Home » Woman slams Australian surf shops as “creepy” in blistering takedown

Woman slams Australian surf shops as “creepy” in blistering takedown

“We have been put in harm’s way due to the change in regulations and the elimination of what had been working for as any can remember.”

The explosion of the Great White population in southern California is hardly news to the surfers who see the happy, maligned, majestic (etc) animals frolicking at close range. 

You’ll remember when a breaching eight-foot Great White close to where Gabriel Medina and Filipe Toledo were competing in the second of a best-of-three heats for the world title forced the WSL’s Finals Day to be put on hold.

In the last decade, Great Whites have become synonymous with this stretch of coastline. Whether, as experts say it’s the natural result of protection or a healthier ecosystem (more seals and seal lions) is immaterial, really, because they ain’t going anywhere and therefore the OC surfer must live with this fact.

(Something the central coast and northern Californian surfer has always had to do. Click here to recall the day the noted writer Lewis Samuels either bravely went to the aid of a pal who’d been hit by a Great White or left him to die…)

But breaching juveniles at Lowers is one thing, fully grown adults is another. And city officials were quick to close all beaches in San Clemente yesterday after a surfer was knocked off his board by a Great White shark. 

“The surfer and one other surfer were sitting on their boards waiting for a wave when they saw a dark gray object approach and knock one of the surfers off their surfboard,” said San Clemente Marine Safety Lt. Sean Staudenbaur. “The surfers then came to the shore and reported the incident, at which point officials made the decision to close water access for 24 hours.”

Six years ago, the OC Register was onto it:

“The Southern California coastline has seen an influx of sharks close to shore in recent years, groups of dozens and more gathering in “hot spots,” first noticed frequently near surfers and swimmers in the South Bay, Santa Monica and Ventura about six years ago, then showing up in Huntington, Surfside Beach and Seal Beach in higher-than-normal numbers about four years ago.

“Maria Korcsmaros nearly lost her life while training for a triathlon when a shark attacked her near Corona del Mar in May of 2016.  In April 2017, swimmer Leeanne Ericson lost a piece of her leg and buttock to an estimated 10-foot shark off San Onofre State Beach.

“Last summer, a group of juvenile sharks took residence in shallow waters off Long Beach, as well as further south off Dana Point and San Clemente. Their presence made headlines and even led to the creation of shark tours to give people up-close looks at the predators.

“Dana Wharf Whale Watching launched Shark Searches last year to give spectators an up-close look at the sharks, selling out seats week after with week. Manager Donna Kalez said that if sightings do increase, early-morning whale watching charters may start also looking for sharks.”

In 2021, Joel Tudor posted footage of a ten-foot Great White breaching off Cardiff, a little south of San Clemente, and in the exact town where BeachGrit principal Chas Smith twirls his corn-coloured hair on painted fingernails. 

“Don’t surf Cardiff,” wrote Tudor. “It’s infested with ten-foot White sharks that are attracted to soft tops, stand-up paddlers and tourist swimmers. Stay safe and find a lake or go take a hike. This was today at 8:12 am.”

The post opened a floodgate of Great White chatter.

Former tour surfer Shea Lopez wrote, “When these pups grow up it’s gonna be a different story in SoCal waters. They were all over Lowers the past three days.”

“Result of almost thirty years of no local net fishing inshore,” Tudor replied. “Those dudes used to cull the count quite a bit and helped keep the balance. Since they have been gone the numbers are crazy.”

“Same in Florida,” wrote Lopez, “Used to be we were protected by the actions of the fisherman understanding the ecosystem and being in charge of doing not only what is best for them but also the community that they live in as it affects everyone from their children to their grandparents. Now we have been put in harm’s way due to the change in regulations and the elimination of what had been working for as any can remember. And working well. What next. We have to make an effort to stop the inevitable.”

A  daddy to a shredder I know in San Clemente said his kid begged to go surfing when he saw four surfers in the water at Lowers.

“I told him no,” he said. ”

Which raises the perennial question: to kill or no.

Where do you stand?