Police vow to crack down on territorial 'Bay Boys' surfers in Palos Verdes Estates - Orange County Register


Police vow to crack down on territorial ‘Bay Boys’ surfers in Palos Verdes Estates

PALOS VERDES ESTATES – So much for hanging loose.

For decades, local surfers have been accused of using violence and intimidation to protect their Southern California surf spot from intrusion by outsiders. Now, a police chief is vowing to crack down on the so-called Bay Boys.

Authorities have been accused of looking the other way as local surfers at Lunada Bay in tony Palos Verdes Estates threatened outsiders, tossed rocks at them and vandalized their cars.

Surfer Sef Krell says that when he went to try the waves last year, men threw dirt clods at him and yelled at him to go home. When he persevered and got in the water, the gang hurled rocks at him and chucked his belongings into the waves.

“I’m in the water alone and there are people yards away throwing dangerous missiles at me,” said Krell, an attorney from Encino who’s surfed all over the world. “I don’t have any way to protect myself because that culture is allowed to continue without the type of law enforcement that I would expect.”

Jeff Kepley, the new police chief, told the Los Angeles Times this week that he hopes to make the first arrest of one of the assailants in years. He has added patrols along the coast and ordered overtime for officers in the city about 30 miles south of Los Angeles that’s known for its multimillion-dollar homes.

“We will make an example out of anyone who behaves criminally down there,” Kepley said.

Authorities have repeatedly pledged to rid their coast of bullying and other bad behavior, but critics say enforcement is weak.

Read more at: ocregister.com/articles/verdes-697966-police-down.html


It’s always been an element of surf culture, unfortunately. Growing up in Capitola, I’ve certainly seen my share of “locals only” fights. Beach fights between Northern Californians and Southern Californians can be especially brutal, because there’s a big rivalry there. Some people are lucky and don’t get messed with; I never really have. It depends in large measure on whether or not you have friends where your’re traveling, but I would say it’s generally worse in Southern California because it’s so crowded down there. On a side note, I have an Aunt and Uncle who used to live in Palos Verdes, and I know the beach the article talks mentions very well. It’s not surprising, that place is pretty notorious for rough stuff.


Have you ever seen the movie “Lords of Dogtown?” It’s about the birth of modern skateboarding in 70’s era Venice Beach but it’s also a pretty fascinating glimpse of the surf culture of that time and covers some of the turf fights. This thread, and especially your post, reminded me of that movie. It’s funny because I always thought of surfers as laid back but the movie portrays the surfers/skateboarders as a pretty rough crowd.


Thanks for the tip, Songcathcher, 'cos I had never even heard of that film, although I have met Stacy Peralta before. I’m definitely going to buy a copy of that DVD - it looks fantastic. The only not-really but semi-related film I can think of is The Lost Boys. Some friends were in a few of the crowd scenes, and even though it’s not the greatest move, it does remind me of my hometown and my youth.


It’s a really good movie- great soundtrack and really captures the era. You might also like Stacy Peralta’s documentary “Dogtown and Z-boys” if you haven’t already seen it. It’s amazing to me how these young guys out of the surf culture pretty much invented a whole new sport.


It’s the same thing in Hawaii.

I’m actually surprised that the “locals only” rule in Hawaii is also in force in California.

There is also not a lot of love lost between surfers and windsurfers in Hawaii.


I grew up in California and knew many skateboarders and surfers. I didn’t live that close to the ocean so I was a skateboarder by default. I can recall some prime skateboarding areas and empty swimming pools were definitely prone to territorial impulses. Mostly fun times, though.

Both the Peralta documentary and the “Lords of Dogtown” movie are excellent, definitely worth watching if you’re a current or former skateboarder.


Anyone ever seen the movie 'Thrashin", with a young Josh Brolin? From what Ive heard, the Venice scenes were pretty realistic to what a person could find there, everyone had their clique, freestyle skaters, vert/ ramp skaters, surfers, BMX freestylers, etc and EVERYONE hated the other groups!

Although I was mainly into freestyle BMX/ BMX racing, I hung out with a lot of skaters and gave it a try here and there, but for some reason, I sucked at skating, took me forever to learn to ollie, but I was good at freestyle and racing BMX, I still miss my old 1986 GT performer!

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