Mailbomb: Fitting In In Santa Cruz, California

Mailbomb: Fitting In In Santa Cruz, California

I was never really ever accepted by the cool crowd in school. The cool kids would usually call me “dork” or “shithead.” I’d get thrown in trash cans and my pants would get ripped off in gym class¿it was a hard time in my life. I felt helpless until my recent trip to Santa Cruz, California. I planned a trip up to a different town to prove to myself that I could be cool and fit in. I did a lot of research and figured out some ways to help me join the cool crowd, the Santa Cruz cool crowd.¿C.C.


This fall, Charles Baer will forge a surf-media alliance by identifying political and environmental common ground. Thank you for your participation in this third-millennium cyber odyssey to save the planet with surfing and mellow common sense.Charles Baer Portland, Oregon

Charles,The first thing I needed to do was find the right equipment. I read all the cool surf magazines and cut out all the pictures of cool Santa Cruz surfers. The first guy I cut out was Ratboy. He’s like the coolest guy in Santa Cruz, so I immediately copied his sponsors. I ran out to my local surf shop and bought a brand-new M10 Ratboy model surfboard and a new O’Neill fullsuit with matching booties (the same color Rat wears). I put my new outfit on and looked at myself in the mirror. I was fully Santa Cruz.

LEGGO MY EGGOYour mag rips, especially when you tear a page. The comedy is great! Keep up the good work. And now for something completely different:There once was this dude from McQuerkyWho ate tons and tons of beef jerky.He got in a rutAnd puked up his gutNow this jerky can’t go to worky.Let’s eat beef jerky. Let’s have some fun.Let’s eat beef jerkyAnd get the runs.

It’s such a special treat.Tastes like toe jam on your feet.I can’t get enough to eatOf that beef jerky.

To be honest, beef jerky f¿kin’ sucks! You know why? Because millions of calves and cows are being systematically subjected to torture every day. They’re being hoisted upside down and butchered while still alive! They’re being skinned alive! This is just the tip of the iceberg.Come on, guys. Isn’t your mag about fun and jokes? Forget about all that beef-jerky crap, okay?Sandy EggoCardiff, California

Sandy,After my wardrobe and accessories were complete, I booked a flight for San Jose¿that’s where the Santa Cruz guys fly into when they come home from cool surf trips. When I landed, I got into a taxi and told the driver, “Get me to the Lane, bro.” In twenty minutes, I was in the fabled Steamer Lane parking lot. I looked around and didn’t see any pros, so I quickly suited up and made my way to the beach. I started to walk down the rocks, and as soon as I touched one piece of slippery slime, I lost my footing, slammed on my board, and fell down about ten feet of wet boulders. I looked up in horror to see two local dudes laughing at me¿it was high school all over again.

DRESS FOR SUCKSESSWell, I don’t mean to dress like a fool, but kids at school say I do. I like wearing purple and different color sweatpants. Kids at school think I’m a nerd. Please let me win. I need to have cool clothes so kids will think I’m cool.P.S. I love Planet Earth clothes!Mark WinchesterNewport, Rhode IslandCaptions for photos:1. A normal day at middle school.2. Before a huge school play.3. D.A.R.E. graduation.

Mark,When I finally paddled out and got to the lineup, a couple of young local kids started making fun of me for my Ratboy getup. I could hear them talking about me, saying, “That kid’s trying to look like Rat.” Lesson one: Don’t try too hard, it’ll make you more uncool.

CAUGHT A BAD ONEI’m an avid reader of TransWorld SKATEboarding magazine, and after the last issue of SURF, I can say I’m an avid reader of TransWorld SURF, too. I like the humor and sarcasm. I don’t surf that well, but when I do surf, I have a blast. I never reaally understood the whole surf localism thing until I tried to surf at Lower Trestles in San Clemente, California. I walked down that long-ass trail at five in the morning and got in the water at sunup. After about ten minutes, there were twelve guys out who were all friends. They vibed me and wouldn’t let me catch any waves. Those guys are a bunch of dicks¿they ruined my dream session and made me feel like a chump. So if anyone who’s reading this surfs Lowers regularly, you suck. Dane HalgrenLos Osos, California

Dane,It was in the water where I figured out that in order to be cool in Santa Cruz, you have to be sponsored. I went to a surf shop and bought a rad M10 sweatshirt to go along with my M10 Ratboy model. I was on cloud nine walking around town holding my board with my matching sweatshirt. People thought I was sponsored for sure! When I walked by groups of surfers they must’ve thought, “Hey, who’s this new guy all sponsored and shit?” They probably thought I was some new, cool transplant who came to town to rip, which I did.

NO LOVE FOR NEWPSWhere’re all the pictures of Newps and Huntington Beach, California? Did you guys miss the swell or something? What the f¿k is up with that?Newps BroNewport, California

Newps Bro,After about a week in Santa Cruz, I figured out where all the cool guys hung out. I followed Barney to a restaurant one night. I said, “Hi.” He said, “Hi,” back. He was cool, and he must’ve known that I was cool, too. The next day at The Lane, some kid came up to me and asked me if I was from the West Side. I didn’t know what to say, so I just ran away. When I stopped running, I made a crucial decision: I was gonna claim West Side! I walked back to The Lane and saw the kid. I said, “Hey, kid! I’m from the West Side, bro.” He laughed and said, “What street do you live on?” Again, I had to run away.

NO SAUSAGES, PLEASEAre you looking for any more interns? I saw the photos of Mimi the Intern, and I was just wondering if you guys might need a male intern to help Mimi with her column or anything else she needs help with? If you do, I’d be stoked! Justin DanielVirginia Beach, Virginia

Justin,I decided that the West Side was a little too brutal for me, so I journeyed over to the East Side. I walked to Pleasure Point, and tried the ol’ dress up like Ratboy thing. The problem over there was no one cared. They didn’t even really pay any attention to me at all. I struck up a conversation with some dude and he didn’t even give a crap when I told him I was sponsored by M10 and O’Neill. He was just checking the surf, and drinking coffee¿he looked like he was asleep. He ignored me and walked away.

SCHOOL SUCKSYou guys have a really good surf magazine. I especially like the stories about surfers who go out on boats and surf on outer island waves. Those waves look so fun. I’m writing this letter from my fifth grade class. Some girls are writing letters to magazines like Seventeen and Teen Beat, but my friends and I are writing to you guys ’cause you guys are cool. Anyway, that was my letter.Matt PeckOceanville ElementeryOceanville, Maryland

After my humiliating defeat at The Lane, and my uneventful trip to the East Side, I decided fitting in was much harder than it seems. It takes much more than just a cool outfit and a good attitude. It takes years to learn the subtle things that makes Santa Cruz work. All I know is I tried and failed, just like in high school. Now I have to find somewhere else to conquer, because Santa Cruz chewed me up and spit me out. Maybe I should’ve tried to look like Flea.