SURFING LAGUNA: Bitten by the Surf Bug

Local authorities are reporting an increased level of “Surf Bug” bitings at local Laguna shorelines recently. Although there is no known cure for the resulting Surf Fever (Stokus MaximusStokus Maximus), early intervention can limit its long term effects.

Symptom: You or a loved one suffer from an uncontrollable desire to surf in the summer time, typically when the air temps reach 80 degrees or higher. Also, salty skin accompanied by marked two-tone skin coloring is quite common. Look for very tan areas (see: Hawaiian Tropics or George Hamilton) with baby-white borders.

Diagnosis: A very treatable form of Surf Fever, commonly referred to as “Newbe syndrome.” Many patients go on to lead productive lives, some eventually even graduating from college.

Treatment: Simply, yet tactfully, remove all large softboards (hard boards are not a threat at this stage) from patient’s possession. Further actions include cutting off access to possible suppliers of surf trunks, boogie boards and other stoke-inducing paraphernalia.


Symptom: Pre-dawn surf missions in chilly winter months. Also blue lips, crumpled full suits, and “farmer john” markings are other very common symptoms. In extreme cases, patients have been known to lie about their whereabouts, some say from delusions. Much work and school has been missed due to these short-term memory loss episodes.

Diagnosis: “Core syndrome,” as it’s been labeled, is a much more advanced case of Surf Fever than the above Newbe syndrome and must be treated with more pressing urgency.

Treatments: All forms of surf equipment must be removed from patient, including surf music and videos and replaced with an immediate subscription to the Golf channel. Treatment cycles should consist of no less than 12 consecutive viewing hours per day.

Note: in extreme cases, short doses of LPGA “shock” therapy may also be administered. This should result in a complete removal of stoke from patient’s life, rendering the Surf Fever harmless.


Symptoms: Zombie-like disposition, followed by euphoric episodes. These behaviors seem to be related to weather patterns. Euphoric episodes are observed at particularly high rates when large south swells, offshore winds and barrel-like conditions are present. Experts think it might also be an allergic reaction of some kind. Zombie-like behaviors are common during flat spells, at large family gatherings and work/school environment.

Diagnosis: “Legend.” No Legend has ever been rehabilitated from Surf Fever and functioned normally in waterless surroundings. These largely misunderstood creatures have been erroneously referred to as Salty, Grumpy and at one time a “Renter.” Also, never attempt to touch a Legend’s surf equipment, because although typically slow of foot, these creatures are masters of Kung Fu. Some even have steel plates in their heads.

Note: Although known to be territorial, Legends tend to be social with other like-minded individuals. Thus, experts have concluded that trips to wave-rich destinations in stable, yet exotic locales appears to be the best course of treatment.

CHRIS WILLIAMS is the father of four surf-crazy sons, a surfing coach and Laguna Beach resident. He can be reached at or (949) 497-5918.