In late March, Guerin Myall, a filmer out of Santa Cruz, uploaded a 12-second clip onto Instagram that turned the internet purple with rage. Granted, it’s not all that hard to do — the internet has a short fuse, after all — but oh, how the comment sections filled up with bilious vitriol!
The clip, if you are the type who reads before watching, showed Jeff Clark on a hydrofoil in the middle of a crowded Cowells lineup, weaving through hordes of Wavestorm-riding beginners. Clark (yes, the Jeff Clark of Maverick’s fame), very nearly chopped a beginner in half after almost running into a man surfing with his dog, who happened to be Homer, former pro surfer, and Skyler the Surfing Dog. People were screaming through their keyboards at Clark for foiling, at the beginner for beginnering, and at the man surfing with the dog for surfing with a dog. Everyone screamed until their fingertips were worn and bloody and their caps lock keys were cracked and broken.
Clark himself penned an explanation a few days after the clip went viral. “I own it,” he wrote. “I don’t ever want to be foiling around people. If you know anything about me, you know I don’t like to surf around people — never have. Yet, with my escape route blocked, I next had to deal with a bunch of surf school students who may have never been in the ocean before. This is one wave in my lifetime of waves, and I ended up in a really bad place and did everything possible to keep the foil away from man and beast.”
Clark also threw a little dig in at Guerin Myall, saying he had posted it to social media “to promote his anti-foil objective.” Well, now Myall has responded to Clark’s response that was responding to the internet’s response. Myall posted the whole affair from beginning to end on his Youtube channel with his own take on what happened that day. Please excuse the typos in the video, would you?
I was filming my two O’Neill female Surfers (Autumn and Eden) and stayed with Eden after Autumn got caught in someone else’s leash. In the beginning, you see Jeff Clark riding the wave behind but then I focus closer on Eden for the clip. Still noticing Jeff Clark, 50 plus yards away and a whole section to beat is when Homer and Skyler paddled in. I show a couple of waves of Homer and Skyler to show that this is a whole other peak than what Jeff had started his ride out on. “When I started paddling for the wave,” Homer told me, “Jeff was nearly 30-50 yards away and did not think that it was even possible to make that section. I didn’t even notice Jeff was there until we nearly banged rails.”
As Jeff was speeding through the section coming up quickly on Homer, Homer was already driving down the line from where he caught the wave at the breaking point of the peak. When the video leaves Eden and focuses in on Skyler, Homer, and Jeff, it looks as if Jeff catches up to say “What’s up Skyler,” and everything’s all good. Jeff seemed a little too focused on Skyler and didn’t realize how close he was to the guy right in front of him. That’s when Jeff made a great split decision to push his board the opposite direction and hurl himself to avoid disaster, thus landing on the guy and his board. Afterwards, it seemed like Jeff and Homer agreed that that was a close one and parted ways…
Myall then went on to address his so-called anti-foil objective. “[I] think foils have a place in the surf but not at a crowded, weekend beginner spot where everyone drops in on each other,” he continued. “This video is not meant to hate foilers or the people that foil, but to educate the people who are wanting to start foil boarding and teach them to go where no one is, where it’s safe from a crowded lineup to avoid potential accidents.”