Friday, August 29, 2014
The above drone video shows surfer Allen Sarlo “shooting the pier” at Malibu the other day. Shooting the pier is a classic California surfing maneuver meaning to go between the pilings and not fall off (or die, see below). Back in the early days of California surfing in the 1950s and 1960s it was what could set you apart from the rest of the gang and get all the beach bunnies riled up. From a Malibu Patch article from a few years back that mentions Sarlo shooting the pier during the last huge Malibu swell:
Sarlo made it through the pier several times, approaching it at speed and looking for the gaps that hid broken pilings that could have killed him if he’d hit them. Sarlo shot the pier several times, made it through on all of them and even did a big reentry in the shorebreak— detonating in front of the parking lot.
Shooting the Malibu Pier is dangerous business. The pilings aren’t angled correctly, and you have to pick a wave that stays green as it moves through. Back in the late 1950s, an African-American surfer named Nick Gabaldon died when he hit the pier while trying to shoot it. The incident is mentioned in the 1957 novella Gidget.
Another angle from the beach when Laird Hamilton shot the pier.
Want to know more about Nick Gabaldon? Check out the clip below: