Featured Image

Corndogging: A Trestles Taxonomy

In the environmental documentary show “Planet Earth,” Sir David Attenborough classifies types of surfers

For the highly anticipated third season of "Planet Earth," set for release this fall on BBC, Sir David Attenborough and his film crew went to Southern California for a look at some truly unique creatures. "Lower Trestles was an obvious choice for us when we were scouting locations for the new season," Attenborough told SURFER. "The extremely diverse resource-acquiring strategies employed by local surfers suggest that human evolution has taken a much different course in the lineup than it has on land. Technically speaking, if we follow 'The Zoologist's Guide to Flora and Fauna,' not all the surfers in this lineup can actually be considered human. So we proceeded to classify the species that we found. That was a 'Planet Earth' first."

To promote the new season of the hit environmental documentary show, Attenborough has given us excerpts of his narration, outlining the various species of surfer found at Lowers.

Sneaky Logger (Crassus ad magnum tabula)

"At Lowers in particular, larger boards are often used by surfer species past their physical peak to regain a competitive edge. Here we find a Crassus ad magnum tabula, or sneaky logger, taking position nearly on the horizon, where he can strike from a great distance. If he's able to stand up before the wave gets too far inside and into the territory of the alphas, he will win the day. If not, he may not be able to find the sustenance to survive the harsh winter ahead."

Entitled Youth (Puer ferox nimis)

"This creature may share a common ancestor with Puer felix aqua, or stoked grommet, but has adopted an entirely different competitive strategy to thrive in the Lowers lineup. As you can see, the entitled youth often will stand up on a wave even if an adult rider is already present. This tactic frequently confuses the adult, giving the entitled youth a short window to fit in one or two turns without repercussions from the larger animal. However, this strategy will get him nowhere once he reaches sexual maturity, so he'll need to adopt a new scheme in the coming years in order to survive."

Alpha rider Nate Yeomans, asserting his dominance. Photo: Ellis

Overly Involved Father (Pater ludis usu nimis implicari)

"Not far from every entitled youth is the overly involved father, or Pater ludis usu nimis implicari. This species often works together with the entitled youth for mutual benefit, calling the youth into waves that he technically has no right to and picking up his scraps should he fall on an attempted tail-blow. Pater ludis is highly protective of his young, especially during the crowded summer season, and will stop at nothing to ensure that his offspring receive ample waves in the hopes that they will one day become an alpha."

Naïve Interloper (Visitor confusa admodum)

"Perhaps the least adapted to deal with the raw savagery of the Lowers lineup is the Visitor confusa admodum, who often finds his way into the lineup by following geotags on social media posts, with little understanding of the natural hierarchy of the break. Here, we find Visitor confusa on the inside after missing several waves. Sadly, it won't be long until he finds himself washing up on the cobblestone shore, bruised and with a broken fin box, his chances of finding a wave, and a mate on the shore, utterly dashed."

Alpha Rider (Qui dominatur aqua)

"This hardy specimen acts as the dominant species of the lineup. He often places colorful stickers on his board — a warning display to keep entitled youths and others at bay once he is up and riding. Should he encounter another alpha in the lineup, they will either work together, splitting the peak to claim the lion's share of sets, or they will enter into a passive-aggressive competition, wordlessly attempting to outdo each other on every wave, believing that the victor will have a better chance of finding a mate. In the winter, both will molt and fly west to the Hawaiian Islands, where their battle for resources will continue."

[Editor's note: "Corndogging" is a satirical column in which we take serious surf issues, dunk 'em in the ocean, and roll them around in the sand for awhile.]