This article originally appeared in SURFER Magazine, Volume 59, Issue 4. Subscribe here.
CARLSBAD, CA -- Yesterday, from Crescent City to San Diego, California, surfers paddled out en masse and proceeded to snake, back-paddle, burn, roast, sneer, snicker, dunk, brawl, cut leashes and smash fins as part of the surf community's newly enacted "Purge" session. The statewide event encourages surfers to act on their baser instincts, committing the most heinous crimes in surfing, in hopes that they will "get it all out of their system," according to Purge proponents.
"The idea came from a horror movie that came out a few years ago," says Newport Beach surfer and Purge supporter Mitch Mortenson. "In the movie, all crime is made legal for one night a year and for the rest of the time the crime rate drops to nothing. Some of my friends and I were getting burned so many times around 54th Street that when we heard about the surfing Purge, we just thought, 'It's about time!'"
Up and down the coast yesterday, it was common to see eight or more surfers on a single wave, with no shortage of leash pulling, board grabbing and spear tackling. In the aftermath of the Purge session, which lasted from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., surfers who paddled out in the afternoon reported experiencing "an immense feeling of calm and a strong sense of belonging and brotherhood" in the lineup, like "we'd all been through some shit."
But not all surfers who paddled out during the morning Purge session were pleased with the results of the inaugural event.
"I didn't even know this Purge thing was happening," says La Jolla Shores surfer Clyde Sizlack. "I was just over the moon to try out my brand-new Josh Hall glider, which set me back a pretty penny, but on my first wave some psychopath dropped right in and smashed into my rail. I'm just sitting there afterward going, 'What the hell is your problem, man?' He's like, 'Just Purging, bro,' and drops an elbow, WWF-style, right on the deck of my board. I couldn't believe it. Who would ever think this was a good idea?"
The man who first initiated the Purge session is named Brian Boggle. According to Boggle, he "figured if it worked in the movie, it might work in surfing, and Lord knows surfers could stand to blow off some steam. But that's really it; I have no ulterior motives." Boggle lives in San Clemente, where he owns a chain of ding-repair shops.
[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.]