Sunday, October 18, 2009
Disgruntled Surfer Claims “Time Didn't Stand Still.” Launches Class Action.
By Guest Goldminer Tim Baker
SOUTHPORT, QLD – An angry Gold Coast surfer has launched a massive lawsuit against Shaun Tomson, Gerry Lopez and large sections of the surf industry and media, claiming that tube riding is a hoax.
Garry Peabottom, of Varsity Lakes, claims he has spent thousands of dollars and most of his adolescent and adult life trying to get tubed, because he believed “the systematic, deliberate, and misleading brainwashing of the entire surf culture, that the tube riding experience would give meaning to my life.”
“Time doesn’t slow down at all,” he told a busy media scrum, outside the Southport Magistrates Court. “If anything, it’s speeded up. I was in, then I was out again. Nothing happened. I’m the same person I always was, damn it.”
In his action, Peabottom claims he had accepted the “contrived surf media lies that tube riding would be a somehow transcendental, transformative experience.”
“They’re all in on it - the pros, the companies, the mags, the video makers, selling us a pack of lies,” he claimed.
The truth, he reckoned, was that his first brief tube, during a boat trip to the Mentawais with a gang of mates, had been “maybe mildly more exciting than having a tug, and nowhere near as good as a root.”
Mounting his own case, Peabottom called several supporting witnesses to the stand.
Frank “Franger” Mitcham, a plumber from Labrador, told the court Peabottom had been obsessed with getting tubed as long as he’d known him. “He’s not that crash hot a surfer to be honest. I’ve never seen a bloke get guillotined by the lip so regularly. He had a nack for it, would just stick his head in the things as if he wanted to get it taken off. He was hilarious.”
Peabottom, a large-bodied, ungainly goofyfooter, said they had scored “sick Maccas for three days, with only me mates, a few Brazzers and a bunch of pros in the water,” he told the court.
“As soon as I saw that wave, I just went, this is the place - this is where I’m going to get my first barrel,” Peabottom testified. “For the first coupla days I just got dropped in on, blew take offs or would get into an unsteady tube squat, get sucked up the face and sail over the falls with the lip.”
Several scars on Peabottom’s forehead and elbows, he claimed, were the result of repeated scrapes with what he called “the razor sharp reef lurking just below the surface.”
“Finally, on day three, I started to get the hang of it. Oh, I still blew a lot of them, but I caught a few lazy shoulders and then worked my way up the food chain until I was in the spot when a set came.”
He described the wave as “easy double over head” and claimed he was “fully shitting meself,” as the first wave of the set approached, but managed to catch the thing and gain a clean entry.
“I just stood there and the lip threw out and over me and I managed not to fall off,” Peabottom related. “Oh, it was nice enough and the view was pretty amazing for a few moments there, but I guess it had been built up so much in my mind by all those years of brain washing that it was a bit of an anti-climax, really.”
The defence case rests on the question of whether the plaintiff was actually in the tube. Star witness “Franger” Mitcham vehemently corroborated Peabottom’s story.
“Oh, he was in there alright. None of us could bloody believe it. We were all hooting our heads off and got right on it that night, drank the boat dry and demolished the duty free in celebration of Gazzer’s barrel,” he claimed. “I thought he seemed a bit subued though, not his usual self.”
Peabottom’s suit demands substantial damages from several major surfwear labels as well as the publishers of the Surfer’s Naval magazine, known for its flowery prose on the wonders of tube-riding, a number of distinguished surf identities known to have described the tube in extravagant terms, as well as respected surf writer, Barney O’Flannery. “He’s the worst of the lot,” Peabottom told the press. “You should see the garbage he writes - active meditation, stilling the conscious mind, creating a state of Flow. What a bunch of bullshit,” Peabottom spat.
He is seeking financial compensation for the money he has spent on boards, petrol, airfares, surf camp tariffs, even magazines and movies, over a 15 year period. He is also inviting other surfers who feel they have been similarly misled to overcome their shame and come forward to tell their stories.
“It’s a hoax and I’ve been had, we’re all being had. I’ll stay home at my local beachbreak and practice my airs from now on. They are way more rad and that Dane Reynolds dude, he ain’t trying to sell shit. The one consolation out of all this is I have finally found a surf star I can trust.”