like "Surfgroms" and a high performance center, with only more participation programmes to come this summer with the stated goal of making surfing "main stream".

What's the answer? Go back to Board Registration? Take a ticket to indicate your position in the line up? Don't kid yourself, who would police it? Surfing Australia? Surf Clubs?

People get badly hurt surfing every day by their own boards, or other peoples. I have no answer, does anybody have a serious suggestion?

I can confidently predict however that surf line ups will get busier, crowds will lead to both intentional and accidental clashes.

Lets all get go pro's and put them on helmets like the cyclists you see getting around. That way we will have evidence of negligent behavior for all our law suits.

Wave Pools here we come!!!

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 at 2:37pm

"What's the answer?", you say noidea?

How about "everyone who surfs at a crowded location should wear a legrope"?

There, that wasn't so hard.

adz's picture
adz's picture
adz Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 at 4:01pm

Unfortunately this is something that I've dealt with more than once. Never had the pleasure of seeing offenders again after they were dispatched from the water.
My safety isnt the concern, i can deal with the lumps and bumps of surfing rather mine and others kids.
An apologetic demeaner isnt over looked, arrogant disregard needs the appropriate response
Riding a mal is only marginaly above gut bashing anyway unless your an old timer or the waves are non existant.
Heavy retribution is the only form of communication some seem to understand, so as long as they are unintelligent enough not to heed warnings i am neanderthal enough to dish it out.

Signed
Leggy Wearer

z-man's picture
z-man's picture
z-man Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 at 4:41pm

Long overdue for 'Surf-Police' and jail cells above the high-tide line.

That'll teach 'em! Roight?

noidea's picture
noidea's picture
noidea Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 at 5:07pm

Ben and all,

I understand the point that you are making about wearing legropes in crowded line ups, and I agree whole heartedly.

Publishing the article is a good thing but to make my point more plainly, a question: If Swellnet doesn't agree with the practice, why does Swellnet encourage it?

Delete the photo's of the guys free surfing Noosa on longboards without leggies you ran 13th of March 2013. Noosa would have to be in the top ten most crowded line ups in Australia if not the world.

The leggie article implied it was a trend or considered stylish not to wear leggies by the long boarder fraternity. Maybe by reducing the exposure of guys not wearing leggies and increasing it for guys who do wear them might be a proactive way to change the trend.

I guess crowded line ups generally, Greenoughs thoughts on dangerous surfboard design, clubbies without leggies and illegal operation of jet skis can wait for another time.

Signed,
Another Leggie Wearer

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 at 5:48pm

Well I certainly disagree that we're 'encouraging' it, but I get your point.

That being said, if we'd simply chosen not to 'run those photos last week', I don't think anything would have changed at all. Our non-legrope wearing brethren would still be trimming sans leash.

However, writing an article and instigating a vigorous debate certainly did do *something*. What entirely, I'm not sure - but I have a feeling the next time someone cops a stray leash-less board in the balls, they might think about this article and take the perpetrator to task.

stranger's picture
stranger's picture
stranger Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 at 7:42pm

Situational awareness, ie being aware of what is going on around you and what opportunities and risks are inherent in the situation you might find yourself in, is a really important skill that is enhanced by observation, experience and lessons learned.

People who don't wear leg ropes when it's crowded probably have pretty poor situational awareness. If you've got good situational awareness and you're surrounded by people with poor situational awareness it impacts on the quality of your surf.

If you want to improve someone's situational awareness in the surf, quickly, perhaps there aren't too many options but to teach them a lesson.

non-local's picture
non-local's picture
non-local Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 at 8:34pm

Longboards were meant to be ridden without legropes, they never had them until the shortboard revolution took off. They slow you down and they tangle easily when walking the board.
I have been hit by numorus boards that have been attached to the kooks of the surf who throw their boards when a wave comes at them instead of duckdiving. I have yet to see someone without a legrope throw their board when a wave comes at them.
Clubbies on their over sized paddle boards never wear them, so asking the lifeguards advice on the subject is somewhat of a mute argument, no wonder they fobbed you off, they are the worst offenders of loose equipment in the surf.
Mind you I only think that competent surfers should be able to surf without a leggie, if you don't fall off you don't really need one do you. They are a bit like an umbilicle cord for beginners and they have made it a lot more crowded in the lineup, without them the average Joe Kook would spend most of his/her surf swimming in and would soon not bother with the sport making the water way less crowded.
Worth thinking about.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 at 8:46pm

So how would you define a "competent surfer"? Letting everyone define themselves defeats the purpose, because we all think we're better than we really are.

As for "longboards were meant to be ridden without legropes" - well, cars were originally meant to be driven without seatbelts but there's no way I'll be cruising the Pacific Highway this Easter weekend without buckling up.

z-man's picture
z-man's picture
z-man Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 at 11:33pm

There should be a law.

No one has glommed on to my 'Police' idea. You have to exclude lifeguards - no time. I'm talking about cancelling the World Tour and putting that money in the formation of a world wide police force.

Think about it.

Please dis-regard that silly comment.

I'm really pissed off that anyone complains about anything that happens in the surf.

Don't like it? Quit.

sbsb's picture
sbsb's picture
sbsb Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 at 11:54pm

Great article Stu and sympathise with your plight, agree with both those who say the law should protect against these idiots, and those who say it is up to surfers to self-regulate.

I suspect like most people commenting, I've enjoyed the leash-free experience on a couple of occasions in two foot beachies where I've been out by myself, but wouldn't dream of doing it when there was a chance of it hitting others.

I think the defining moment comes when you invoke the law as protection against this obviously stupid situation, because you don't want to take the vigilante responsibility yourself against this guy, and with good reason - if everyone gave an idiot the biff the world would not be a good place, and that is why the law exists.

But as the clubbies know, a viable law and its enforcement is a long way off yet, so in the meantime there needs to be other ways those who know what is right can stand up for it without an assault or theft charge.

Perhaps those of us who frequent the zones of leash-free surfers (of long or short board variety) can arm ourselves with some discreet tools that could make each lost board a more expensive proposition for their owner, if you catch my drift. Bring back some of that leash-free excitement that those of us surfing reef breaks experienced back in the day. I might be packing my leatherman in my shorts pocket on the next summer surf just to be ready. Remember people, it's the number of punctures, not the size, that counts most with a dinged up board.

sunny's picture
sunny's picture
sunny Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013 at 6:53am

Thanks Stu great read and sorry to hear you were taken out by a Hipster.
Solution is not legropes but as a a comment said earlier is situational awareness. Look at the surfbreak your contemplating to surf , assess the conditions and what craft and competencies are in the line up then decide if you have the skills (or fists) to have an enjoyable surf.
The No legropes log riders and Hipster crew surf pretty small and soft waves which suits there average ability and soft style of surfing, this should not bother most competent surfers who actually look to surf waves that challenge or improve technique and get more stoke out of a session.
Stu you really should have checked for kooks befor entering a dangerous line up.
I have yet to see a log or retro pig make a late take off on any wave of consequence.

mick63's picture
mick63's picture
mick63 Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013 at 7:27am

I was watching the surf at Duranbah a few weeks back and Mick Fanning was out surfing without a legrope. The only reason I knew he wasn't wearing a legrope was that at one stage he went for a swim after his board. So the argument of only competent surfers should do it seems a bit wrong to me, everyone falls off at some stage

curly-tale's picture
curly-tale's picture
curly-tale Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013 at 9:36am

It is painfully obvious(no pun intended)the issue of wearing a leg rope has finally been brought to light. I for one salute your decision to pen an article on the subject. It will inevitably be one Barrister's daughter, one CEO's son, one Husband's wife.... before the curtain comes down on this extremely dangerous practise and a lawsuit is mounted. Take a step back and think how you will feel if your unleashed surfboard permanently damages a fellow human being. What if it was a member of your family. Yes it is a fashion and seemingly cool. See how cool it feels when you are involved in a lawsuit which strips you of your worldly possessions and may even end up with jail time over what can rightly be called reckless endangerment. I am fortunate to have grown up with what is now described as the birth of modern surfing and yes I wear a leg rope. My concience is clear. Something I feel cannot be said for a good number of people commenting on this unfortunate incident. Is I'm sorry good enough when someone is maimed. Get real, get a leash, and most importantly grow the hell up.

derra83's picture
derra83's picture
derra83 Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013 at 9:47am

Interesting reading the comments in this post and realising how different surfing is depending on where you live.

Seems to me the elephant in the room is the lifeguards. Why didn't they want to talk about it? Surely theyre at the coalface. Love to know what theyre real opinion was/is.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013 at 12:16pm

I think you could guess their attitude to surfers shunning legropes on city beaches. They're bound by law however, and also bound by their employer from speaking their mind. It would've been good to get a lifeguard speaking off record but unfortunately I couldn't find any willing to risk it.

surfstarved's picture
surfstarved's picture
surfstarved Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013 at 1:42pm

Great article Stu, and obviously touched a nerve. I wear a legrope, no matter what the conditions, mainly for selfish reasons, but also because I take no pleasure in causing other people pain ,or even inconvenience (except for my neighbour, perhaps, who's a miserable, souless cunt, but that's another story for another time).

I've been surfing for over 25 years now, on a variety of craft, in a variety of conditions. These days I don't get to go as often as I'd like, so am not in tip top condition. The leggy means I don't almost expire every time I fall off, don't make it out of a barrel or lose my board for whatever reason. And anyway, no matter how good a surfer you are, everybody falls off sometimes. It's just how it is. The ocean is an unpredictable place and things can happen unexpectedly.

I have two children, 2 and 4, both of whom I am trying to cultivate as surfers - respectful surfers; of other surfers, their elders and those more skilled, and of the ocean in which they play. I am not a violent person, by any stretch, but I can't guarantee that I wouldn't get physical with anyone whose lack of common sense and consideration threatened their safety in the way Stu described in the article above.

Harry14, Fin Wegener, lazzy100 and the rest of you wankers - Fuck off. No, fuck off. What, are you still here? I thought I told you to fuck off. And while you're at it, fuck off.

Can anyone provide a translation for "Your only agnolaging mateariol to suport your argument"? I've tried, but I just can't make sense of it...

dellabeach's picture
dellabeach's picture
dellabeach Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013 at 2:35pm

Tom Wegener:

"These toothpicks ride great....this is what I ride...the design of this board is absolutely brilliant...fast,maneuverable,EASY TO RIDE...and I am so SURPRISED that they're not POPULAR !!!

http://vimeo.com/61564727

FFW to 4:12 to watch this deluded man "share" a wave without the need for a legrope and then imagine yourself paddling out as he attempts to steer his "great machine"(it does have a metal reinforced nose)to the beach.I would feel VERY nervous being anywhere near ONE of these things at a break,can't imagine what surfing that point would be like if they were to become POPULAR!!!!

sleekit's picture
sleekit's picture
sleekit Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013 at 2:41pm

Stu,

I surf Manly most days on a longboard and wear a leggy. One piece of this puzzle that you missed from your article and that was touched upon by young Fin is the peer pressure element. From where I am sitting in the line-up there is a unspoken rule that longboarders who wear leggies are not as skillful as those who don't. Keeping that in mind, if you are new to longbording or surfing and you see the talented guys leggiless it becomes an aspiration target. A target that unfortunately comes at a cost to the rest of the line-up especially when they first start to remove the leggy.

My opinion is that if those new to longboarding or surfing saw these top talents with legropes (forced by law or otherwise) I think you would quickly see a decline leggiless board riders.

Pete

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013 at 2:49pm

Holy shit dellabeach.

dandandan's picture
dandandan's picture
dandandan Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013 at 2:54pm

Like the majority of everyday surfers, I can't see how there is a debate here; not wearing a legrope in crowded surf is selfish, arrogant and dangerous. It speaks volumes about the surfer. I don't care who you are, if there is a decent chance of your board hitting someone if you fall off, regardless of the conditions, you should take measures to ensure it doesn't happen.. you know.. by wearing a leggie.

As for Fin W... It's not exactly great for your family business to go around calling people kooks on the internet for having enough respect for their fellow stoke loving surfers and wearing a legrope. All this talk of 'real watermen' who are able to swim to their board is pointless. Especially when you surf 2 foot peelers at Noosa. Even more so when your Facebook photos clearly show you wearing a leash.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013 at 3:07pm

Hey Sleekit,

That's an interesting observation. I mentioned the levelling effect of fashion but having a tangible goal NOT to wear a legrope is a more direct cause for what's happening. The case for longboarders taking responsibility is getting stronger.

Surfstarved,

I've got three young boys myself and I think the parental protection gene kicked in when I was hit. I couldn't help but think what the result would've been had it been one of them.

pster's picture
pster's picture
pster Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013 at 3:25pm

I just had an epiphany - I have a feeling those that endorse 'leggie-free' surfing, no matter what the risk of hitting someone is, have never actually been hit by theirs, or someone elses board, and as a result, have no idea how much damage they can do.

I made the mistake of being in the wrong spot at the wrong time once, and ended up copping the rail of someones shortboard across the top of my thigh - and in only 2ft, mushburger surf, the thing near broke my femur. As it was, I ended up with pretty nasty soft tissue damage, and couldn't walk properly for the best part of two weeks.... ....all from a little shorty, in lifeless mush - imagine what a log could do? And if it hit your head - game over. Now admittedly I was in the wrong spot, daydreaming, so probably deserved it, but the issue is - with a loose board in the line up, you're always in the wrong spot, cause the thing can go anywhere!

So.... I propose, should anyone encounter one of these 'pro-leggie-free-in-crowded-surf-douchebags' that we educate them on how much damage their board can do, by dragging them to the beach and flogging them with it :D

All in favour?

dellabeach's picture
dellabeach's picture
dellabeach Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013 at 3:30pm

Hipsters and Traditionalists,getting bored with your leashless longboards toothpicks and alaias now that everyone else is following your fashion? Not "retro" enough for you? Let Sally and Sofia introduce you to your next obsession,the caballitos de Totora,over 4000 years old(as opposed to the far too modern Hawaiian boards which are only around 2000 years old)and guaranteed to continue making you the nuisance,in any lineup,you've always dreamed you could be.

&feature=endscreen

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013 at 3:30pm

Haven't noticed anyone surfing Dee Why Point without a leg rope.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013 at 3:41pm

Oh Sofia, tienes buenas tetas.

Thankyou Dellabeach.

That was a little less frightening than your last video link.

non-local's picture
non-local's picture
non-local Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013 at 3:49pm

Is everyone on here taking soft pills, what a bunch of nancy boys. Toughen up princesses, surfing used to be a mans sport, take your licks like a man and stop being so metrosexual. Legropes or no legropes doesn't matter, look out for yourself in the surf, be aware of flying boards and stop whining on like a bunch pussy faggots. Blindboy if you were around pre 1974 you would have seen lots of people surfing dee why point without leggies. Some of the best surfs I have had have been when I have left a leggie at home/ a mate has pinched it or it has broken. Amazing how you have to make your moves when you are no longer attached to your board, and I'm not talking 2 foot city mush.
Bunch of whinging nancy boys if you ask me. Harden up or fuck off.... Really

pster's picture
pster's picture
pster Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013 at 4:04pm

Kinda hard to either 'harden up or fuck off' when you're brain-dead, because some tool thought he was tough....

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013 at 4:32pm

Twas only a matter of time till someone unbuttoned their shirt and showed their chest hairs.

Attaboy Non-local.

tricky_dick's picture
tricky_dick's picture
tricky_dick Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013 at 5:20pm

scenario 2 : girl in line up being very retro, aged 21, losses board because naturally she aspires for greatness, washes through to the aspiring young gromm paddling out, takes his ear off.
Your in the lineup because your out their with your son/daughter giving him/her encouragment by just being there, because that's what a dad does.
looking back to check out how they are doing you realise that they are bleeding profusely ???

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013 at 5:21pm

Yeh non-local, wish I'd been there. You can laugh now Stu!

d1rtyw1zard's picture
d1rtyw1zard's picture
d1rtyw1zard Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013 at 5:44pm

Just like leftinmanly I signed up just for this. I surf on both short and longboards and I take my longboard out at 5-6ft Bells often. I do this cause I can get more waves. My view is that its my board and my responsibility to keep it under control. I hardly ever let the longboard go (only after a check to make sure it wont hit anyone) and I never surf without a leggie. Ive even paddled into the impact zone to avoid people behind me copping it in the face.I do this for two reasons, the first is I used to surf in the Bra and on one occasion I had an out of control goat boater jump off his board on a 4ft day when he realised he was going to run over either myself or my mate. After throwing my board in what I hoped was out of the way I surface to find the nose missing a foot from the end of the board. When I confronted the guy at the carpark his answer was [email protected]#k @ff, it took all my resolve not to take it any further, but I always remember the feeling of helplessness I felt as I was a poor student with no backup board. The second occasion was much worse, at avoca on boxing day (yes I know why why why would you surf there on a holiday at christmas) I had a guy ride straight into me. It was 2ft I saw him coming for 30m, I thought no way he'll keep coming I've got nowhere to go (it was about 3ft deep as well) bang right into my right side, 20 internal and 7 external stitches, if I wasnt wearing a wettie I'd have been in real trouble. The guy swam off never looked at me or even asked if I was OK. So yeah I think its the riders responsibility.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013 at 6:34pm

I love it when they just up front admit that they can't cope with a level playing field......I ride a longboard, SUP, or other OSS so I can catch more waves! Aaah it all comes out in the wash.

But commiserations on the injury d1rtyw1zard. As far as I can remember all mine were self-inflicted, which raises the point that not wearing a leg rope reduces the risk of an impact injury for the non-wearer while increasing it, however slightly, for everyone else. I can see this becoming Liberal party policy before the election.

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013 at 6:48pm

You do what you can Blindboy. I took my 7"6' gun out at 6"+ Lennox last year because I have nothing in between 6"3 and that. I didn't hog waves but had no trouble taking a set when I wanted one. I often actually got the wide ones that caught everyone out of position. Lot's of guys out there struggling on what looked liked 6"0's.

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013 at 7:41pm

@ Non-Local

"Legropes slow you down"

Are you seriously telling me that you noticeably surf faster sans leggie?

Righto hero...

pensky's picture
pensky's picture
pensky Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013 at 8:28pm

interestingly the wegner clip mentioned by dellabeach has now been removed

non-local's picture
non-local's picture
non-local Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013 at 9:02pm

Goofyfoot, yep thats right you do go faster without one and it is noticable and you can go shove that hero comment fair up your arse.

cammo's picture
cammo's picture
cammo Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013 at 9:07pm

From QLD and only surfed Manly a couple of times but seemed pretty much like any other populous place with small/medium okay waves with easy access. Bit different I suppose because a while back I set a goal of surfing any board convincingly. I ended up with a quiver like a history book including an original Bill Wallace toothpick, 12 footer and a range of logs, fishes, singles and thruster. Sometimes I go no leash - all boards, sometimes I use a leash - all boards including the pick, I just attach to the tail handle. For me it depends on the conditions and the crowd. Even if surfing well, if it's hollow and fast and there's people inside, I think you need to be respectful and consider their safety. Face it, it's more soulful to wear a leash and not lose a board than not wear one and kill a kid in the shallows. Point made I think. Most times we are allk out in 2-3 feet, for some leash not needed, but for some it is whether a learner or a good surfer pushing limits. Any time there is a crowd inside (Noosa, Currumbin Alley etc) you either surf wide no leash or stick it on if you wanna be tight to it and pull in. If no-ones inside, you got the option. The safety of others - law suit or not - really has to come first. You don't drive a car with no brakes because it's more fun (and I did have a kombi for a few years!). Please however don't keep on with that 'longboarder' stuff. Do you change if you go from 8 to 9 feet? Come on. I ride boards double length than some of them and I agree many can't handle their equipment when it gets willing...including me too sometimes, so I choose to wear a leash when needed. Remember, leg ropes (invented in France I am told by Scott Dillon) came in to prevent swimming for your board...line ups weren't crowded. I've had my share of bangs from 9's, shortys, skis, surfboats - got bumped by a ray once too. I put myself in there...so it goes each way. So sometimes I ride mad-size boards and it is in my view better for all boards, without a leash, but hurting someone else for that little bit extra isn't cool. In fact it could ruin another life or two as well as you own. We all gotta be aware, adapt when required - inside the break orr in the line up. It's not just leg ropes, its attitude, encouraging learners, not branding, undestanding we aren't all Kelly Slaters Mick Fannings Rastas or Wegeners. We don't have those abilities but we are all brothers (and sisters). Don't point, extend the open hand. Ox.

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013 at 9:09pm

How much faster?

non-local's picture
non-local's picture
non-local Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013 at 9:37pm

Goofyfoot, go find a nice hollow wave somewhere without a heap of people on it and give it a go, a lot faster, think about what is dragging behind you, a loop of rope and try to tell me that without that loop of rope you wouldn't go faster. By the way, I don't condone not using a legrope when it's crowded as fuck, but when you find some waves without hoards of people on them give it a go. You may have a few swims to deal with but thats part of the fun, it's good to be able to swim and not rely on a legrope all the time.
Drag co-efficency, do some of your own research on the subject and try to explain how a legrope wouldn't slow you down.

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013 at 9:57pm

Changed your tune a bit non local. " I don't condone not wearing one when its crowded as fuck" sounds a bit different to "leg ropes or no leg ropes doesn't matter, look out for yourself in the surf, harden up or fuck off... Nancy boys"

They probably do slow you down fractionally, I didn't say they don't. But the difference would be that small that I think your kidding yourself if you think you can notice it.

Any way I'm just " whining like a metrosexual pussy faggot"

Later tough guy

barley's picture
barley's picture
barley Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013 at 10:40pm

Luckily we don't have this kind of problem down my way..the breaks are a fair paddle out and if your without a leggie it is a) a very long swim in and b) a very large fish will enjoy an easy meal..The main longbaordrs actually surf really good and always have a leggie for the above reasons.
Sure if on a your own peak then no-leggie can be cool but to not wear one when its crowded is just dumb and ignorant as fuck!
If a floundering board comes towards me in a dangerous fashion, the first time, you will get a warning. The second time it happens I'll punch you in the face..at the least..lawsuit or not. If it hits my kids I'll beat the fuck out of you. Kind of like when people let their dogs off the leash when they are not supposed to.
About time alot of the 'fuckwits' on here pulled their heads in and have a bit of respect for other water users...peace

beanthere's picture
beanthere's picture
beanthere Thursday, 28 Mar 2013 at 8:23am

For a completely different view on the subject. I have always bemoaned the use of legropes, yes in todays absurd surf environment they are a must,
but without them, just how many people would actually be in the water. Their use sees people with absolutely no idea clogging the ocean, bailing when paddling out, taking off on waves they are incapable of surfing and have their board pop up ready for the next ugly failure. A good majority of these people would be incapable of swimming/bodysurfing to retrieve their board, so would not be out there in the first place, instead finding something more attuned to them-such as getting another tattoo. Whatever happened to beginning away from the main break till you had the ability and confidence to join in. With leg ropes you have imbeciles(to use the Gold Coast as an example)out at Snapper, Kirra,Burleigh etc with no learning process behind them. How many do you see at Bilinga and other marginal beachies?Before I go allow me to express my loathing of Surf Schools. These people for the sake of a buck pump out tens of thousands of kooks into the lineup every year. Some of the 'coaches ' can barely surf themselves, yet they've done the course and are accredited. Scary.The former high profile surfers who run some of these things are sell outs.Yes we all see the disabled etc. having the buzz of a wave taking them to shore and I think thats great. But do it for charity. As fot the seachangers on their mals and SUPs, these people are the water equilivant of drink drivers on the danger to others factor.

non-local's picture
non-local's picture
non-local Thursday, 28 Mar 2013 at 8:27am

Beenthere, you are singing the songs I like to hear, too true.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Thursday, 28 Mar 2013 at 8:35am

So let's blame the people who popularised leggies in the first place. All those surfers who chose to wear a legrope when they were introduced in the mid-70's raise your hands.

IT'S YOUR FAULT!

sampro's picture
sampro's picture
sampro Thursday, 28 Mar 2013 at 9:49am

While we're at it, why don't we ban pointy nosed surfboards, sharp fins, slippery wax, pink zinc, and anybody who can't surf as good as Joel Tudor from the get-go from the water?

Legropes should be worn in crowded waves, yes. But to legally enforce it? Go jump. Surfing is dangerous, we all know it, yet we still do it. We know the reef/rocks/sand can cut us, bruise us, injure our spines etc. so why don't we legally outlaw them too? Sound ridiculous? It is ridiculous, just like banning the non-use of legropes.

99% of surfers (longboarders and shortboarders) should be wearing legropes. But once you have somewhat mastered the noseride, walking the board backwards and forwards (no shuffling!), and controlling your turns and kick outs, I think you are fine to not wear a legrope in low crowd waves and point breaks.

Keep law/legality out of recreational surfing. Be realistic about your abilities and wear a legrope accordingly.

dandandan's picture
dandandan's picture
dandandan Thursday, 28 Mar 2013 at 10:30am

I agree with those who think the law should stay out of surfing. But here is a hypothetical question that I struggle to answer:

You are out surfing with your kid, let's say he is 12 years old, and he is ready to start surfing out the back. He can paddle and duck dive and knows how to stay out of the way. In many ways, you could call him a competent surfer. He just lacks a bit of confidence. You paddle out together on a mellow little 2 foot beachie that has a small crew enjoying the easy waves. A wave comes in and your son goes for it, rides it for a bit and straightens out when it crumbles over. You check to see if he is okay, which he is, and he starts to scramble to get out for another. Best day of his life.

Another wave comes and 22 year old Kai is struggling to paddle for it, his unbuttoned dress shirt is flapping all over the place and his nuts are chafing on his tiny boardies. The wave is clearly going to close out, but Kai is oblivious. He takes off on his 9'6" D Fin Log he paid $3000 for from Deus in Canggu. Predictably, Kai pearls the beast and because he is not wearing a leash the board bounces with the white wash towards the shore, straight for your son. It hits him on the head, the fin attacking his chin as the wooden tail block cracks his skull. Instantly out cold. You don't see it at first. Then you realise your boy hasn't made it out the back. You see the blood and your boy floating in the water.

You rush him to shore but he doesn't wake up.Ambulance is on the way and you are freaking. Meanwhile, Kai is still swimming in to find his board. Someone tells you how your son was taken down by the a loose board and points to Kai. What do you do? Do you take it out on Kai, wailing him to a pulp and being charged with criminal offences? Do you just 'harden the fuck up' and accept that your son paid the price of being a surfer in the modern age? Do you take legal action to recover the costs of your son's medical bills, if he survives, and to make sure Kai pays for what he has caused?

There is no easy answer. And eventually, someone is going to face a situation like this.

uplift's picture
uplift's picture
uplift Thursday, 28 Mar 2013 at 11:17am

Gidday dandadan, my experience has been that kids upgrading to real surf can be the issue. I remember catching a bomb at blacks, and one of the best surfers at blacks now and his mates were caught in the bowl. They were only young and just getting into blacks, and were out on a decent day. One guy ditches his board and it hit me on the shoulder hooking into the bowl, another guy goes over my head on his board, just missing it, and the last guy's board slams me on the back. Kids are classic.

I've had heaps of waves there where touro dad and the kid are bailing in front of you, eyes like basketballs, and you have to straighten out and get slammed or risk hitting them.

Often the end bowl would be sick, and just as you come screaming into it, the grommies would be bailing for their lives, so again you have to straighten out, sometimes into a foot or less of water.

You are right it isn't easy. Should I punch out dad in front of his kid? Punch out kids. Of course not.

tricky_dick's picture
tricky_dick's picture
tricky_dick Thursday, 28 Mar 2013 at 11:37am

dandandan - you mustn't be into the fullness of this blog, i've allready brought the hypothetical to your sameness but with a possible girl scenario in their.

The subject matter is now to the point of what you/us should do now if and when you come across any legless scenario.
Instead of waiting perhaps for the incident to unfold - say something in the lineup before it gets out of control, like the good old days ahhh the memories, i go there when reading stuff like when we use to take pride in being able to survive without a leggy.
Back to the topic at hand, unless we all start saying something in advance to help reduce the chances as well as getting into the unfortunate incidences when we come across them even it seems a little heavy an altercation for our likeing (keep in mind where talking crowded populated beachies), all the other lineups generally have a bit of the good old days characteristics still.
The scenario at hand is more a case of if we don't and it gets worse, it gets into the main stream media (because they just don't have anything better on the day) general public opinion starts to demand some sought of action.
keeping in mind what i've just said, doesn't it sound a bit like what happened at Manly in the good old days, ever seen footage of their surf sessions from back then, it was just as crazy as it is today.

If you have joined this blog only recently, sounds like you might have missed some fun footage that was posted further up and earlier.
clubbies they are still as much a joke today as they were back in the good old days (except for their dedication to general public safety, as long as you stay in the flags, i think we have got that now.

cammo - what a real retro legend you are ( not intended to be a dig )
non-local - you do bring back the good old days, they were fun! and i've matured (a little less agro), and love the extra waves that a legrope gets me (still try to keep the board from getting washed in)

roubydouby's picture
roubydouby's picture
roubydouby Thursday, 28 Mar 2013 at 11:41am

@uplift - those things are only marginally linked. The kids prob should be elsewhere till they develop some more, or get their exposure a little more responsibly - but they aren't out there out of sheer arrogance - they are just trying to push their boundary a bit.

Someone flat out not wearing a leash and not giving a shit about the potential consequences in a crowded lineup - that is just sheer negligent and completely antisocial behaviour.

doctordoctor's picture
doctordoctor's picture
doctordoctor Thursday, 28 Mar 2013 at 3:08pm

Dandandan - Is that a serious hypothetical? A father in that situation would beat young Kai senseless and smash his Canggu special into a million pieces. The more challenging hypothetical is whether he'd survive the beating?

Sampro is right. Society has enough stupid laws without bringing them into the water. The collective call on this issue is clearly that no-leggy may have a time and a place, but it's not in a crowded Manly line up.

For the d*ckheads who think otherwise, the 'board stealing' or 'board smashing' approaches sound like a fair solution. If you're man enough to be out on a crowded day without a leggy, you're man enough to cope without the board in the unimaginable event of you c*cking up.

ben-colyer's picture
ben-colyer's picture
ben-colyer Thursday, 28 Mar 2013 at 3:42pm

So only a few have attempted any sort of solution. There seems to be a fairly solid majority who recognise that sans leggie in a crowd is mindless. A lot of us would like to surf more often without one, but we need to move on.The sensible parents need to advise their kids to "Leggie up" ie, if its not on its not on. The more assertive sensible surfers in the lineup need to help the misguided see their errors of judgement. And we can all then turn our attention to clubbies and their wayward ways. Most of all lets keep the law out of it.

surfchaser's picture
surfchaser's picture
surfchaser Thursday, 28 Mar 2013 at 6:56pm

You nearly lost me at 'Manly', but you fully lost me at 'midsummer' & 'Sunday'.....

Surfing sucks. But surfers who complain about other surfers' perceived lack of 'ettiquette' on a midsummer Sunday suck more....

While the invention of the surf leash grew the sport of surfing, it ruined the humanity in surfing.

monk's picture
monk's picture
monk Thursday, 28 Mar 2013 at 7:55pm

After reading the comments I have concluded that there is only one solution: if the situation arises when a leashless board (long or short) hits you and damages you, your kids, or your board - calmly take the offending board up to the beach, kick its fins out, and remind the rider to buy a leggie when he has his fins replaced. I vow to do this in the future (unless it is a very young kiddie, who i would just give a stern telling off). No law, and no violence - a bit of an aggressive situation, but hey thats surfing.

PS. WA doesnt seem to have this issue (well definately not to the same scale as Sydney/Northern NWS). Maybe because of the rocky coastlines, lack of mal-friendly point breaks... or maybe it is the lack of surfing hipsters over here...

legless's picture
legless's picture
legless Thursday, 28 Mar 2013 at 8:22pm

Just joined to comment on this
firstly to the Journo who wrote this hope his next articles also incites rants against

fuckwit 21st century surfers who paddle through the break and not around it trying to duckdive in front of you just as your about to pull in (I blame this for the way surfschools teach)

wiggle wacky hop hop dickheads who try ridiculous airs and chop hops on top of crew before they even know what a rails is used for so fucking dangerous,

seachange kooks who talk the talk in the carpark but cant walk the walk in quality line ups just getting in the way and tossing their board fuck off to the whitewash

then the fucking hipster kooks who stole riding old mals why could they not have made the 5" 8" I'm fucking great or 6"2" I am better than you hip fuck off riding logs.

to the latest trend of micro groms with parents who gather in groups who want to cash in on their kid being KS videoing every session and treating surfing like formula one egging them into just going with no regard for the surfer inside fuck off and go some where safer not the best bank on the beach thanks vegemite.

also to the SUP look at me crew with 12 foot of board and 20 foot of legrope getting caught up the top and then getting pummelled into the crew inside next wave go and surf outer bombies for godsake or lay it in the carpark and do yoga on it or run over it with your audi.

to the websites who do reports on a single breaks encouraging crew to go out make your reports more generalised or maybe you guys will get a lawsuit one day.

And last to the dickheads who cant surf riding logs without leggies in crowded lineups.
I love riding logs in the under waist high quality a frames I always pick the bank with no one on it or go to the smaller reefs but I always leave a leash on the sand in case any of the afore mentioned crew turn up then I go and put it on. Surfing without a leash by yourself using all the log riding footwork is something special please don't make it illegal.

non-local's picture
non-local's picture
non-local Thursday, 28 Mar 2013 at 9:10pm

Monk - why don't yo be a real heman and headbutt the fins out while standing in the shory with the loose board? Hope it has futures in it ya tool?
Knock my fins out and I will knock your teethout.

Legless - you also forgot about the old cunts who could never surf that well in the first place, they think that a life served at a break earns them the right to dictate who gets what wave and who doesn't. For fucks sake you were never a good surfer in the first place, the fact that you have been beating your head against a wall for 30+ years just shows how much of a dickhead you really are.
Apart from that you have covered nearly all bases..... Good work

shaun's picture
shaun's picture
shaun Thursday, 28 Mar 2013 at 9:49pm

Monk, you have hipsters over there, but I guess they don't want to get eaten on the swim in.

rosso's picture
rosso's picture
rosso Thursday, 28 Mar 2013 at 10:35pm

I didn't know what a Hipster was before reading this.

I thought Hipsters might be at trendy beaches, but surely not Cronulla. Next surf I looked around and f*ck me I spotted 3 of them.

Young guys, long sleave wetty tops, boardies, new mals, and some big haircuts. All not wearing a leggy.

I must be getting old as I don't understand what the kids are doing these days.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain Friday, 29 Mar 2013 at 12:19am

Don't worry rosso, they don't either.

morris's picture
morris's picture
morris Friday, 29 Mar 2013 at 6:30am

Hipsters, they come in many different styles. Where I live they are usually young maverick individuals that surf in groups.
They seek to be at one with the ocean but never alone and it didn't happen if it wasn't post on youtube.

seal's picture
seal's picture
seal Friday, 29 Mar 2013 at 8:07am

Non-local let me relate a story to you and you tell me that we have to harden the fuck up.
I went down the coast to visit a mate a few years ago and his young fella was out surfing in front of the local hotel on a high tide with about 2-3ft of swell. This place is a favourite for the kids to learn and mals etc as it's a fairly soft wave but does get good shape.
Anyhow theres about twenty youngsters and a few mals all having a great time until Mr Cool turns up with his mal and paddles out with no leggie on about a 9ft thing. He's a reasonable surfer but fuck he is way too cool doing his walk the plank and toes on nose etc and falls off and does the swim a couple of times.
On one of these swims one of the kids dads walks down to the shore say to him "mate don't you think it would good idea to put on a leggie so you don't hit anyone with your board especially one of the kids"
"Fuck off u old cunt I don't need one" was his reply and paddles back out.
Well he gets a few more waves but falls off again and his board washes in sideways and collects a kid paddling out fair in the face and breaks his nose. The kids dad freaks and grabs his kid,puts him in the car and takes him to hospital.
Mr Cool is oblivious to want happened as he was swimming in until "old cunt" confronts him on the shore again and guess what he says?
"What r all these kids doing here anyhow? What u think they're going to world champ one day, u cunts don't know what surfing is about"
So "old cunt," who just happens to be an old local enjoying watching his young kids learn to surf, kicks Mr Cools fins out in front of him and then drops him like a bag of shit beside his now finless board and says
"Now u got an alaia and if I see you try to ride it with no leggie it will be in two pieces up your arse"
Pretty heavy situation all round but all could have been avoided with a bit of thought about his actions.
Mr Cool has never been seen since but the kid ended up with two black eyes,7 stitches, a broken nose and is now scared to go surfing.
But really he needs to harden the fuck up, get back out there without a leggie and learn to be a prick like most of the other cool young hipsters and tough guys that frequent the surf these days.
Isn't that right non-local?

whaaaat's picture
whaaaat's picture
whaaaat Friday, 29 Mar 2013 at 9:54am

Logic!! WTF?? Thass underhanded, that is.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy Friday, 29 Mar 2013 at 11:58am

Point of order here! If you kick someone's fins out and/or assault them you are handing them your arse on a platter since all they need to do is report you to the police who will, without fail, charge you with the appropriate offences. Worst case scenario, assuming you did not do enough damage to warrant a jail term, an AVO banning you from that location. I believe the precedents for this are already in place. Think outcome, not process. You may find it temporarily satisfying to commit an act of violence, but it won't get you what you want.

mitch79's picture
mitch79's picture
mitch79 Friday, 29 Mar 2013 at 1:16pm

Leg ropes won't prevent injuries from other people's boards, what happens on most occasions are accidents and what you described was no different. You instigated the confrontation and so shouldn't be surprised when you get lip back. You even admit you considered violence. This is part of the problem. Aggression in the water. Lets all chill, and most important, never ever brig litigation and the liabilty laws to the water.BAD IDEA!

adz's picture
adz's picture
adz Friday, 29 Mar 2013 at 1:44pm

SEAL That Dad deserves a beer.

Similar story i suppose.
I suggested to the offending hero you really should put a leggy on that mate. (After his board washed in several times)
Fuck off dickhead was his returning volley
I warned him of my unhappy demeaner if his disregard resulted in hitting one of my kids
I guess he wasnt a father whos child has been put under the threat of unneccessary physical harm because as i lobbed the ball back in his court very gently.
Yeah what are you gonna do about it comes back over the net.

Parental protection is my arguement and his girly squeal as he went sparko in the knee deep water was only muffled by the applause from the beach.
One was enough to get the point accross though if u took into account his self evaluation a young Mike Tyson would have gone down to him in the first.
I know it was less damaging physically than his board hit would have been especially if you were 3 foot tall, but the ego bruise will live on.
Tears and threats of im a local didnt make him look too cool especially when he tried to rally his mates only to be shunned again for his actions.

Would have been nice if he wasnt a douche and it didnt have to come to this but thats how it is. If i have to pay for protecting my kids from a douche bags gross negligence with what ever society deems necessary, then im happy to and i will take it on the chin.

You cant tell me if the situation was in a crowded park and a cpl of guys were swinging bats around close to people or hitting cricket balls into people something wouldnt be done about it.
In my opinion its no differant.

If the cool cats cant find value in a leggy enough to save some kids face then maybe think about your custom resin swirl.
Thats gotta be worth saving ....no ?????

Leggy Wearing Dad

seal's picture
seal's picture
seal Friday, 29 Mar 2013 at 1:45pm

100% correct blinboy, old mate could have been charged with assault and damaging his board but Mr Cool did the sensible thing and fucked off without pursuing it any further.
People knew who he was and where from and word of mouth is a funny thing when you want to surf places where u might not be welcome, hence he hasn't been seen at that surf spot since.
Sure he might have been able to get an AVO on old mate but then he'd probably have to get it one the whole community.
Having said that, I heard that in the time since he has never inquired how the kid that he injured was or attempted to apologise except in a round about sort of way by asking people that knew people to find out.
So basically a gutless person all round and fairly typical of the sort of people that are willing to risk other people's safety, just so they can do what they want, trying to attract some attention to themselves.
And yes, it's also those types that would normally press charges after they've done the wrong thing and copt a beating because of it.
Thankfully in this case he didn't as it probably would have ruined old mates life, just for doing the spur of the moment thing that most protective fathers would do when seeing even someone else's child get smashed like that and copping a spray from some fuckwit when trying to stop it happening in the first place.
But hey, we all have to harden the fuck up and cause more of the same! Isn't that right Non-local?

benski's picture
benski's picture
benski Friday, 29 Mar 2013 at 1:47pm

come on mitch, you can do better than that.

But in case you can't, think about seatbelts. Of course they won't prevent all deaths in car accidents but they'll prevent some of the easily preventable ones. So they're worthwhile to use.

But in the case of leggies it's not your own safety we're taking about it's that of everybody else. It's such a no bloody brainer...if you're not wearing one when surfing in a crowd you're a bloody goose.

whaaaat's picture
whaaaat's picture
whaaaat Friday, 29 Mar 2013 at 2:32pm

So, to get serious for a moment. If you're too stupid, selfish or cool to wear a leash where there's a foreseeable risk that your board - log or otherwise - will harm someone when it's out of your reasonable control, and someone does end up getting harmed, a price will be paid. By someone. The price will be extracted in fear and pain (especially if it's a child that's harmed, in medical costs, in long-term physical and mental suffering, in the loss of what was.

BB is largely correct about the risks of assault, although in the facts cited by Seal, provocation would clearly be a part-defence. But violence begets violence: it's always a bad idea.

But as for Mitch's plea to keep litigation out of the water, why should selfish motherfuckers too cool to play by the rules the rest of us have accepted be exempt from paying for their fuckery???

Irrespective of whether you like it or not, or agree or disagree with it, the law of negligence exists. It is civil society's attempt to provide a means of extracting fair recompense from the fools, the fuckers, the dicks, the spivs and the thoughtless cunts who know better than to act the way they do, but decide to do it anyway.

dumpy's picture
dumpy's picture
dumpy Friday, 29 Mar 2013 at 8:25pm

What a great thread! Welcome to the crew who signed up to say their piece - it is a full on topic! To me it rings true - if no people in water no leggie is fine, but in a crowd at least respect _other_peoples safety! i ride from 5'8" -> 9'1" (can almost stand up after 30 years) but i was thinking the other day, 9'1"mal+10"leggie+6'kook = 25' damage radius! So I stay as wide as possible from them.... Oh Yes, a stay at Byron is really concerning with all those bouncing mals. I would like to offer my opinion to them but you can see there is no chance of reason. I am just glad my home break has plenty of closeouts that generally discourages leggie free surfers.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain Friday, 29 Mar 2013 at 9:00pm

Hopefully there are some mal riders out there guilty of this dangerous practice reading this thread who may think twice in the future.

Let me reiterate- you are not cool, you are stupid!

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy Friday, 29 Mar 2013 at 9:39pm

I'll agree with with whaaaat here, violence is always a bad idea. By all means be prepared to cope with it if someone else chooses to start it but don't go there yourself. Consider first of all that it may turn out badly for you in any number of ways: for example, a friend of mine got into an altercation in the water, not much more than a bit of push and shove, but as he was getting changed the other party stabbed him. The injury was minor but that was pure good fortune. Another inch and it could have been life threatening. Another one got into a hassle with a complete idiot kook who turned out to be a kick boxing champion. In the end it was only his speed over 200m that saved him!
And it can very easily go the other way. Story in today's paper, two kids scrapping after school, one punch, one dead child. Would you want to live with that? And this is before you even consider the legal consequences. Do you really want a criminal record, the expense of a court case and your name all over the local News Ltd rag?
What we really need is more communication. The change in surfing culture is profound and those of us with the skills and experience need to step up and create a culture of self-regulation. A quiet word is the preferred option but beyond that simple, blunt language is reasonable. But leave it at that. It's usually enough. Where I surf, over the years, we have also had a few who, through persistent bad behaviour, came to be labelled persona non grata. After that they were fair game. Drop ins, snakes, death stares. Not surprisingly they disappeared pretty quickly.
So build your local culture, talk it up with your mates, because in the end that's your only defence against bad behaviour and your best chance of preserving a pleasant, positive surfing environment.

whaaaat's picture
whaaaat's picture
whaaaat Friday, 29 Mar 2013 at 9:48pm

What we really need is fewer fuckwits.

joeyjojo's picture
joeyjojo's picture
joeyjojo Friday, 29 Mar 2013 at 10:46pm

What i got told, No leg rope on and straight into the flags!

http://www.goldcoast.com.au/article/2013/02/20/447487_gold-coast-news.html

mitch79's picture
mitch79's picture
mitch79 Saturday, 30 Mar 2013 at 8:17am

Bensky, shelve the name calling and read what I wrote, "in case you can't" the gist is of course they are a good idea but comparing it to car crashes? What next? Compulsory helmets? Don't bring the nanny state to the waves! Unless you want to be the " leash monitor" and stand on the sand with a whistle and ticket book. Chill dude.

mitch79's picture
mitch79's picture
mitch79 Saturday, 30 Mar 2013 at 8:27am

"Fools, fuckers, spivs". Whaaat, you can be leash monitor with benski

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy Saturday, 30 Mar 2013 at 8:47pm

joeyjojo how classic was that final comment!
" A surf school operator said that beginners had a right to a place in the surf but had to know their limits"
Which in this case clearly did not involve the use of a leg-rope. Thanks for posting such a classic example of everything that people have been saying in this discussion.

floyd's picture
floyd's picture
floyd Sunday, 31 Mar 2013 at 7:59am

Deja vu. Great song by CSN but I digress.

Same "legal" theme but about SUPs on this site about 12 months ago.

Froth, froth, boil and bubble.

If it smells, feels and looks like dog shit don't eat it.

Don't agree with thisno leggie thing but as Stu himself admits right at the start of his article it was a busy, hot Sunday morning in Sydney. A day well left to the punters.

Lets call a spade a spade here. Most surfers are egomaniacs who can't see anything past their own grubby noses ... my wave, my bank, my beach ..... fuck off kook its mine.

surf4fun's picture
surf4fun's picture
surf4fun Sunday, 31 Mar 2013 at 9:57pm

Surfing is one of the most selfish sport on earth. Its most competent participants being those who are paid to surf, lead by their ability, rarely on their manners. They set the standard. In the case of riding 10 foot, 20 kilo piece of glassed foam. The best find this easier to manoeuvre without a controlling device which is the leg rope.

Personally I doubt I will ever cop a mal on the head. With 20 years experience in the water, I know to stay away. I see one of these boards and regardless of who's riding it, I keep an escape plan from the moment this board takes a wave. I'm quite surprised Stu, that you copped a hit? You should know better?

This board the Malibu as I have stated, is a 20kg glassed piece of foam with a big fin. Powered by even the smallest of waves, has the potential to cause some sort of injury. How much? Depends on the circumstance. Mal riders that do not use a leash...you will fall...and your board will be out of your control and will be dangerous to those who do not understand the risk YOU put them in.

To the average Joe. Are you a pro, trend setter or legend??? No! 99% of us qualify no!!! accept this

I have a question to us all?
Are you any different to a plastic chick who gets a boob job, pumps their face with a shit load of shit and then gets a shit load of shit sucked out of the hips, thighs and arse???

Do you recognise the dangers???

Are you world champion Taylor Jenson, Joel Parkinson???

That's right fuckwits your not!!!

Enjoy your weekend surf kooks and remember to not fuck up anyone else's!

surf4fun's picture
surf4fun's picture
surf4fun Sunday, 31 Mar 2013 at 9:57pm

Surfing is one of the most selfish sport on earth. Its most competent participants being those who are paid to surf, lead by their ability, rarely on their manners. They set the standard. In the case of riding 10 foot, 20 kilo piece of glassed foam. The best find this easier to manoeuvre without a controlling device which is the leg rope.

Personally I doubt I will ever cop a mal on the head. With 20 years experience in the water, I know to stay away. I see one of these boards and regardless of who's riding it, I keep an escape plan from the moment this board takes a wave. I'm quite surprised Stu, that you copped a hit? You should know better?

This board the Malibu as I have stated, is a 20kg glassed piece of foam with a big fin. Powered by even the smallest of waves, has the potential to cause some sort of injury. How much? Depends on the circumstance. Mal riders that do not use a leash...you will fall...and your board will be out of your control and will be dangerous to those who do not understand the risk YOU put them in.

To the average Joe. Are you a pro, trend setter or legend??? No! 99% of us qualify no!!! accept this

I have a question to us all?
Are you any different to a plastic chick who gets a boob job, pumps their face with a shit load of shit and then gets a shit load of shit sucked out of the hips, thighs and arse???

Do you recognise the dangers???

Are you world champion Taylor Jenson, Joel Parkinson???

That's right fuckwits your not!!!

Enjoy your weekend surf kooks and remember to not fuck up anyone else's!

batfink_and_karate's picture
batfink_and_karate's picture
batfink_and_karate Monday, 1 Apr 2013 at 11:59am

Just goes to show that even with the most sensible, basic, unarguable statement you will still find a whole bag of farkwits honestly think they can make the case the other way.

Let's get a little real, the vast vast majority of mal riders are not so skilled that they can go out anywhere without a leg rope, except if they are on their own. So unless you are Josh Constable (is that his name?) put a bloody leg rope on.

Next, if you think that having a leg rope on so impedes your surfing that the .0001% performance difference is going to stop you having fun, really, you should get a life, and not paddle out.

Surfing without a leg rope, crowds or not, is such a wank. It's a new level of pathetic fashion victim. Jaysus, stop being such a psychopath and just put a leggie on.

It ain't that hard.

The fact that this is even an issue is deeply depressing. Just how stupid can human beings get before we are back in caves, wondering how to rub two sticks together to make a fire.

omong-kosong's picture
omong-kosong's picture
omong-kosong Monday, 1 Apr 2013 at 1:08pm

The guys not wearing leggies are usually the same ones heading overseas for a 2 week sex pest romp barebacking ladyboys the whole time and bringing back disease to infect their wives and secret boyfriends.

niggly's picture
niggly's picture
niggly Tuesday, 2 Apr 2013 at 7:55pm

Agree with all that leggies are a must in crowds' just came in from a tiny surf with crowds and heaps of crew surfin legless, was thinking of this article and cursing under my breath. In a twist of events i caught a little runner on the inside snagged me leash on a rock and got pinned for a few moments ... had to laugh, would have been funny if a stray board came flying my way "surfer entangled by leggie in rocks gets hit by stray board with no legs" ... any how

to B & K

"Just how stupid can human beings get before we are back in caves, wondering how to rub two sticks together to make a fire"

one of the smart guys once said

"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones"

Albert Einstein

hope everyone gets some waves' and the arrogant legless crew start strapping up.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Wednesday, 3 Apr 2013 at 7:02am

It's amazing how much more aware I am of this now in the wake of the article.

I paddled out at a small beachbreak on the weekend, with sets in the 2ft+ range. Three longboarders sitting way out the back of varying abilities (read: one kook, one bloke who was pretty average and one bloke who was alright). A bunch of shortboarders sat inside of them, most of them teenage grommets. The wave was fat but fun, peeling off for 50-70m before closing out near a flagged area with a half a dozen swimmers.

Anyway, the longboarder who could surf decides he's going to start paddling for waves fins-first (why?) but couldn't execute the transition. Because I was busy catching waves, it wasn't for a while that I noticed he wasn't wearing a leggie.

Now to be fair, the longboarders paddled out before anyone else - but only by a couple of minutes (the lineup was empty when I checked it). So Mr Leashless may have presumed they'd have it to themselves for a little longer.

However, surfing without a leggie when there are grommets and swimmers inside of you is one thing, but paddling fins-first into waves and falling off every time? C'mon...

Fortunately he didn't last too long and went in shortly after.

floyd's picture
floyd's picture
floyd Wednesday, 3 Apr 2013 at 8:37am

Isn't calling a surfer a kook a rotten subjective thing? Isn't surfing about fun regardless of your abilities? Shouldn't we all give a little especially in small weekend surf? Isn't the surf one place where we should leave the hassle of daily life behind? Does surfing owe us anything as it has given so much and what are we giving back?

Now lets talk about something that really pisses me off .... the pro circus!!!

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Wednesday, 3 Apr 2013 at 9:42am

OK, floyd.

"One bloke who couldn't surf very well, one bloke who was pretty average and one bloke who was alright".

Better?

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy Wednesday, 3 Apr 2013 at 10:42am

floyd, floyd floyd! What are you thinking? Have you been brainwashed into uncritical political correctness? "Kook" is a perfectly valid word with considerable history in surfing culture. It implies not only lack of ability but lack of awareness. To replace it you would need at least two much longer words "foolish" and "incompetent". So the word is entirely acceptable on the grounds of both clear, concise expression of meaning and historical cultural associations. What next "grommets" replaced by "pre-pubescent developing talents"?

nunga's picture
nunga's picture
nunga Wednesday, 3 Apr 2013 at 11:36am

Is a leggie was considered a saftey device? If so and you do not use one then you would be found neglegent if you had caused injury to another person as a direct result of not wearing one.
I have 2 long boards and one fun board and would never hit the water without one. (just getting back on track here)

whaaaat's picture
whaaaat's picture
whaaaat Wednesday, 3 Apr 2013 at 12:04pm

@ nunga. The legal test is this: a duty of care exists where reasonable person would foresee that carelessness on his/her part may be likely to cause damage to another person. If the answer to that question is yes, the next question is what a reasonable person would do by way of response to the risk. I think any court would likely regard a leggie as one of the things that a surfer could easily and cheaply do to reduce a foreseeable risk of damage caused by a loose board. But, as in every tort case, the outcome depends on the facts. So, experienced surfers who know what to expect by idiots not wearing a leggie but surf a crowded break anyway may be regarded as having contributed to their own misfortune somewhat. On the other end of the spectrum, a small child swimming between the flags who gets their nose smashed or worse from a loose board would likely have their share of contribution greatly reduced.

Apologies to all for the lecture, but it doesn't hurt to be aware of what's what.

Or hurt to wear a leggie.

Peas.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Wednesday, 3 Apr 2013 at 12:16pm

I disagree with that perception Whaaat.

Why should a more experienced surfer shoulder more of the blame on their side just because "they should of known better" than going into crowded surf.

It's first and foremost the negligent surfer without the legrope that caused the situation now matter who it hits and their ability/awareness.

It's like saying a professional F1 driver who gets cleaned up by a drunk driver should also be found at fault because they should of avoided the accident or not put themselves on the road at the time.

mitch79's picture
mitch79's picture
mitch79 Wednesday, 3 Apr 2013 at 12:17pm

Whaaat I don't think anyone could disagree with that, fair call.
Stonking topic, more like it!!!

mitch79's picture
mitch79's picture
mitch79 Wednesday, 3 Apr 2013 at 12:21pm

It appears I was wrong. Said it previously but comparing things like drunk car smashes to accidents in the surf is complete hyperbole and arguably offensive to some

whaaaat's picture
whaaaat's picture
whaaaat Wednesday, 3 Apr 2013 at 12:35pm

@craig. I get that you "disagree with that perception" but you'll need to take it up with the High Court. See, for example, March v Stramare (E & MH) Pty Ltd (1991) 171 CLR 506.

Enjoy the read. Gripping stuff.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Wednesday, 3 Apr 2013 at 12:55pm

whaaaat, how about if I - as an 'experienced surfer' - paddle out at a peaky beachbreak and cop a longboard in the head before I was even in a position to assess which longboarders were wearing leggies and which ones weren't?

That was what dawned on me during my weekend session: if old mate fell off directly in front of me, say 30m ahead, then I would have ordinarily assumed his legrope would pull the board back after travelling a short distance in the water. It wouldn't have been until the board was about to club me in the head that I'd have a chance to realise that something was wrong, and that I'd have to take action to avoid being hit.

Sure, a more 'experienced surfer' might be able to identify such a situation a little earlier than a beginner or an intermediate, but in any case there's bugger all you can do to get out of the way of a leashless longboard on a shoreward mission.

floyd's picture
floyd's picture
floyd Wednesday, 3 Apr 2013 at 1:17pm

As I once read "Better to eat dog shit than go to court".

Or putting it an other way discretion is the better part of valour.

So if its a weekend, crowded, small and the peak is a mixed bag of surf craft and abilities what are you guys complaining about?

We aren't talking sleep stations here you ought to know its a best gunna be a dip, a roll the shoulders over and being social.

So what's the real issue here .... localism?

mitch79's picture
mitch79's picture
mitch79 Wednesday, 3 Apr 2013 at 1:18pm

Thermalben; there is plenty one can do to avoid errant surf craft. It seems some people have no dramas staying clear of loose boards and some that are struggling. Know what your abilities are and react accordingly when you surf crowded waves.

whaaaat's picture
whaaaat's picture
whaaaat Wednesday, 3 Apr 2013 at 1:27pm

Ben, it really does get down to the facts of each situation. Lots of variables have to be weighed up.

For example, if in your first scenario it is a peaky beachbreak with lots of surfers out and the offending log rider wasn't wearing a leash, it's more likely that the court would find a breach of duty than if it was a dawnie at a reef or point break with only two of you out. Why? Lower foreseeability of risk.

In your second scenario, if the leash just broke, well, shit happens and they're the breaks. No pun intended.

Bottom line, as a surfer, you are regarded as having taken on the foreseeable risks that are inherent in the act itself. A kid swimming between the flags does not.

But foreseeable risks, arguably, don't include dickheads who should understand that wearing a leash will significantly reduce the chances of their boards getting out of their control, and cutting a swathe through the lineup.

Now. Any more and I'm gonna turn the clock on.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Wednesday, 3 Apr 2013 at 1:28pm

" there is plenty one can do to avoid errant surf craft "

Sometimes plenty isn't enough Mitch as Stu describes at the start of this article. He moved to dodge once, and then the board unexpectedly took a turn back towards him (as is generally the case with a buoyant object racing towards shore in a chaotic wave/current environment).

So even the best duckdive, movement to the left/right to avoid the board won't save you and its up to dumb luck.

whaaaat's picture
whaaaat's picture
whaaaat Wednesday, 3 Apr 2013 at 1:30pm

And Floyd, for the record, I agree: much better to eat dog shit than go to court.

I regard it as close to failure if my clients end up in court. Even when they 'win'.

It's a legal system, not a justice system.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Wednesday, 3 Apr 2013 at 1:59pm

Mitch and Floyd, I'm fine. I've been dodging wayward surfboards for almost thirty years and I can deal with pretty much any situation I choose to put myself in.

Last weekend it was my mate's eleven year old son who I was concerned about.

nunga's picture
nunga's picture
nunga Wednesday, 3 Apr 2013 at 3:29pm

Guys its really simple! Best to man up and wear the leggie and look after those around us in the water. For those who disagree stay away from me because you'll get a verbale spray. As a father and recently a grandfather its the safty of others that counts wether you are a gun or beginer, public safty should be your priority.
All any of us want to do is get out there, relax and enjoy the privilege and freedom to be able to surf in this great country. All it takes is a little respect for each others space and to be mindfull of others.

jughead's picture
jughead's picture
jughead Wednesday, 3 Apr 2013 at 4:07pm

No legropes?
2 scenarios.

1. When it's pumping and old mate keeps paddling on the inside and going over the falls and paddling back out to the same spot and calling you off and going over the falls.
The more he fell off and had to swim in the more time you'd be in the line-up without him/her!

2. as a parent it does make life a lot harder when some hipster who can't cut it on a shortboard or who is sick of being faded on the sponge thinks he's the reincarnated 60's or 70's Morning of the Earth surfer and decides he's all retro on his log or skipFrye whatever and loses his board in front of the pack, repeatedly.

two sides to it really.
I guess when it's 4ft the hipsters aren't out there! But old mate is out on the inside legrope firm!
and when it's smaller hipster is all over it. when i was a boy they didn't call 'em hipsters, they just called 'em gay, but i guess these days you aren't allowed to say that.

mick-free's picture
mick-free's picture
mick-free Wednesday, 3 Apr 2013 at 6:12pm

Halesy never wears a legrope in Manly, but then he never really falls off. No problems there - he straightens out on his board if it closes out and holds on. I mean thats what you had to do in the old days. If you ban the legrope be a great way to reduce the numbers in the water and increase everyones water skills, be chaos but. Used to be compulsory to have a leash snowboarding but not anymore

mundies's picture
mundies's picture
mundies Wednesday, 3 Apr 2013 at 6:54pm

Watch out if whaaaat turns the clock on - it'll be $300/hr minimum I'm thinking at 6 minute billing intervals....
Mick-free re snowboarding leashes my understanding is that this rule is at the discretion of the resort that runs the mountain, and therefore some resorts (particularly overseas) still have the old anti-snowboard legacy but most realise that this is a cash cow too big not to milk...
Just a small comment based on my work background in doing medicolegal care needs assessments for the catastrophically injured - if a surfer without a legrope IS found to be legally liable for an injury they caused due to not wearing a leggie, and the injury is severe eg traumatic brain injury or quadriplegic spinal cord injury, then unless they are Gordon Merchant they will be bankrupt for multiple lifetimes as these claims often are in the vicinity of a big first division lotto win. Kinda like a reverse lottery I guess for the injured...

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain Wednesday, 3 Apr 2013 at 9:23pm

Snowboarding leashes were really only meant for those old style click-in bindings. Almost impossible to lose your board with modern bindings these days.

That's an interesting point you raised mundies. Can you insure yourself against something like this? Kinda like the council having insurance for people being involved in road accidents? Where people sue for catastrophic injuries as a result of jumping off a pier, or tripping over on a footpath. Could the same apply in the water?

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Wednesday, 3 Apr 2013 at 10:14pm

Pretty sure Surfing Australia membership gives you medical/accident insurance for all kind of incidents related to surfing..

Yep, a quick google comes up with this.. http://www.surfingaustralia.com/nsw/documents/group%20personal%20acciden...

mundies's picture
mundies's picture
mundies Thursday, 4 Apr 2013 at 12:02am

Craig - the last sentence in the document that you linked to says: "The full terms and conditions are contained in the policy documents and it is essential that these be read carefully, with particular attention to the exclusions."
I wouldnt be surprised if one such exclusion would have something to do with negligence, because as a general rule insurance tends to be for accidents, not gross stupidity (unless its the stupidity of others impacting you and even then you may not be covered - which is pretty much the topic of this thread). In NSW a few years ago a no fault system was introduced in the area of serious injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents as some injured persons were slipping through the gap because of perceived or actual negligence which resulted in insurers being able to deny liability.
Another reason for this also was to put the cost burden of treatment, rehab and care of serious MVA injuries into a regulated government authority with money generated from a fee attached to regos rather than personal injury solicitors being able to sue CTP insurers on behalf of injured persons for lump sum compensation which they potentially would blow and then still require support from the public purse. Cynics might note that CTP insurers were a major lobby group pushing this new legislation through. But thats another story for another day...
My main point, and this probably partially answers your comment zenagain, is that the behaviour of some insurers that I have witnessed tends to be evasive (in cases where liability is not clear cut) and seeking loopholes to avoid paying out where ever possible. After all, they are capitalist companies and profit is king. So even if you had some kind of public liability insurance any hint of negligence - such as failing to take adequate precautions such as wearing a commonly used safety device in crowded conditions - and I bet lawyers will be calling QC's and scouring law texts for a way out. As a health professional, I have public liability, professional indemnity and malpractice insurance, but (and I'd have to read the fine print again) I think that there is an exclusion re being negligent.
Having said all that, I am most certainly not a lawyer, and mainly work in CTP/Workers Comp cases anyway, not civil liability. Its complicated.
Whaaaat - maybe if everyone on this thread chips in you could turn your clock on and tell us more about the Civil Liability Act?

non-local's picture
non-local's picture
non-local Thursday, 4 Apr 2013 at 7:00am

Yesterday having a surf on average waves I was bottom turning around a group of people when I was struck in the elbow by a board that was thrown by its user when she was easily able to duck dive, she was wearing a legrope and so was I. Accidents happen!
This morning the elbow will require a trip to the doctors for an x-ray, and she was wearing a legrope!
Had she not been wearing a legrope she wouldn't have thrown her board. There were only about ten of us in the surf at the time, not crowded at all, didn't abuse her or even bring it to her attention that she smashed the nose of her board into my elbow, just let it go.
Reckon she will continue to throw her board for a while yet as she will never really become a competent surfer, continue to be a danger.
Beginers shouldn't be alowed to use legropes until they reach a certain level of skill, didn't let my kids use them when they were learning to surf, made them learn to hang onto their boards first, and to surf away from other surfers for everyones safety till they had a little bit of skill.

abc-od's picture
abc-od's picture
abc-od Thursday, 4 Apr 2013 at 7:38am

"Watch out if whaaaat turns the clock on - it'll be $300/hr minimum"

So he's one of those cheap arse lawyers then?

Mundies is on the money, you can't insure against negligence. The introduction of the Civil Liability Act was strongly motivated by the insurance companies for this precise reason. There's a lot of literature behind the creation of the Act, and it wasn't introduced without controversy. Some people (read: companies) were very happy, however.

whaaaat's picture
whaaaat's picture
whaaaat Thursday, 4 Apr 2013 at 8:55am

My arse is not cheap.

But, hey, everything is negotiable.

floyd's picture
floyd's picture
floyd Thursday, 4 Apr 2013 at 9:09am

Hey whaaat, that is what abbot was saying to the independents and the greens after the last federal election but later denied of course, as a good catholic boy would.

Apologises for being off topic but let us all remind ourselves of the sewer rat he is.

whaaaat's picture
whaaaat's picture
whaaaat Thursday, 4 Apr 2013 at 9:41am

D'oh! Caught me out for the plagiarist I is.

yoohooo's picture
yoohooo's picture
yoohooo Thursday, 4 Apr 2013 at 9:51am

please please don't mention the words "legal" or "lawsuit" or "insurance" !! we have enough of that crap already, soon we won't be able to walk outside our house, without a safety officer and full high vis gear.

Longboarer mags and videos of hipsters are completely to blame for all the kooks who are ditching they're legropes. Violence isn't the answer, but I think perhaps one way to discourage people from continuing on this legrope freedom journey of carnage, is to show a few videos of the culprits and post online, to highlight they're level of kookness for all to see.

mitch79's picture
mitch79's picture
mitch79 Thursday, 4 Apr 2013 at 11:44am

Yo thermalben, no doubt you can mate but your previous post suggested you can,t ie " bugger all you can do...."
Bottom line, you can't make sweeping generalisations like "everyone must wear a leash" because of concerns for a particular eleven year old or a particular incident at some random break. I ALWAYS where a leggie but also respect the fact we don.t live in a communist dictatorship and that therefor some people may not CHOOSE to wear one. That's life.

mitch79's picture
mitch79's picture
mitch79 Thursday, 4 Apr 2013 at 11:50am

Craig; exactly! Dumb luck! So my point is, accidents happen, avoid the aggro and move on. Leashes won't prevent dumb luck

benski's picture
benski's picture
benski Thursday, 4 Apr 2013 at 4:08pm

"Leashes won't prevent dumb luck."

Except, they will.

Read that article posted by joeyjojo. Just dumb luck. Except if the toolbo riding the longboard had been wearing a legrope that would not have happened. Quite simple really.

Will it prevent all unfortunate incidents Mitch? Of course not. But it will prevent a fair few.

As foe the nanny state line...spare me the political pop psychology. As soon as surfers petition the local council to pump sand or build a car park or showers or set up a national surfing reserve, they've engaged the state. And when you're in bed with the govt for one thing you're in bed for many things whether you like it or not. Reality.

Be nice if tools with runaway boards didn't give the gummit an excuse to stick their noses in by simply doing the right thing for the safety of their fellow surfers and swimmers. But hey, it's all cool. Dumb luck and all that. Nothing they can do about it is there? Oh wait there is.

WEAR A F*CKEN LEGGIE!

Incidenttally, I just surfed for the first time in 18 months. Just one of those times of life but I'm finally.moving back to the coast. As dumb luck would have it, I find.myself with an 18 hour stay in Waikiki today. So I rented along board and paddled out. 1-2 foot, clean. Crowded! But everyone had a good attitude. Kooks and nose riders alike. Even a few hipsters. Surprisingly everyone I saw had a leggie.

And I gotta say, on a side note - as ugly as this place is and as gutless as it was, getting a few waves here has been on my to do list for about 20 years. Glad I got the chance!

roubydouby's picture
roubydouby's picture
roubydouby Thursday, 4 Apr 2013 at 5:07pm

Isn't the bigger issue here a cultural one?

The same cultural shift that has forced councils to build plastic playgrounds or for supermarket managers to fret over errant lettuce leaves?

I wonder if in older times the culture would have been for the group to crack down on poor behaviour (possibly through violence or the threat thereof), but now litigation is the resolution for poor behaviour - only after damages occur.

I'm just speculating... Anyone got any insight into lineup safety in older times?

mitch79's picture
mitch79's picture
mitch79 Friday, 5 Apr 2013 at 1:41pm

Benski; now you have ceased to even make sense! You countered yourself in the one post "except they will..." Then "will they prevent all accidents, of course not..." Make up your mind dude! Then you accuse me of " pop psychology" how exactly was that statement " pop psychology". Even better, define pop psychology and how it related to my statement...engage brain-mouth filter, then type . Btw, no one gives a rats that you surfed 2 ft Waikiki .

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Friday, 5 Apr 2013 at 1:54pm

Mitch, I haven't got agro in any of my posts, but you lad seem to be getting all firey and agressive towards everyone. Settle down and go surfing.. don't forget your leggie!

mitch79's picture
mitch79's picture
mitch79 Friday, 5 Apr 2013 at 2:23pm

Craig: good for you Craig, no aggro in mine either, just calling a spade a spade, or in other words, just calling benski non-sensical. If its a bit fiery for you I apologise. Hug????

shaun's picture
shaun's picture
shaun Friday, 5 Apr 2013 at 3:13pm

@ Mitch, I think you missed the point, everyone was wearing a legrope a Waikiki, considering that this is where it all started they have had a few hundred years to sort it out and were still riding mals right through the short board revolution I reckon they have sorted what is right and wrong. If you want to surf somewhere it is acceptable to surf without a leggie in a crowd, grow some balls and surf Pipe.

mitch79's picture
mitch79's picture
mitch79 Friday, 5 Apr 2013 at 3:14pm

Oh and Craig, I meant avoid aggro in the water.
There's no swearing, upper case words or even the word "kook" in any of my posts so I'm not sure how I've been fiery and aggressive to "everyone"

mitch79's picture
mitch79's picture
mitch79 Friday, 5 Apr 2013 at 3:32pm

Shaun, if that is actually his point then it's just as wrong as all his other posts. " because they do it in Hawaii " is no reason to start making and enforcing particular laws on the other side of the planet.
And suppose you are right on that point, the question becomes, when is a crowd a "crowd" , three people, four, ten. If people paddle out when I'm on my own do I have to go back in and get my leash? It raises so many unanswerable questions. Bottom line, personal choice and level heads will always win out over hysteria.

benski's picture
benski's picture
benski Friday, 5 Apr 2013 at 9:30pm

Yeah look sorry mitch I'm not interested in you anymore. It's always boring chatting to someone who's just interested in playing lame cherry picking word games instead of discussing things like a grownup. You know the point I've made. And you know as well as I do that I'm right.

But if you don't understand the point and you really can't work it out then you're not worth wasting any more time on.

whaaaat's picture
whaaaat's picture
whaaaat Friday, 5 Apr 2013 at 9:45pm

Mitch, Mitch, tell me you're not Tyler Durden's love child.

.

Or Tyler himself.

robert-barta's picture
robert-barta's picture
robert-barta Saturday, 6 Apr 2013 at 7:35am

This is all pretty funny, back in the mid seventies, when leggies were a new thing. They used to be black rubber tubing with string inside. These leg ropes used to stretch about 10mts and fling back at your head doing 100kms. There were a few pretty bad head cuts, the local hospital and Waverley Council were in in talks and meetings, regarding the banning of all leg ropes from Bondi.
Been surfing now for more than 45 years, and still on a short board, I must admit that it does feel good with out a leg rope, but this I save for Crescent Heads only. Cant understand why some one would even think about not wearing a leg rope on a crowded day with all those back packers and lean to surf school tools in the water, besides hurting them, what about the board, nothing worse than a ding.

brutus's picture
brutus's picture
brutus Saturday, 6 Apr 2013 at 8:11am

very interesting article...had a chat to a couple of lawyer friends about your responsibility in the surf for your s/bd.

Duty of Care is what you would have to prove in Court if you hurt or injured someone.

So in effect you are responsible for who or what your s/bd hits,and any damage or injury's you are responsible.

No legrope means you have no plan in case you lose the board and it hits,injures or damages somone/thing!!

so no leggie means you are out there playing Russian Roulette with the rest of swimmers/surfers....

In a court of law the Judge would simplyask what safety precautions didyou take to avoid the accident...I would like to see someone try and explain to a judge,that they didn't use a leggie...because its freere feeling,and leashes affect ya performance!!!!

mitch79's picture
mitch79's picture
mitch79 Sunday, 7 Apr 2013 at 8:09am

Benski: thank god!! You were pompous and insulting from your very first replies to my earlier posts ie " you can do better but in case you cant! " so I think I will get by. Peace
Whaaat you may have a point sir, my house often looks like Tyler's shithole of a pad.
On Brutus's point, will we all be prepared to pay board and beach rego fees when people start suing the council when the injured party can't find the perpetrator. CTP green slips or all surf craft perhaps? Whaaat this could happen yes?

surfingirl's picture
surfingirl's picture
surfingirl Sunday, 7 Apr 2013 at 9:31am

Most of these loggers can surf, BUT, in crowded breaks without a leggie......not cool.
The best thing is when you're up at Crescent watching these guys 'n'gals, it's pretty crowded and you think they really should have a leggie but they're too cool for school to use one. There's always one wave they get, miss their board when they come off.......and over the rocks it goes. Crunch! Entertainment for everyone!

sandspit's picture
sandspit's picture
sandspit Thursday, 11 Apr 2013 at 8:13am

found a quote that sums it up nicely

"You can get the same benefit by surfing with a leash but pretending that you aren't"

longtack's picture
longtack's picture
longtack Thursday, 11 Apr 2013 at 9:54am

Well I started surfing in 1964 and still surf short and longboards. I dont go without a legrope (dog collar)I am upset with the introduction of the leash as my ding fixing service has suffered because of them. Without them it kept idiots away from reef breaks, thinned out the line up after a set as you needed to hold on tightly and reduced the fitness of most surfers as you needed to swim in to retrieve your board.
In the period without leggies you took RESPOSABILITY for your owm saftey you looked out for stray boards. It was part of surfing as was the common punch up to settle a grommet down and make kids respect their elders.

Now we have the PUSSY generation "I;ll get my dad" , "I'll sue you" OMG if you surf EARN respect look out for your own saftey and the saftey of others. How many kids now would retrieve a lost board and help another surfer out, not many. It is the MEEEE generation and I"M A COMPETITION SURFER get over yourself is that all you can achieve in life....what a waste....

I'm going for a surf cannot be bothered with these PUSSIES...

paul-g's picture
paul-g's picture
paul-g Thursday, 11 Apr 2013 at 3:22pm

legropes should be worn by all, even in small surf, no exceptions ever!! it is a safety issue - a leegie will not slow you at all

non-local's picture
non-local's picture
non-local Friday, 12 Apr 2013 at 7:38am

Paul-g: Legropes DO slow you down! It's a simple matter of drag, and yes legropes do cause DRAG! If they didn't I wouldn't search around for the thinnest one I can find, I'd just go out and buy the thickest, most un-snappable one I could find and never need to buy another one, think about it, all you softies who keep ranting on about leggies not slowing you down, go and surf small waves with the biggest, thickest leggie you can find and then tell me they don't slow you down.
In crowded waves with a heap of seachangers out make sure you wear a leggie though so you don't make these seachangers think about anything but themselves.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy Friday, 12 Apr 2013 at 8:52am

non-local, there is no doubt that leg ropes cause some drag so in theory you are right. The real question is the size of the retarding force exerted by the contact between the rope and the water. I would tend to think it is negligible, but would be open to experimental verification of a significant effect. Personally I thnk that, applying Newton's 2nd Law, the mass of the surfer/board system is too large for it to have any measurable impact.

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot Friday, 12 Apr 2013 at 8:56am

Still banging on about the legrope thing non-local?

stranger's picture
stranger's picture
stranger Friday, 12 Apr 2013 at 6:53pm

So blindboy are you suggesting that people surfing without a leg rope when it's crowded are attempting, unsuccessfully, to not be retarded?

simple-simon's picture
simple-simon's picture
simple-simon Friday, 12 Apr 2013 at 8:39pm

Well done Stu, excellent article and some good comments created from it.. This 'SUP' thing going on presents the same dangers to surf safety as above due to what damage a 10-12ft sup with a 12ft leash attached to an owner that only cares about their precious fkin paddle can do.

Simple :)

the-roller's picture
the-roller's picture
the-roller Saturday, 13 Apr 2013 at 3:37am

Suppies?... Those fancy prancers with batons firmly in hand?... Where i'm from they're referred to as drum majorettes.

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~txfalls/pic/picBESchool_1955DrumMajore...

rh-taxi's picture
rh-taxi's picture
rh-taxi Saturday, 13 Apr 2013 at 10:40am

Thank Huey I don't surf where there are hipster trendoids endangering everyone else with their leashless boards. As for legropes causing drag in the water, pfft, the only drag is reading the BS supporting the arguement not to wear them. Surfing can be seen as a selfish activity, however its extremely selfish and arrogant to put other peoples safety at risk by not wearing one...We call Suppies street sweepers around here.

rh-taxi's picture
rh-taxi's picture
rh-taxi Saturday, 13 Apr 2013 at 10:40am

Thank Huey I don't surf where there are hipster trendoids endangering everyone else with their leashless boards. As for legropes causing drag in the water, pfft, the only drag is reading the BS supporting the arguement not to wear them. Surfing can be seen as a selfish activity, however its extremely selfish and arrogant to put other peoples safety at risk by not wearing one...We call Suppies street sweepers around here.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy Saturday, 13 Apr 2013 at 11:03am

Floating footpaths!

anton-chigurh's picture
anton-chigurh's picture
anton-chigurh Saturday, 13 Apr 2013 at 2:24pm

@longtack. well said. Surfing used to be about survival of the fittest. Now its just a fucken circus. Imagine how empty line ups would be still if all the kooks had no leashes!

mick63's picture
mick63's picture
mick63 Sunday, 14 Apr 2013 at 6:24am

@anton, @longtack and all the others criticising the use of a leash, have a read of this article and you might get an idea of why some are suggesting that a leash should be used in crowded surf. At the very least it is just common courtesy for another human which is what keeps us all living along side each other, I would have thought that it is a pretty basic concept really.There is nothing cool about smashing in the skull of a ten year old kids head. We are not in the 70's or the 60's in case you hadn't noticed so you all the hipsters trying to re live it or emulate it are just kidding themselves. Surfing wasn't about the survival of the fittest in the 'old days'it has always been about the fun. Unfortunately there has always been plenty who are in it for the posing and that is what surfing in crowded surf without a leash is all about
http://www.mydailynews.com.au/news/surf-injury-boy-close-to-death/444579/

anton-chigurh's picture
anton-chigurh's picture
anton-chigurh Sunday, 14 Apr 2013 at 10:40am

Yes mick63 , leashes should be used in crowded situations . I totally agree. And just for the record I'm no hipster living in the 70s . i enjoy finding a deserted peak to myself after work and surfing with no leash and paying for my mistakes with a swim/ bodysurf for exercise . My problem starts when a pack of frothing school kids with their over the top dickhead dads decide they too have to surf my shitty peak when they have the choice of the whole beach. What should i do in that situation?

mick63's picture
mick63's picture
mick63 Sunday, 14 Apr 2013 at 12:18pm

Anton, didn't mean to imply that you were a hipster but was commenting on a couple of comments from those referring back to the day. It seems to me that alot of the no leggie boys I see are riding the retro mals and such with the soul arch vibe trying to copy the style from back then. It amazes me that they don't consider the damage a stray board can do. Sounds like you're one of the ones doing the right thing. Cheers

mikehunt207's picture
mikehunt207's picture
mikehunt207 Monday, 15 Apr 2013 at 9:27am

At least when a longboarder is off swimming for his board it gives the lineup a break from their hassling and snaking also generally it if it small and long enough for a longboard to be the right piece of equipment it is too small for regular surfboards ie manly beach? As for" I,ll sue you" same again manly beach. Maybe you should get a coolite and keep yourself safely between the flag Stu?

longtack's picture
longtack's picture
longtack Friday, 19 Apr 2013 at 9:11am

I find it a little one eyed that when I ride a mal I'm deemed to be hassling and when I ride a short board the younger genration do not see they are hassling? I find that in a crowded surf riding a mal gives me the equality to catch waves as the more energetic younger surfers as I am 60 and surfed since I was 10years old, never stopped surfed every day and will keep it up. I have always worn a leggie since they were invented but I do not blame anyone for a stray board.
You need to take resposability for yourself rather than blame someone for the chance to gain financially. Its all about catching waves so what do you say about the surfers that wear gloves? Would you like to ban them so you get more waves? Bit gready hey.

munkima's picture
munkima's picture
munkima Friday, 19 Apr 2013 at 7:55pm

"The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins."

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy Friday, 19 Apr 2013 at 8:39pm

Just a point I'm interested in longtack. Is it reasonable to expect to be getting the same number of waves at 60 as at 30 or whatever?

sidthefish's picture
sidthefish's picture
sidthefish Friday, 19 Apr 2013 at 9:29pm

I have an exemption from wearing a leggie, complete with Doct.'s Cert, along with Fishing Lic. exemption on indigenious grounds, namely my feet and nose.

Love the Glide.

:)~~~

crustt's picture
crustt's picture
crustt Saturday, 20 Apr 2013 at 5:02am

@ Blindboy, Of course you would not expect to get the same waves at 60, you could expect more. As a senior surfer with limited time left the younger surfers should of course give way to the elderly and happily let the old bloke take more than his fair share,chances are high the poor bastard could be dead tomorrow and that wave that you generously gave up, may be his last.
Think about it. All you grommets 30 and under, you have 30 or more years of wave catching ahead of you, but poor old senior is on his last.

Spoken on behalf of all the grumpy old bastards that should just give it up, but wont!

nickcarroll's picture
nickcarroll's picture
nickcarroll Saturday, 20 Apr 2013 at 9:05am

Jesus christ on a bike, there's some magic in here eh. Well done stu!

Just want to say a big thanks to "legless" who a couple of weeks ago in these comments coined the fantastic term "21st century surfers", gold.

FWIW I do feel we should do all we can to prevent the entry of the legal profession into surfing disputes

And to the poor people who feel the legrope destroyed surfing back in 1974, you sorta can't help but get a picture in your mind of them: saddened by this awful cultural betrayal so many years ago, not really knowing where to turn, and so forced to soldier on through the decades with a grim half-smile half-rictal grimace, every surf a bittersweet symphony, confronting them with both the memories of Eden Past and the coarse mockery of the present. Their artists' souls broken on the wheel of progress. The human tragedy. God it is terrible to contemplate is it not.

whaaaat's picture
whaaaat's picture
whaaaat Saturday, 20 Apr 2013 at 12:01pm

FWIW, I do feel we should do all we can to prevent the entry of the journalism profession into legal disputes; our image is bad enough as it is.

longtack's picture
longtack's picture
longtack Saturday, 20 Apr 2013 at 3:11pm

Well at 60 I still do get as many wave as I was at 30 but I am considerate and coutious to others I wait my turn call others onto waves if they are in a better position I don't take everything that looks like a wave as do the gready generation. We surfed for the fun of it and I have noticed since the whole "Competition" thing took over it is all about me...me...me.
So many of the 30s and under do not know how to enjoy surfing with others. It is funny the comment on "it could be their last wave" I know of many over the time aged in their teens 20s 30s that it was their last wave as they were killed or died in unforseen circumstances.
How dumb and nieve was that comment, age it not always the terminating factor he was trying to score point without intelect....
My origional point was that you need to take resposability for yourself and keep an eye out for a stray board not blame someone for it. We survived the 60s 70s 80s 90 00s and now 10s and after surfing every day I have only been hit by my own board never anyone elses. The stats are looking good.
On a positive not most of you will give up surfing and become couch potatoes like 98% of the groups I have seen over the years, only a few will really hang in and live out their days as a REAL SURFER.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy Saturday, 20 Apr 2013 at 5:52pm

Thanks longtack

crustt's picture
crustt's picture
crustt Sunday, 21 Apr 2013 at 6:22am

Longtrack, I was taking the piss, I don't score points because there was no point. Sorry to interrupt without any intellect but I haven't got any. Don't take it so seriously, it's a laugh.

tmate's picture
tmate's picture
tmate Wednesday, 24 Apr 2013 at 1:07pm

Different scenario but similar story - I was riding my bike near a dog park the other day, some people walking said to me to be careful of their dog up ahead. Being a dog owner myself, I thought no worries, if they had any concerns about the dog it would be on a leash.

So I ride past the dog and it comes and bites me, not aggressively, but he was a big unit and left a pretty solid tooth mark which bled for 2 days and looked like a biopsy.

Now I wasn't mortally wounded, but I was seriously pissed off that 2 morons that knew their dog bites people left it off a leash in a public area. If a child copped the same bite there would be a pissed off papa bear.

Now for sure, you don't want the law and courts getting involved in daily life, but some people are just so stupid that a hit in the kick pocket may be the only thing that makes them think about things.

dellabeach's picture
dellabeach's picture
dellabeach Monday, 13 May 2013 at 3:38pm

Here's a very practical example of why wearing a legrope is a very good idea.Surfing Greenmount last night at about 5:30,getting quite dark.Said Hi to a guy I knew (riding a longboard without a legrope),before riding one last one in.Get to the beach to find the guy walking on water's edge without his board."What happened?","Caught a small one,fell off,bodysurfed very next wave......can't find board!".I helped him look for it in the fading light.No luck.Last saw him walking off in the dark towards Kirra,hoping it had drifted further down.Told the story to my wife,who had been waiting on the balcony of the Greenmount Life Saver's Club and she remembers seeing two guys coming off the beach a little earlier,fully dressed,carrying what looked like a paddle and a board.Not a SUP but a longboard.Lessons to be learnt:wear a legrope,especially at dusk and DON'T STEAL.!

dellabeach's picture
dellabeach's picture
dellabeach Monday, 13 May 2013 at 3:56pm

Happy ending to my previous post.After walking half-way to Kirra,guy walks back to Greenmount to find his board safely placed near the stairs by some Good Samaritan.He guesses he must have bodysurfed past it in the dark and failed to see it at first.Fully dressed guys with board and paddle,acquitted.All is good in the surfing world again.

crankitupto11's picture
crankitupto11's picture
crankitupto11 Tuesday, 28 May 2013 at 7:13pm

I have to admit that I love surfing leashless on those small, fun summer days. However I am also a decent human being and so worried about injuring some poor kid or damaging someone else's board in a crowded lineup. My solution was to buy a little 5'2" Softlite fish to use on those fun days so you can still go without a leash without killing anyone. Even with the softy I am still careful with my wave choice and make sure I only go waves that are going to wall up properly and don't have anyone in front that I might hit. It's common decency.

crankitupto11's picture
crankitupto11's picture
crankitupto11 Wednesday, 29 May 2013 at 12:36pm

Also, thought about this last night, I cycle to work every day and notice that there's a similar issue in the cycling world. That being people who think it's perfectly ok to ride around in the dark with no lights. The ignorance and stupidity of these people astounds me. If I had an accident because of some idiot without lights, and was injured, I would definitely seek financial compensation.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Monday, 10 Jun 2013 at 12:52pm

Flameman, the circumstances around the mans death are still unclear. It looks like he may have hit himself with his own board and then had a heart attack.. http://www.northernstar.com.au/news/surfing-tragedy-pass-byron-bay/1900524/

Sad story either way.

flameman's picture
flameman's picture
flameman Monday, 10 Jun 2013 at 1:05pm

Thanks for the link craig. Terrible thing to happen, and in front of his family.

dfinglide's picture
dfinglide's picture
dfinglide Sunday, 23 Jun 2013 at 2:45pm

Here`s my 2 bobs worth. Some years ago I was in Jackson surfboards, having a chat with Dave Matho & Jack Eden, the old surf photog, when this subject came up. Jack said that he had spoken to his lawyer about it, quote, IT IS NOT THE NORM not to wear a leg rope. So it could be proven in a court of law that you were negligent by not wearing a leg rope, if your loose board was to cause injury to another person. It has become trendy,hipster,get back to the way it was in the old days. Well dudes it was a lot less crowded back in the day, and still people got injured, split heads,knocked out teeth,plus plus.Wear a leg rope, it saves a lot of swimming,as for hindering walking the board,bullshit,occasionally it might caught around your feet, so what, catch the next wave.Surfing is suppose to be FUN not a legal mine field.

legless's picture
legless's picture
legless Monday, 24 Jun 2013 at 8:51am

Well lots of good points best summed up by use common sense if your surfing a little bank by yourself I think its ok leggie less if crew start coming out put one on as a courtesy to others no matter how good or cool you are.
And if your one of those 21st century SUP / Mal/ fish/ HPSB/ minimal etc riders use some common sense in the line up yourselves (although the legal system is removing common sense from human thinking) paddle wide dont throw your board or bail your SUP and if someone clearly can surf respect them if they are taking off don't flail paddle on the shoulder and bring the lip down of go over the falls in front of them just wait for the next wave for godsake.

kbomb's picture
kbomb's picture
kbomb Saturday, 19 Apr 2014 at 12:25pm

Just been to a very crowded point break on the mid north coast, a wave for long and short boards. While watching from the rocks I saw a least three bearded hipsters come off their 9ft male with no legropes. One board almost cleaned up two kids who were paddling out, the guy collected his green board from the rocks and then paddled straight back out. It is gross stupidety, extremely irresponsible and only a matter of time before someone gets killed. It's like the life jacket slogan, nobody's day was ruined by using a leggie.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain Saturday, 19 Apr 2014 at 1:31pm

I betcha they thought they looked cool though.

Coops70's picture
Coops70's picture
Coops70 Saturday, 19 Apr 2014 at 5:57pm

I remember a mate years ago no legrope lost his board kid dead simple as that. Everyone involved has to live with it for the rest of their lives, should be law

kbomb's picture
kbomb's picture
kbomb Sunday, 20 Apr 2014 at 4:14pm

Yep Coops, should be the law.

wellymon's picture
wellymon's picture
wellymon Sunday, 20 Apr 2014 at 6:56pm

Horrible outcome Coops.
I have nothing else to say :(
My apologies.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Sunday, 20 Apr 2014 at 7:04pm

I realise this is old news, but I'm still trying to get my head around Tom Wegners Toothpick / no leggie combo out Noosa.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Sunday, 18 May 2014 at 10:59am

Stu, I would not have thought you would be encouraging gronks like the WOTD today.

Especially when people are exclaiming just how crowded it is out there.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Sunday, 18 May 2014 at 6:47pm

I didn't even realise he was leggyless till I read your message. Just took a quick scan of the photo before posting it.

As Welly says we can't be held accountable, but still, where possible I don't run shots of people without leggies. 

wellymon's picture
wellymon's picture
wellymon Sunday, 18 May 2014 at 1:10pm

Wheres the leggie.........?
Nice pick up.............Uuuuummmmm
Stu can't be made responsible for that surfers actions tho, a different photo, black n white, art....?

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Sunday, 18 May 2014 at 7:15pm

Of course your not responsible mate, thought it must have got past the umpire.

As was expressed by many in this post, can't fathom what's going through the mind of a guy like this going out in one of the most densely populated lineups in Oz with no leggie.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Wednesday, 29 Oct 2014 at 12:21pm

The leash-free hipster strikes again!

http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/news/injured-gold-coast-surfer-urges-hipsters-to-use-leg-ropes/story-fnj94j0t-1227105551203

A head full of stitches the result of this incident.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Wednesday, 29 Oct 2014 at 1:10pm

Surf rage must be the hot ticket for selling fish and chip wrap at the moment.

Bus loads of hipsters!

Kill 'em all let god sort em out.

lukerips's picture
lukerips's picture
lukerips Wednesday, 29 Oct 2014 at 5:47pm

Any dog I see heading into a populated line-up without attire will be belittled by me on the regular. I urge all to respond to these "wanksters" in the way they deserve such as holla'n "don't kill that grommet on the inside" as he/she/it takes off.

ChadMc's picture
ChadMc's picture
ChadMc Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 at 1:52pm

I don't wear a leash. Point taken from the author. However i don't find any difference between a driver that is inexperienced speeding and taking out another car accidentally. People who take uneducated risks and perform behaviours that are beyond their ability make mistakes, its not the leash or the board its the person that's the issue, in the author's case, particularly the kids attitude. I have lost my board a few times (early on in my surfing journey) and even if it goes close to someone i have apologised (nowadays... i cant remember the last time i lost my board). People who celebrate surfing in the 60s and ride the boards as they should be ridden (Logs with no leashes) must realise that they need to surf within their limits or else they will hurt people. Penalising a niche ("Hipster surfing") within surfing by saying that it should be a rule to wear a leash, is ignorant and emotively charged, again ill re-iterate its the person not the equipment that caused the issue. In closing, at The Old Mal Nationals last year there was a big debate about whether people should use legropes in a competition that is for Pre 1968 boards. I was dissapointed when it was agreed that "if you want to wear a leash you can". This meant people could take of deeper and take more risks with their surfing knowing they could fall off retrieve their board quickly. Thus, surfers like me who surf within their limits and aren't willing to loose their board lost out. I see real value in people understanding that although surfing has moved into a mainstream direction their is a small minority (your so called "hipsters") that still value where surfing began, the way people surfed (with no leashes!) and when surfing was arguably more pure and honest. Understand that within that minority their are even a smaller minority that paddle out their big boards without leashes at stupid spots, surf over their limits and damage people and our image of surfing. Thoughts?

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 at 2:04pm

I'm curious how surfing competitively and "surfing within yourself" can be equated. Would've thought surfing in competition meant pushing your limits.

ChadMc's picture
ChadMc's picture
ChadMc Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 at 2:13pm

pushing your limits doesn't mean losing control and losing your board. In logging criteria style and grace are apart of what is judged.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 at 2:03pm

Firstly I'd say, no matter how competent you may think you are Chad, accidents do happen, and when you least expect it. Maybe someone will drop in on you, get in your way, make you lose your board, but it only needs to be that one time to do the damage.

Selfish to think you can surf a busy break without a leash. When by yourself or only a couple of other competent surfers, then fine, but any more than that or with someone unfamiliar, why not wear it, saves a lot of hassle down the line if an accident occurs.

ChadMc's picture
ChadMc's picture
ChadMc Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 at 2:19pm

Of course accidents happen and like i said before i have lost my board (early on when i was inexperienced, for the record i made sure i surfed spots where people wouldnt be affected if i did lose it), however i really believe its due to peoples inexperience and lack of control. I've almost been hit by short boarders and mid-length riders that bail when duck diving and jump off their board in front of me when they finish there ride or get closed out on?? can you not see that regardless of leashes or not its the riders lack of experience and attitude towards safety. It comes down to knowing your equipment, knowing how to surf with the least amount of risk to others. With respect, its selfish to think you can not value a culture that gave birth to surfing.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 at 2:26pm

ChadMc wrote: With respect, its selfish to think you can not value a culture that gave birth to surfing

Ha ha ha...so surfing without a leash is "respecting the culture"? A culture you weren't even a part of but are trying to grasp via looks and accoutrements?

C'mon mate, step back a moment and listen to yourself.

atticus's picture
atticus's picture
atticus Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 at 2:32pm

With respect Chad, "the culture" accepted and adopted legropes. I should know, I'm old enough to have been part of it.

What you are doing is historical cherry picking and has nothing to do with culture at all.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 at 2:09pm

"again ill re-iterate its the person not the equipment that caused the issue."

Mate, you can say it till your blue in the face but it doesn't make it anything more than a piece of self-justifactory bullshitt of the highest magnitude.

The best longboarders in the world fall off. You fall off a log in a dense crowd, such as is found at most Pointbreaks where hipster surfing predominates and you're in a with a good chance of taking someone out. Possibly for good.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 at 2:34pm

Of course accidents happen....and an accident will happen one day when you lose control of your log, have a good look at the pic of Craig Warrens head.......it could have been avoided .......wear a legrope fuckwit !

amb's picture
amb's picture
amb Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 at 2:55pm

Love the feel of surfing without a leggie, but unless your by yourself its just not safe. Cars didnt use to have seat belts, bike riders & cricketers didnt wear helmets, but now do and how many lives have been saved because off.

ChadMc's picture
ChadMc's picture
ChadMc Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 at 3:40pm

Its clear there are some people here that won't accept others view from the minority, which is all good. To punish us all by saying "you need to wear a leg rope" is unfair when your talking about inexperienced log riders that take risks and lose their boards at spots probably where they shouldn't be surfing. Ill let you battle it out. Enjoy the waves.

Joel Eugene Slater-Burrows's picture
Joel Eugene Slater-Burrows's picture
Joel Eugene Sla... Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 at 4:24pm

ChadMc wrote: Its clear there are some people here that won't accept others view from the minority, which is all good. To punish us all by saying "you need to wear a leg rope" is unfair when your talking about inexperienced log riders that take risks and lose their boards at spots probably where they shouldn't be surfing. Ill let you battle it out. Enjoy the waves.

No matter how good you are chad there are a going to be situations in which you will lose your board, everyone is entitled to their views but you shouldn't put other peoples safety at risk in order to express them..... "Even the best surfers in the world can come unstuck"

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 at 3:50pm

You don't get it Chad, just because you think you're in total control doesn't make it alright.

Even the best of the best make mistakes, this is the issue. To be so ignorant as to think you'll never lose control is just plain ridiculous. Just wear a goddam leg rope when its busy, your surfing isn't that much enhanced by not wearing one..

seal's picture
seal's picture
seal Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 at 4:21pm

Chad, unfortunately it's people like you that think they are too good to wear leg ropes that this whole topic is about.
No matter how good you think you might be, you will fall off at sometime and put others at risk.
How will you feel if, when that time comes, your board collects a grommet and maims or even kills them?
I know for one if I see someone put others at risk with behaviour such as yours I word them up and ask how they'd feel if if they took someone out.
Most times the message sinks in but I also know that if the same person was to lose their board and it hurt one of my kids I don't think I'd stop belting into them until somebody stepped in to help and I'm not a violent person at all.
That is how strongly I and many others feel about the complete disregard people such as Chad seem to have for others wellbeing and the poor excuse they use in it being about the surf culture.
Grow up and think about it you goose!
So next time you're sitting in the Kombi, eating your mung beans contemplating surfing a crowded wave on your log, think of doing the right thing by your fellow surfers and wear a leggie not being a selfish prick and jeopardising everybody in the lineup with your reckless behaviour.
Just a thought..

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 at 4:38pm

Chad, on one of those rare occasions that you lose control of your wank plank and have to swim in and retrieve it.........I hope a pissed off local surfer tradie is watching and gets to it before you and reaches into his toolbox for the battery powered 8inch circular saw and cuts your plank into 3 bits.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Thursday, 4 Dec 2014 at 12:50pm

Chad, good vid just posted on Tommy Carroll riding a SUP........ripping.......and 10ft of legrope attached to his ankle did not hinder him one bit.

mick63's picture
mick63's picture
mick63 Thursday, 4 Dec 2014 at 6:41pm

Think I might have seen this guy at Noosa, then again they tend to all look the same

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Thursday, 19 Mar 2015 at 11:50am

Another longboarder without a legrope, another injury. This time to an 8-year-old kid.

http://indosurflife.com/2015/03/no-leash-11-stitches-on-a-kids-head/

Of course the kid should've been more careful, legropes impinge on our freedom, it's unconstitutional etc etc etc...

spencie's picture
spencie's picture
spencie Thursday, 19 Mar 2015 at 12:29pm

What a can of worms you've opened!

Hope a future lawsuit ensures that this negligent attitude dies out. Mind you, we could blame leg-ropes for causing the overcrowding in the surf.

deaneprice's picture
deaneprice's picture
deaneprice Monday, 20 Apr 2015 at 10:54pm

Last week and friend of mine had three fingers broken, tendons cut and one tendon completely sliced off by a run away longboard up in Noosa.
I wrote on the Noosa Malibu facebook page and had a great number of positive feedback. What thoroughly surprised me was the absolute ridiculous statements made by hipsters who still believe they are so competent they don't pose a risk to other surfers even though they wear no leg ropes.
It's absolutely horrifying the ignorance and narcissistic views some longboarders have of this sport.
It's about time something was done to get this problem under control
Cmon surfing Australia, do something before someone gets kille, use your influence and stop an unnecessary death.

cuttlefish's picture
cuttlefish's picture
cuttlefish Monday, 11 May 2015 at 6:21pm

Surfed waves from Boiling pot through to First point during the recent big swell and it wasn't until I'd caught a bomb from well out the back at first point and was paddling back out that I noticed there were competitors in a longboarding contest out there.
The crowd was thick and there were heaps of groms in the water.
It was the Noosa loggers contest.
Wonder if any of the non-competitors were hit by stray boards that day?
Here's a link to show the size of the waves but doesn't show the crowd that were out there as well.
http://www.seabreeze.com.au/forums/Surfing/Longboarding/noosa-logger-201...

frog's picture
frog's picture
frog Wednesday, 18 Jan 2017 at 1:29pm

Experienced surfers have some hope of avoiding a loose board (scary and dangerous still) but the hipsters need to realize that most others in the water (kids, mums, grannies or your own daughter or son) have no hope of reading the situation as the board zooms in towards them (even should they be lucky enough to be looking).

Similarly, An experienced surfer could actually read the line up and choose somewhere else to go out. They have some ability to control their own safety. But the non surfers in the shallows or waist deep are totally exposed to the loose board without the judgment to know the danger they are in or avoid it as it approaches - possibly from 50 metres away.

Perhaps these hipsters would think archery clubs setting up their targets next to the fence of school yards at lunch time is an okay practice based on the logic that they are great shots and will not ever miss the target or that the kids behind the fence should be able to dodge any loose arrows?

Any board is bad when loose but some of the SUPs are just massive tanks and those finless wooden things have knife like rails.

The only time it is acceptable is when you are out on an empty peak.

Ricko2526's picture
Ricko2526's picture
Ricko2526 Wednesday, 18 Jan 2017 at 1:36pm

Really good article and how about those comments. I wonder if anything has changed since 2013? Council's could have policies/by laws in terms of what activities can be undertaken at the beach(?) - eg recent no smoking laws passed at Bondi. Will it take a major injury/death and Daily Telegraph headline for something to be done? Maybe some one can run over Tony Abbott down at Manly to get the ball rolling

NCpacific's picture
NCpacific's picture
NCpacific Wednesday, 18 Jan 2017 at 3:22pm

Couple of points.

I have seen just as many clubbies loose their surf skis (the paddle ones) in the water and those things you have little change of avoiding. Not saying surfing without a leggie is right or wrong just making an observation.

Also hypothetically,

Lets say a swimmer could sue for being struck by the board, what would be the situation if they weren't in the designated swimming zone. Are they then also negligent?

Stephg's picture
Stephg's picture
Stephg Wednesday, 18 Jan 2017 at 6:02pm

I live at Manly and on the weekend heard the lifeguards telling swimmers over the loud speaker that if they entered the water above their waste and didn't swim between the flags they would close the beach. Super weird they can't have some rules about not using a leg rope!

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy Wednesday, 18 Jan 2017 at 6:37pm

Those life guards were full of shit.

JackGregory's picture
JackGregory's picture
JackGregory Wednesday, 18 Jan 2017 at 7:06pm

Just surfed a left hand point break a day ago. 3ft bowls, 30 people. It just had to be me, pegged on the inside and all of a sudden a woman backflops off her longboard and the wank plank goes a flyin at me. Jumping in the white wash, it sets its corse towards me and whamo the 9 foot piece of foam rams my shoulder. Board Laying next to me I paddle out onto the shoulder, next wave comes and I push it onto the wave, in front of her face, only to fly down the line 100 metres more. I simply asked her "where's your f****** leg rope!?" Too baffled to answer she swims to get her board and heads in. Seriously guys, all it takes is a bit of tone and you change their view forever...

Benjem25's picture
Benjem25's picture
Benjem25 Wednesday, 18 Jan 2017 at 9:03pm

I ride a log and I do not wear a leg rope.
However I am an experienced surfer and I know my limits. I only surf that board in small, predictable conditions (which is when they should only really be surfed anyway).

I am not a hipster, I simply don't wear them because:
1. They tangle in your feet whilst walking the board

2. It forces you to make better decisions on a wave (obviously not the case with the guy who hit you) so you don't loose your board.

3. most logs weigh about 8kg. Mine weighs kg. So a semi-solid wave at about chest-shoulder height or above is just going to snap a leg rope anyway.

Keep in mind, I have been hit my more boards that are attached to people than those that are not. This is because of inexperience and bad desicion making.
If it had have been a shortboard with no leggie, would you have reacted the same? Or are you just hating on him coz he rides a mal?

I guess what I am trying to say is you should hate on that guy because he is an idiot who made a bad decision. If he wasn't going to definetly make the section, he shouldn't have gone. Don't hate on long boarders.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Wednesday, 18 Jan 2017 at 9:23pm

How much does your log weigh ?
You think its going to break a legrope ....thats total wank mate.

Benjem25's picture
Benjem25's picture
Benjem25 Wednesday, 18 Jan 2017 at 10:24pm

It weighs just under 8kg. Not a wank at all, my dear friend.... I have broken several leggies. All of which were snapped while surfing lighter boards than that.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Wednesday, 18 Jan 2017 at 10:32pm

Obviously wrong size legrope ol chum.

Benjem25's picture
Benjem25's picture
Benjem25 Wednesday, 18 Jan 2017 at 10:54pm

Yeah obviously I would get the wrong size leggie after over 20 years of surfing

Hako o hakonde ni-biki no inu's picture
Hako o hakonde ni-biki no inu's picture
Hako o hakonde ... Saturday, 21 Jan 2017 at 12:06pm

20 years of surfing and you still don't know shit about surfing, if there are leggies made for guns that are relied upon not to break in big waves, then I'm sure one of those legropes would suffice in the kiddie dribble you surf on your log, which is probably lighter than a 10ft gun.
Stop trying talk with such authority, it only lessens your credibility even more.

Nogaryno's picture
Nogaryno's picture
Nogaryno Wednesday, 18 Jan 2017 at 10:05pm

Growing up surfing the Pass and having lived on the Gold Coast for the last 14 years.I have spent a hell of a lot of time surfing busy points, I have been hit by all kinds of surfboards, there is nothing worse than coming up from a duck dive to be hit by some kook's board.
Of all the times I've been hit by surfboards never once has it been because it's rider wasn't waring a leash. If you have any spatial awareness and a moderate level of skill a loose/unattached board is easily avoided as it only has one shot at hitting you.
I find it more dangerous when someone on a longboard who Is wearing a leg rope sees a clean up set and ditches their board, letting it swing round violently on the end of a 9ft leg rope at full stretch putting everyone within 20 feet in danger just because they can't get over or under 4ft of white water.
This may be controversial, but I think as a solution to over crowding points such as Snapper through to Kirra could become leash free zones imagine how much that would thin out the crowds.
Ps. I surf without a leash on the beach break out front of my house when its not to busy, its good fitness.

Ontheroad's picture
Ontheroad's picture
Ontheroad Thursday, 19 Jan 2017 at 6:12am

PLenty of spots in Cali are already leash free for this exact reason. Some of the best spots in San Diego especially - even on reef breaks with cliffs. Once saw a local get an earful from a fellow local, just for having the audacity to wear a legrope..

I'm not sure how many people get hit by boards on those breaks, but the lost boards and swims to shore keeps the pack moving... I thought it worked really well.

but then again, there's a distinct lack of kooks or hipster longboarders out...

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf Thursday, 19 Jan 2017 at 9:11am

Just take a mini tomahawk and chop into the shit box of a thing. I hate Mals and have been run over by one and he had a leggie. Didn't even blink. Luckily where I surf they are relatively rare compared to Byron Bay and Noosa where they are a cancer attracted by the soft small point waves (ahh the challenges of Pines - not). Benjis leg rope thing breaking is bullshit just get a proper beefy one . No leggies are not an issue down here as everyone wears one - the paddle is too long otherwise.

the_varsity's picture
the_varsity's picture
the_varsity Thursday, 19 Jan 2017 at 3:43pm

Benjem25 is a self-labelled "experienced surfer" however requires "force" to make better decisions on a wave...I thought maybe experience would dictate better decisions?! I don't agree that not wearing a leg-rope in congested surf conditions because you think you are 'experienced' should exempt you. This article was about taking responsibility, not trying to justify your irresponsibility. The problem as I see it is that for some reason longboards and SUPs (and cycling for that matter) seems to attract lesser skilled, uncoordinated, self-entitled and aggressive, usually over-weight, slightly balding and no-doubt very insecure members of our population - likely because it's a lot easier relative to actually putting in the time (and fitness) and skill it takes to surf a short board with any kind of proficiency and consequently they can label themselves as "experienced" much more quickly. I think the same people that longboard* probably cycle to work in front of traffic abusing the cars thinking they're "experienced" riders.

*minus the 5-10% that are actually decent.

Digga20's picture
Digga20's picture
Digga20 Friday, 20 Jan 2017 at 6:50am

I ride longboards and short and have for 40 years. Last Autumn I was paddling out for the early at Belambi. Typically for that time of day on the east coast the sun was in my eyes. I was half-way to the line-up when a longboard flashed past my face as I went to duck a broken wave, missing me by centimeters. I had no opportunity of avoiding this potential harbinger of death due to the position of the sun just above the horizon and it was pure luck it didn't take my head off. The owner did not even acknowledge me as I let him know he had nearly killed someone as he swam past. In the line-up (which consisted of just three others) I heard him laughing about how "a swim doesn't do any harm now and then". These people are just trend victims with no concern for anyone else and it is dangerous regardless of the size of the crowd. Benjem25's ludicrous contention that its OK because a leg-rope might break anyway just proves how impossible it is to reason with such people. Legislation is the only tool we have to protect us from people that self-centred.

davetherave's picture
davetherave's picture
davetherave Friday, 20 Jan 2017 at 7:17am

I grabbed a legless hipster wash in one day at greenmount. I put his board in the carpark at the resort. Unfortunately a delivery truck reversed over the top of it. I was only trying to help but hey, shit happens..

davetherave's picture
davetherave's picture
davetherave Friday, 20 Jan 2017 at 7:27am

He had been warned but delusional dude continued to wipe out all and sundry as he continually ate shit. Saw a young girl get cleaned up so as I was coming in I grabbed his old clunker and put it where it couldn't do any more damage. How was I to know the truck would reverse? In hindsight the fact it was nose first to a wall should have alerted me. But it didn't!!!!

chook's picture
chook's picture
chook Friday, 20 Jan 2017 at 10:31am

good work dave.

A Salty Dog's picture
A Salty Dog's picture
A Salty Dog Friday, 20 Jan 2017 at 10:48am

Memla, don’t feel so bad: I’ve been run over by longboards, shortboards, sups and goatboats. It’s not the board, it’s the clown steering it. I’ve also had cause to ditch the longboard on occasion, but all the shortboard guys were bailing as well: I hope that’s OK. Just remember that golden rule: don’t paddle out directly behind someone. I’ve never criticised anyone on the basis of what they ride nor would I damage others property but I don’t have a superiority complex like yours. Please write Memla on all your boards and I’ll keep well away just so you can shred and rip and show everyone the living definition of hot.

Varsity, this would have to be one of those rare occasions when we have been treated to a lecture from one of the world’s greatest fucking wankers. Who the fuck are you??? God’s gift to surfing????

You say: ”longboards and SUPs (and cycling for that matter) seems to attract lesser skilled, uncoordinated, self-entitled and aggressive, usually over-weight, slightly balding and no-doubt very insecure members of our population - likely because it's a lot easier relative to actually putting in the time (and fitness) and skill it takes to surf a short board with any kind of proficiency and consequently they can label themselves as "experienced" much more quickly.”

It might come as a bit of a shock to you and Memla but many of these guys are on the wrong side of 60. They may not have the physique of their youth, the skills are not quite as sharp as they used to be and maybe the waves are a little bit smaller and softer but their still out there having fun. Just remember these were the guys who 50 years ago were riding all those waves you ride now, except they were doing it on old logs, without a legrope and without a wetsuit. Get some balls son.

And you must be so fucking shit hot by the sound of it, fit as a Mallee Bull with more than your fair share of skill so you can absolutely shred and rip on your shorty. I can see you at Gunna right now mate, it’s eight foot at first car park and barrelling its tits off. You’re standing there in the car park, wetsuit peeled down to the waist flexing those pecs, and flashing those washboard abs, all covered by the world’s most perfect tan you picked up on your recent trip to the Ments. The crowd builds on the beach and there is buzz of nervous anticipation in the air as you make your way into the lineup. A massive wave looms out the back and you scream “it’s mine-fuck off”. The other surfers bow their heads in deference as you stroke casually into the wave of the day, sliding into the pit, pulling a vertical reo, a 720 double reverse overhead air, a huge slash back into the bazz and even upside down for a while, then spat out in a blast of spray, all while puffing on a fag and not a hair out of place. The crowd gasps in amazement. After a session in which you absolutely starred, you race home pull the chip out of the Go Pro and watch it all again and again and again, put it on your Facebook page, then whack it onto YouTube, and put a quick note with a link on your Twitter account. Those sponsors will be lining up in no time.

I can see you when your 65 mate, sitting in front of the TV watching reruns of that day at Gunna saying “Jeez I was so fucking shit hot”. I reckon Memla would have to agree. Faaarking Legends.

the_varsity's picture
the_varsity's picture
the_varsity Friday, 20 Jan 2017 at 12:19pm

Thanks for the special mention ye 'ol salty dog...although re-reading my post I can't see where I expressly made any statement that I am shit hot or better than anyone - on the contrary - i'm probably just shit in reality - even in my own self-loathing and insecure mind- happy to admit it. However, as shit as I am I do wear a leg rope (which is the actual relevant part to this topic) and am yet to have actually lost my board (due to no legrope or otherwise) and hit anyone with it (although - as most on this post also seem to be) I have been hit by boards and witnessed many a hit by both old and young particularly on longboards and SUPs in crowded lineups - with no leg rope (this is the point). I feel you took this a bit personally and lost site of the actual subject matter of this article - not wearing a leg rope... but feel free to rip into me all you like, as there is no real me, only an entity, something illusory...I am simply not here.

freddieffer's picture
freddieffer's picture
freddieffer Friday, 20 Jan 2017 at 1:43pm

Unless a surfer is surfing in solitude somewhere (in which case surf with no legrope and/or no clothes on for all I care) then surfing is taking place with other surfers and/or swimmers around.

Therefore, the 'community context' of surfing means that all members of that immediate community in the water have an obligation to each other to ensure all get to enjoy as much liberty as is possible and reasonable; within the context of those present.

That means no individual has unlimited freedom to do what they like if it potentially impinges or harms others. All individuals therefore, have a duty of care and a personal responsibility to ensure their own activity can be appropriately fulfilled while also ensuring the immediate community around them in the water (ie surfers and/or swimmers) are safe. This is no different to the context to the road rules that we have.

My guess is that traditionally, the bulk of surfers and swimmers have used common sense as well as a reasonable dose of community spirit and wellbeing to more or less work out appropriate/inappropriate conduct. For the most part this happens automatically and/or silently; and so everyone benefits.

Where the above falls down is typically because an individual is a selfish bastard and consequentially is unwilling or not capable of having/using common sense or personal responsibility or be able to consider others in the water who have an equal right to use the water safely and enjoyably.

So what do you do with these pricks? In another context, society has jails for those who transgress the community in which they live.
Do we legislate? If so, how do you police it?
Do we wait till some poor bastard gets a serious, life changing and/or permanent injury? If so, is there existing laws for the injured to get recompense like 3rd party insurance exists for these instances for road users?

Maybe the law does need to be amended to enshrine the above?

Eg. 1. You can surf without a legrope, but only where there is no risk of injury to anyone else.
2. Where a person and/or their watercraft (irrespective of size or legrope attached) causes injury or damage to a 3rd party, then the person causing the injury or damage is responsible?

Dunno? Surely we have an obligation to protect the innocent from careless, reckless and irresponsible behaviour or actions.

The football codes have had a go at dealing with these issues, as they want players to play the game fairly and appropriately, and have evolved a body of rules or guidelines that is backed up by their own judiciary. It's purpose is to deal with the players or teams that walk the fine line of what is/isn't accepted as the norms and boundaries of the game, and the body of indiscretion rules typically cover the terms 'careless, reckless, irresponsible actions' that unfairly affects another player/team and/or the result.

Do we need to head in this direction? If so, how?

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Friday, 20 Jan 2017 at 2:02pm

Anyone remember the pics of Pascal Dattler...and his horrific head injury from the Pass ?

Think youre to fuckin Cool to wear a legrope....Just put his name into google images !

tonybarber's picture
tonybarber's picture
tonybarber Friday, 20 Jan 2017 at 2:33pm

Yep Freddie, I think your right, is this really serious enough to warrant any social action or rules or laws. Doubt it. I must admit it is interesting to see the reverse thinking of no leg ropes in highly popular locations - solve many other assocaited issues.

Timm-Dah's picture
Timm-Dah's picture
Timm-Dah Saturday, 21 Jan 2017 at 12:58pm

One article that says it all really,

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/matthew-barclay-death-inquest...

I feel for the boys father.

He most likely was hit in the head by his own board, but as this shows, all you need is a good clean wallop to the head and ya gone.

My personal anecdotal example (just to add) is also as follows;

Surfing on a rather crowded day some 20-years ago. Was on a shortboard and going to duckdive under a rather large wave. Dude in front of me thought it was too big a wave to go under, piff's his board at the last second. This thing comes flying at me..I was mid-way through ducking under and I thought [email protected]!! Board hit me in the face. Ended up with 4-stitches below my left eye. Almost passed out myself trying to get back in. Blood absolutely everywhere. Two people even came to me and helped me back from the ocean to the lifesavers some 1km down the beach (was at a point break). Was lucky to make it out with my eye. Bloke did not even help me, he didn't even help me back in or claim any responsibility.

Since this day I never, NEVER cruise out behind anyone in their wake. I trust absolutely no one (in terms of skill or ability) and I personally think crowds of inexperienced surfers in biggish conditions is more dangerous than any great white shark or bronze whaler, but the news doesn't give a sh*t neither do many of the newbie gooses with their big boards that go flying every which way as the surf grows over 1m-1.5m.

I think this issue will eventually kill surfing and the culture lifestyle it prevails as every man and his dog (

is now onto this 'groovy tip' and crapping on that they're super stylin' when really...the place is becoming a mess.

That's my two cents.

My only solution (which I follow myself) is to go remoter and remoter and escape the crowds, because it just seems to be getting worse and worse every year. Doubt any authority, government or otherwise is gonna help out with resolving it.

Timm.

Crith's picture
Crith's picture
Crith Saturday, 21 Jan 2017 at 2:52pm

next time snap their fin off

Ty's picture
Ty's picture
Ty Saturday, 21 Jan 2017 at 7:01pm

Longboards without leg ropes needs legislation to protect every poor bastard that has to deal with it. Not to mention trying to duckdive 3 longboards all on the one wave, that to me is even scarier. Nothing wrong with longboarders though there is a time and place to surf them, definitely no where near crowded line ups. Surfing has evolved further now that we have shorter boards with higher volume to cater for the switch.

pmayer's picture
pmayer's picture
pmayer Sunday, 22 Jan 2017 at 1:31pm

We could learn from snow resorts. Leashes or tethers are mandatory for snowboards at all resorts that I have been to.

kellyslater's picture
kellyslater's picture
kellyslater Sunday, 22 Jan 2017 at 6:01pm

If you think no leg ropes are bad, how about this, foil boarding on sups at crowded beaches

Foiling Around from Australian Paddle Surfer on Vimeo.

Hako o hakonde ni-biki no inu's picture
Hako o hakonde ni-biki no inu's picture
Hako o hakonde ... Tuesday, 24 Jan 2017 at 7:51am

He's wearing a leggie

kellyslater's picture
kellyslater's picture
kellyslater Wednesday, 25 Jan 2017 at 6:09pm

So you think it's a good idea to be whizzing around swimmers and surfers with this attached to the bottom of the board?

CutbackBretto's picture
CutbackBretto's picture
CutbackBretto Monday, 23 Jan 2017 at 10:36am

At least they'll know now that when they're out in the surf without a leash that the majority of the other surfers in the water will be thinking that they're a bunch of fucking posers with no regard for anyone except themselves.

Everyone can lose a board no matter how skilled you are. The "I don't need it" excuse is as arrogant as it gets. More accurately it's ... "I think I'm so f..king good and my skills are next level bro... what you gonna do about it?".

They need to think twice because clearly from the overwhelming number of comments here, there's a lot of guys here just waiting for them to fu.k up so they can give them all they deserve.

It's gonna happen...

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Monday, 23 Jan 2017 at 11:11am

Tom Curren used a legrope in Slaters wavepool .

hahnsolo's picture
hahnsolo's picture
hahnsolo Tuesday, 24 Jan 2017 at 1:20pm

There was a video post on my face book just last week with the who's who of Noosa long boarders. Great to watch but one of the first comments was "where are their leg ropes".?? The video only shows the waves they dont fall on or the wave is cut short just prior. Your article mentions that leg ropes may get in the way when walking but this is what the knee strap leggies are for. I ride all boards including long boards and SUPs with the conditions dictating what I ride. In short boarding and SUP riding there are very little politics or scene involved you just get out and surf and anything goes. I've competed for quite a few years on long boards and met many different types of people. Most where ok but there are a few or more than a few who love to voice their opinion on what or what not you should be doing when riding a long board. Apparently there has been no progress since the sixties. Usually lefties or raw intermediate ex city boys. Basically if your super hip you don't wear a leg rope and its ok to have a beaver tail swinging in the breeze dangling from your unzipped 70s inspired summer vest so you can show the morning of the earth tattoo on your chest. There is a large scene surrounding long boarding and thats' what dictates that wearing a leggie is uncool nothing else. The rational is if your good enough you don't need one. 95 percent of long boarders aren't good enough. I always wear a leg rope no matter what I surf as I don't want to hurt any body else in the water simple. My advice to longboarders is ditch the scene and just go surfing!! Wear a leg rope if you have any respect for your fellow surfers or even if you dont.

noshow's picture
noshow's picture
noshow Wednesday, 25 Jan 2017 at 2:00pm

To me its just such a stupid justification to not wear a legrope by stating 'I don't need one because my surfing and board control is competent'. I'm pretty sure EVERYONE who has injured and hit someone with a runaway legropeless board has thought this exact same thing, but it still happens. Yes, a competent surfer will have less chance of hitting someone or losing their board but the chances of this occurring are still much higher than if they were wearing a legrope. To me, it's like the pissed guy at a party deciding to drive home saying 'nah mate I drive heaps good and it's just around the corner' and then proceeding to crash

WazzlePop64's picture
WazzlePop64's picture
WazzlePop64 Wednesday, 25 Jan 2017 at 4:54pm

From all the comments made, it's as simple as saying, The 3 ''L's''
" No Leggie, No Legend, Just Loser"

Dean Mc's picture
Dean Mc's picture
Dean Mc Wednesday, 25 Jan 2017 at 11:50pm

For a fun surf in little waves I think it is great, but when there is waves of consequence and the possibility of hurting an innocent swimmer or surfer this becomes very uncool and can end in a good old windscreen waxing. Cool is a guy like Toru who just paddles 6 kay out to sea at night without a leash. Way cool is Toru surfing Sandon with one. Show respect and it will usually be repaid over and over.

young johnny's picture
young johnny's picture
young johnny Friday, 27 Jan 2017 at 4:09pm

I don't get it ,I learned to surf a few years before leggies usually had one board at a time progressed to surfing a boulder point break if you lost your board the next couple of days under the mates house fixing dings. I now surf mid boards and mals And very rarely not use a leggie . I cant imagine why you wouldn't with crowds ,kids in the water it wouldt feel right, let alone losing your glossed up $1800 pride and joy being scooped up and it would offup the coast before you could swim in .

inzider's picture
inzider's picture
inzider Friday, 27 Jan 2017 at 8:51pm

I dont wear a leash on my skateboard or my snowboard or my bmx, but on my surfboard it depends on wether im in my posey hipster souly extra cool mode. Sometimes when my beard is long enough i ties that to my leggie plug, or my pubes if they havnt been manscaped for a few months. Waas thinking about velcroe booties cause then with my gloves I can get real creative with the sheep in the paddock above the surf who just been watching me shred lord hipster styles.
But seriously cunts ,You hit my kids in the surf cause you think you are fuckin epic and dont need leggie, fuckin look out cause pay backs a bitch you fuck sticks.

nicky buttenshaw's picture
nicky buttenshaw's picture
nicky buttenshaw Tuesday, 31 Jan 2017 at 6:37pm

Happened to me at the Pass 6 months ago. 2ft, but sucking nicely along a real shallow bank. I took my 10yr old son out and went off the bank and toward the inside bank knowing the crowd danger there, which is why i usually stick to Nth and Sth wall, but the waves good for kids learning. Anyway, a 60's log, ridden by some cnt thinking he was a mix between kurt cobain and nat young fell off on a set, next thing the log comes rolling along the bank toward me and my son as well as others. I grabbed my son and pushed him under and just had enough time to fend off log with his board before it took my head off, just missing a heap of other kids too.
Im not usually an angry bloke, but that took me straight to redlining it.
Gave the hipster cock and absolute verbal assault and told him if that had of hit my son he'd be dead. Told him i couldnt give a fck if he made one out of glutten free goats intenstine and sustainable hemp, get a fkn legrope.
To his credit he tracked me down on the beach and gave me $50 for ding in sons board, but put forward the bullshit, "i know i should wear one, but noboddy else does either".
Told him if you cnts want to be like Mctavish in the 60's you wouldnt be surfin the Pass. Go find a spot where noboddy is and go for your life with no leggy.
Totally agree that this should be fineable by the lifeguards/police.

Nav Fox's picture
Nav Fox's picture
Nav Fox Thursday, 2 Feb 2017 at 8:08am

It would be a shame to see someone get seriously hurt as our lineup's become more populated. Seem's to be a lot of ego's involved and some common sense should be thrown in. A crowded lineup wear a legrope, surfing with your mates on a sucluded bank unleash the beast and be free. Pretty simple!

inzider's picture
inzider's picture
inzider Thursday, 2 Feb 2017 at 9:32am

this is true ^
But unfortunately common sense aint that common.

Manly South Steyne Right Off The Rocks's picture
Manly South Steyne Right Off The Rocks's picture
Manly South Ste... Thursday, 2 Feb 2017 at 2:00pm

Daily problem at Manly! Don't care how good some of the surfers are without leg ropes, a damn site better than me for sure. They all fall and lose their board for one reason or another!

I've never been hit by a stray board, however, have been hit by multiple short boarders who have ditched their board duck diving in front of me, and wearing a leash...

This all boils down to common sense, some people do not think, or care about the consequences of a hurting a fellow waterman. These people should be taught a lesson.

Just an opinion.

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy Friday, 3 Feb 2017 at 10:54am

There's picture on devon howard's instagram with a discussion on this. Interesting reading Joel Tudor's comments.

"The leash was created for the less skilled surfer - it will always remain that way! - however ...if the wave is big and the shore is either Rocky or life threatening....hall passes will be provided!! If the waves are tiny and you aren't elderly ....you get a pink card award for being soft"

A lot of anti-leash crew on there.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Friday, 3 Feb 2017 at 11:21am

"Leashes ruined surfing?" That really is hilarious. I mean, fuck...Devon Howard and Joel Tudor both started surfing well after the leash was invented so what do they know about it's ruin? What are they comparing it to?

The rose coloured world of their imagination, no doubt.

nogo's picture
nogo's picture
nogo Friday, 3 Feb 2017 at 3:31pm

They maybe be good surfers but their attitude sucks big time.

GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley Friday, 3 Feb 2017 at 9:11pm

Both are great surfers but they also seem to heavily draw on that rich and colourful tapestry of American surfing folklore when in film or in print. Disagree with them on this point, leggies should always be worn.

chook's picture
chook's picture
chook Friday, 3 Feb 2017 at 3:57pm

"The leash was created for the less skilled surfer"...

geez, they're really leaving themselves open there for a less generous person than myself to point out that mals and longboards are for the less-skilled surfer.

geoffrey's picture
geoffrey's picture
geoffrey Saturday, 4 Feb 2017 at 12:44pm

haha thats a really good and funny point. i ride a mal occasionally and ive never gone out without a leash. tell me who could pull into a barrel or closeout and keep control of it. nobody.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Friday, 3 Feb 2017 at 4:04pm

Agree. Their get out of jail card is also galling. "Legropes are OK for big waves or rocky shores."

Way to be principled, eh?

Those ye olde surfers they admire didn't have the luxury of opting in or out.

freddieffer's picture
freddieffer's picture
freddieffer Saturday, 4 Feb 2017 at 2:00pm

Yeh, their selfish logic is that their horrified if their precious board can potentially hit the rocks and gets damaged; but they hove no concern if their board potentially hits another surfer or hits a swimmer?
The physics is straight-forward here - the bigger and heavier any surfboard is, the increased momentum, force and impact it will have in the event of a collision. On that score alone, mal riders should wear a leggie.
But I'm blown away with their logic - they don't want their board damaged, but their board can potentially cause serious and life-long injury to an innocent person if it hits them?
They obviously don't regard or rate other people very high or if they say they do, they come a distant last in a 3 horse race with the mal rider and his board claiming first and second.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Friday, 3 Feb 2017 at 10:59pm

The guy getting hurled by the backwash in the photo at the start of the article would have gotten flogged.

Great shot.

dimdim's picture
dimdim's picture
dimdim Saturday, 4 Feb 2017 at 7:52am

It,s a bit like fucking without a condom is it not ? Feels good but a little bit risky and once you,ve let go anything can happen.

geoffrey's picture
geoffrey's picture
geoffrey Saturday, 4 Feb 2017 at 12:46pm

another good point. this is where a longboarder could bring up the "chest" or "face" method of contraception, just dont answer truthfully when the mother or fatherinlaw enquire about it. speaking from experience there.

dangerouskook2000's picture
dangerouskook2000's picture
dangerouskook2000 Saturday, 4 Feb 2017 at 6:12pm

Well I'm going to need to comment here too. Listen here all you stupid hipster fuckwits. If you want to surf, put a fucking leggie on. If you don't have a leggie, fuck off. I fucking hate you hipster fuckwits enough, with your stupid beard and stylish haircut, and unbuttoned/unzipped shirt/wettie top out in the surf, without your stupid antics of not having a legrope. Unless you are Dane Pioli , Ray Gleave, or Joel Tudor, you can just fuck right off, they're the exception. And by the way don't fucken come anywhere near me without a leggie. Just saying.

sharkman's picture
sharkman's picture
sharkman Sunday, 5 Feb 2017 at 3:31am

At the beach the other day , saw a couple of guys starting to paddle out without leashes on their logs.
Asked them how much were they worth??
When they asked what did I mean , I said well there's kids out there , novice surfers , and if you hit one you will be liable in a court of law for any damages ,and also possibly assault with a weapon.
When they questioned me , I said quite simple , try and explain to the judge , why you didn't wear a leggie ?
Pretty simple really , looking cool or "....you get a pink card award for being soft" , would mean automatic conviction and a shit load of damages if you really hurt someone.
Actually might go and hunt down some Hipster , no leggies , do an asset test on them , and there's a retirement plan.
I think its only a matter of time , before this happens!

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain Sunday, 5 Feb 2017 at 10:48am

" Unless you are Dane Pioli , Ray Gleave, or Joel Tudor, you can just fuck right off"

Maybe these guys above could wear a leggie and set an example to the others instead of perpetuating the whole too cool for school attitude that seems to prevail with all these wannabees.

Also, someone made a good point above in that people that ride logs in good surf are actually lesser surfers in terms of ability (something like that).

I totally agree.

GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley Sunday, 5 Feb 2017 at 5:28pm

Is anyone aware of the counter argument being put by any longboard publication or media?
It would make interesting reading.

I just checked out PLB website and all I seem to get was more photos like above and promotion of an event called Old boards No cords in the US.

freddieffer's picture
freddieffer's picture
freddieffer Sunday, 5 Feb 2017 at 7:15pm

It will only take an innocent tragedy to occur for the shit to hit the fan!
A coroner is mandated by law to investigate an unexplained accidental death and it's causes.
The coroner's report determines exactly what actions, thinking and decisions of the culprit that caused death, and subsequently makes recommendations to legislator's.
Legislator's nearly always legislate 100% of the coroner's recommendations, as failure to do so would leave them politically (and ethically) exposed if a similar tragedy occurred again. Pollies (are dumb fuckers) but not that dumb to take that electoral risk!
GuySmiley make a good point above.... if the surfing community can't get this issue significantly more self-regulated and into the 99.5% voluntary compliance with using a leggie because of the social, ethical and legal responsibility each surf user has to not injure another member of the community, then it is only a matter of time before a coroner does it for us all.
Similarly, if you have a look at the large body of road rules, I think you will find a coroner's thumb-print through a lot of it, whether we all agree or like it or not.
The surfing media needs to take the lead on this, as well as respected elders in the surfing community to up the ante with both safety and etiquette before it's too late.
The coroner is a blunt and final instrument for change.

sharkman's picture
sharkman's picture
sharkman Monday, 6 Feb 2017 at 6:09am

First the Coroner , then the civil litigation , imagine Joel /devon/alex or any of the other loggers losing everything thing they own , to pay for a $1m damages claim !!

dfinglide's picture
dfinglide's picture
dfinglide Monday, 6 Feb 2017 at 10:03am

As sharkman & freddieffer have stated it`s only I matter of time before the coroner gets involved.I started on mals back in the sixty`s,no leg ropes , board registration & clubbies running the beach.Do you hipster knuckleheads want board rego back ? Because that`s what will happen,pollies are always on lookout for extra cash & it will be a way of tracking ownership on the weapon, sorry board.Think about it cool cats.Like I said to the kid @ Wanda a couple of months back when he lost control of his log,GET a fucking leg rope it an`int the 1960`s anymore

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain Monday, 6 Feb 2017 at 10:07am

The sad thing is it's going to take an (arguably) avoidable death to prompt what people are saying above.

karlosz's picture
karlosz's picture
karlosz Monday, 6 Feb 2017 at 3:01pm

I felt a lot of empathy for those on the wrong end of these selfish and frankly negligent "surfers".

I live and surf in Sydney's eastern suburbs which like Manly and the Pass are pretty crowded, although up until now I hadn't really noticed this new hazard in the line ups.

So picture last Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th February at Bondi beach 30+ degrees, 1' to 2' surf totally packed with usual crowd of locals and tourists with the usual low skill / etiquette knowledge, plus dozens of swimmers of all ages lining the shore. So I was very concerned (esp for my kids) to see four guys on huge (10") mals all leash free paddle out into this chaos. I saw one of them lose their board at least once. Thankfully I don't think they caused anyone injuries, but really blatant disregard for others safety shown by this lot on such a busy day.

JM's picture
JM's picture
JM Monday, 6 Feb 2017 at 6:46pm

Man, if there's one thing that makes my frig'n blood boil!

mick-free's picture
mick-free's picture
mick-free Tuesday, 7 Feb 2017 at 11:56am

Now it is a much bigger problem now than 4 years ago. All range of excuses are provided don't own one, don't have a leash long enough, its not my style.

Paddle out the other day with two long boards langushing in the rip with two groovy kids paddling for their boards. Counted 7 without legropes, one old bloke with one.

Its good night Irene.

devodave's picture
devodave's picture
devodave Thursday, 9 Feb 2017 at 6:40pm

I think it's an easy fix when a fucked up hipster wanker says he doesn't need a leggie. Snap the fin out and reply I guess you don't need a fin either if you are that good and walk away.

young johnny's picture
young johnny's picture
young johnny Thursday, 9 Feb 2017 at 6:51pm

I don't need a hall pass from any cunt.....fuck off

Tuck's picture
Tuck's picture
Tuck Friday, 10 Feb 2017 at 10:42am

Seems we have a quorum here: anytime a loose unleashed mal comes your way knock the fkn fins out. Turn it into a thing people start hearing about. Maybe it gets so common the fwits start thinking about leggying up cos they want to keep their fins intact.
And if they're bigger than ya and thump ya then you can choose to 'defend' yourself, or get em charged with assault.

chook's picture
chook's picture
chook Friday, 10 Feb 2017 at 2:31pm

around my way, it's just plain old bog-standard surf agression -- punch in the face and board spearing. or at least a bit of yelling about such actions. i've never seen a fin punched out.
any tips on how it's best done?

channel-bottom's picture
channel-bottom's picture
channel-bottom Thursday, 22 Nov 2018 at 12:16pm

Surfed Queenscliff/Manly stretch a few times this week for the first time in a while. Stunned at a few near misses where a late grab for a board after a wipeout was the only thing stopping a 10 foot board from heading shoreward out of control.

Wondering if any of the longboarders that surf without leggies, particularly in crowded areas, like to come onto Swellnet and tell the masses why you do this. Also like to understand what you would do if your board injured someone.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno Monday, 17 May 2021 at 6:45pm