The Inertia Juicewhale
Three days later... Photo: Jeremy Searle

Three days later… Photo: Jeremy Searle

The Inertia

You bottom dwelling face dragging sand thugs have repeatedly kicked my ass. I’m the surf instructor you’ve gone toe-to-face with a couple 100 times now. On four of these occasions, you whiptail devil fish have snaked that stupid poison filled dart straight into my foot. Two of the stings actually happened back-to-back, which makes me the odds-on favorite to be attacked by some long forgotten mystical sea monster. Probably one of your bros.

It was the summer ’07 on a beautiful sunny summer day in Encinitas, CA. I was happily teaching a kids camp for the esteemed Eli Howard Surf School when hell struck… twice. In the midst of blowing the kids minds with my best “seal call” by cupping my hands and blowing on the water, you blasted me through my right foot. I yelped a bit, but tried to keep my composure for the kids. Immediately, I began limping towards shore telling the kids “I need to go break down the tent,” and on my way out of the water I put my heavy ass left foot on another one of you. Yes, that’s when another one of you f*ckers blasted my other foot. Yep, both feet were stung, and two stings at once is way too many! My composure floundered and I army crawled up the beach.

Wincing in pain, jelly-fishing my body across the sand, my boss told me to “keep it together.” I did my best, but I can’t imagine how much of a pussy those kids thought I was when I swore it was just a couple of bad seashell cuts. Granted, there was a decent amount of blood, but the pain is hundred times worse than the wound looks. I’ve broken nine bones in my life and the wrath of your sting flat out hurts worse, you asshole. The pain travels all the way up into the groin, but like every other prideful and macho (read: stupid) surfers would do, I refused a lift from the lifeguard to my friends car, which was about a quarter mile away.

At best, I looked like I was being electrocuted while hobbling to my friend’s car. I yelled a lot. We didn’t need to stay to help load up the surf school boards. If I didn’t get to hot water, I was going to die. He thought it was a good idea to pump Slayer the whole way back to my house. Apparently, you want to be as relaxed as possible to mitigate the spread of the poison. In hindsight, it was the worst music choice ever.


When I got home, I put both feet in super hot water and the pain went from a 10 to about a two. After roughly five hours, the pain had finally subsided. It was like going from feeling like death from pain is a real possibility, to merely having a couple of minor flesh wounds. However, that wasn’t the end of our story.

Recently, just over a week ago, I was stung in Venice, California. I was teaching another lesson, but now I’m my own boss for my surf school Gnarwhale Surf Lessons, and composure wasn’t a top priority. This time, you were for sure ‘roiding — it was the biggest barb in the west. It blew my heel wide open and blood was pouring out of it. It looked more like I had stomped on a broken bottle or something. Then I felt that now-familiar CRAZY pain of the poison racing into my blood stream and knew that it was you. This time, rather than feigning courage of bravery, the wound was so bad that I had my student take me to the ER to get the bleeding to stop.

I was literally biting myself on the way in. My body was shaking. Once I had checked in, they gave me a shot of morphine — morphine! — numbed it, and put it in hot water. They then closed it up and put me on two antibiotics because bad stings like this can often get horribly infected from your dirty pokers. I remained on crutches for a couple of days with a nasty heel wound, and a super red swollen foot and ankle. Fortunately I contracted no stingray STDs and in just a week’s time I’m back in the water whaling around!

If there’s a lesson to be learned here, it is that most surf instructors will be stung by one of you at some point, and that it’s going to hurt like bitch. Also, most of their surf buddies will champion you, saying they deserve it.

Stop crowding the line-ups, kook,


It was a bloodbath. Photo: Jeremy Searle

It was a bloodbath. Photo: Jeremy Searle

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