In the early 2000s the equivalent to the Pump House Gang were the Bird Rock Bandits: a group of kids that hung out, drank beer and bodysurfed at the Windansea shore break. Fueled by a sense of entitlement and booze, they were known to get into fights. Late one night in 2007, during a street brawl, a few of the Bird Rock Bandits killed 24-year old pro surfer Emery Kauanui. A witness stated in court, "They smashed him into a palm tree and took him down. His head hit the street. That was the blow. That was the one." Nearly everyone knew and loved the guy. Emery's murder rocked the community.
slow-cooked from too many decades of southern exposure...
Some visible signs of that era are still etched into a few faces that linger along the short wall of the parking lot. The old timers, beer in hand and leathered pot bellies, slow-cooked from too many decades of southern exposure, watch the surfing below, telling their stories of waves past.
The light that glows brightly through all of that history is the Windansea Surf Club. It's a far cry from its roots. Founded in 1962 by Chuck Hasley, the club has included members such as Ian Rotgans, “Big George” Felactu, Longboard Larry, Skip Frye, Joey Cabell, Del Cannon, Mike Purpus, Rusty Miller, Andy Tyler, Tom Ortner, Brew Briggs, Debbie Beacham, Peter King, Saxton Boucher and The Endless Summer film star Mike Hynson. All legends of the sport.