PLATFORM : A Matter of Greed

<i> STEVE HAWK, editor of Surfer magazine in Dana Point, commented about tensions between local surfers at Lunada Bay in Palos Verdes and "outsiders." He told The Times:</i>

Among California surfers, the locals at Lunada Bay have a reputation for being some of the biggest jerks around: a whiny circle of trust-fund babies who work hard to keep inlanders from trespassing on their little stretch of coast.

Unfortunately, this kind of selfish territorialism is not confined to the Palos Verdes Peninsula, or even to California. At certain spots in Hawaii, natives routinely chase non-natives from the water. Oregon surfers sometimes defecate on cars that have California license plates.

In all these cases, the surfers clearly believe that the end somehow justifies the means. But no matter how they dress it up (“outsiders . . . are not respecting the surfing grounds of the locals,” as one Lunada local put it), the justification is indefensible. When a surfer resorts to violence to keep strangers away from his hometown break, it’s because he wants more waves to himself. It’s a matter of greed, pure and simple.