Sunday, February 25, 2018

Kip Jerger Induction into Hermosa Surfers Walk of Fame

On Saturday, April 28th, 2018 at 11:00 am at the base of Hermosa Beach Pier, Kip Jerger is being inducted to the Surfers Walk of Fame, and a plaque is being embedded into the cement next to Hermosa Beach Lifeguard Headquarters, near such lifeguards and surfing greats, John Baker, Alfred Laws, and Mike Stevenson. There is plenty of seating and its free.  We hope to see you there.

Kip at Pipeline, age 17... Question: "Did that wave catch up to Kip?!"   :-)
Answer per Kip:
Yes it did. There were only 4 guys out. I caught it on the second reef out. The shot you see is on the inside. I slammed my knee on the reef. I paddled back out knowing if I did not that I would never surf large pipeline again.


2018-2-24: Kip Jerger Lifeguard Surfers Walk of Fame Testimonial

In 1958. Kip Jerger, at the age of 5 who had been rescued by the local lifeguard Dick Orr.  Dick took a liking to the spunky skinny youth who braved the surf at Venice beach before the pier was built . Dick took Kip out on an old redwood Pete Peterson, kook box hollow paddle board through the surf and back in to the beach. He was fascinated by this lifeguard who took him under his wing when ever Kip went to the beach that summer and years to come. Kip admits that he thought Dick liked his mother. A very beautiful woman at the time.

He idolized Dick and decided at that moment that he wanted to be a lifeguard when he grew up.

Fast forward to 1970, Kip’s brother Tuzo told Kip about these great lifeguards, surfers, and paddlers that he knew. Bill Mount, Mike Stevenson, John Baker, and Alf Laws. Kip was in awe of these guys.

In 1972, Kip and Tuzo were surfing a big north swell at high tide at Rincon. Kip, as usual, wanted to take a short cut after catching a wave all the way down the highway, not wanting to paddle parallel to shore to get back to the sandy beach to walk back out to the point. This was a mistake. He struggled to time the surf and reach a high point on the rocks where he had to stretch up on his tip toes extending his arms up to place his 7’6” new maroon colored Becker, round pin surfboard on a rock above his head. He climbed up onto that rock feeling that he was way too high above the surf to be in any danger. He picked up his surfboard still connected to his leash, put the board under his arm and turned around to check the surf. To his surprise,  a 12 foot face wave was on him breaking his board over his ribs and hip slamming him against a big boulder. He hit his lower back so hard that he could not kick his legs after he fell 8 feet to another boulder, and into the water.

He could swim very well but made it far enough out so that he would not get smashed again as the other half of his board floated away. He yelled for help at cars going by up on the highway at 60 plus miles an hour. Nobody heard him and he drifted down the beach unable to walk even if he was able to get to land. He drifted for 30 minutes when this young strong man yelled at him to swim to him on the rocks so that he could help the young surfer to safety.

It was Mike Stevenson, Alfred Laws and John Baker, who he had seen before at Malibu while surfing. Mike and Alf helped him up the rocks while Baker manned the old VW bus. On the busy highway. OMG kip thought. He just got rescued by 3 guys he really looked up to.

In 1974, four years later, Kip got 24th in the lifeguard Test swim, and 4th overall with his good run swim run, and paddling skills.  He was able to join the service that all his high school  swimming buddies, Mike Paterson , Scott McAlhaney , Dave Kintas , Scott Davey, and later his brother Jim Davey did. This was a life long dream of Kip’s finally realized.  Kip, thought NO WAY ! I’m going to be a beach lifeguard like Ted Clair, and Erwin Okamura. Getting paid to work at the beach saving people and watching the waves. Stoked !!!!!

He always wanted to be on the Taplin Bell, but could never make the team because Baker, Alf, Mike and John DeGroot were so fast nobody got on the paddling team those days except for those guys. When 3 of them moved up to Malibu to work at Zuma , Kip finally made the team.

Kip idolized those guys and trained hard just to be like them.

He was on the World Championship Surf Team in 1976 with Mike Purpus, Chris Barela, Terry Stevens, Mike Benevidas , and Allen Sarlo as a dark horse team beating the Hawaiians, the South Africans, Brazilians, and the favored to win to win Australian teams. Kip got the best tube ride of the contest, with his picture just under Mark Levy’s, in Surfing Magazine that month.

Later Kip became a premier paddle board maker from 1978-87, and built paddle boards for Mike Newman, Paul Donohue,  Kevin Taylor,  actor Gary Busey,  and some of the lifeguard units. He was instrumental in creating the new round bottom nose entry boards, and inventing the new at the time, tuck the board under the next guys arm and spin with him to create a faster relay paddle board exchange.  He was awarded the Medal of Valor for risking his life to save another in big surf at Whites Point, becoming hospitalized afterwards. He won the Catalina 32 mile paddle board race in 1982 on a board he built , and became a 4 time national Ironman champion, 5 time fastest paddler in the World Lifeguard Championships, in Hawaii, and represented the United States lifeguards in South Africa . Other teammates were highly decorated lifeguard competitors, Bill Babaschoff, Mike Newman, Kevin Taylor, coach Bob Moore, and Ironman from Santa Monica Ron Richman, who taught Kip, how to build surfskis and paddle boards out of Styrofoam. Kip later showed Joe Bark what a long distance paddle board looked like so that he could make one. The rest is history.

Kip explained that we did not have hot knifes to cut the rocker into the Styrofoam blanks back then so we would place the blanks on two trash cans at either end out side in the sun and rain with a couple of bricks in the middle causing the blank to bow over time and create the first rocker. Later Ron figured out how to use an old chu chu model train transformer to make a hot knife to cut the blanks rocker using rocker templates that they both designed for their specific needs.

Kip made the South African team trials in paddling , and competed in the Ironman.  He built two great paddleboards by hand. Mike Newman and Kevin Taylor, the two Ironman teammates and great swimmers, were helping by taking the two boards which Kip had glassed and sanded himself to get painted two days before the long trip to South Africa.  Kevin needed some underwear so they stopped in Kevin’s old VW bus at Fox Hills mall. They left the two unfinished boards on the top of the van. When they came back they were gone.

Kip panicked, and built two new paddle boards out of epoxy and Styrofoam in 24 hours. A world record. He admits that the drying time between glassing and hot coating takes longer than that. So he made some hot batches , so hot that they started smoking and burnt the plastic containers to the ground that the epoxy was poured into. Hence his nick name , Captain Hot batch. He painted the boards with cans of spray paint and put them into the boxes wet to ship them to South Africa. When they got to South Africa, they pulled the boards out of the boxes strenuously, because the paint was stuck to the cardboard. He repaired the damage. He and Mike Gowan, showed the young South African paddlers , how fast the old guys were. Mike Gowan was 45 and Kip was 35. The closest in age on the South African team were 18 years younger than Kip, and 28 years younger that Mike. No matter they kicked ass on the younger paddlers.

Kip was just there two years earlier surfing on the professional surfing circuit from there and next to Brazil.

They traveled all over South Africa, competing against all their teams and beating them. In the final race between the Spring Bucks national team, they boxed Kip in after rounding the buoy, and this maneuver pushed him from second back to fourth place because of Kip’s known finishing ability would make him victorious.  Mike Newman of Baywatch fame, and great competitors Kevin Taylor, Bill Babaschoff, or baby shaft as Kip nicknamed him, and Ron Richmond, all were victorious in most of their races. Yet they failed to win the overall final competition.

That’s OK. Bob Moore got back at the So. Africans for cheating by challenging their head coach to a Tequila drinking contest. They could not resist. They knew that they could drink anybody under the table. The American lifeguard team carried 6 cases of tequila half way around the world because they did not have any at that time in S.A.. We rigged the competition having our American bar tender pour water into to Bob’s shot glasses and tequila into the South Africans coach’s shot glass. After 18 or so shots glasses Bob was sober and the last time he checked the SA coach was sitting in the 10 foot long stainless steel urinal, upright passed out with his head parting the flow of water. He did not look pissed off, more like pissed on.

On Saturday, April 28th, 2018 at 11:00 am at the base of Hermosa pier, Kip Jerger is being inducted to the Surfers Walk of Fame, and a plaque is being embedded into the cement next to Hermosa Lifeguard Headquarters, near such lifeguards and surfing greats, John Baker, Alfred Laws, and Mike Stevenson. There is plenty of seating and its free.  We hope to see you there.

Congratulations to Kip for this wonderful and well deserved honor!


Until next time.....

"County Recurrent" News

(All photos courtesy of Kip Jerger. Used here with permission.)

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Saturday, February 24, 2018

Captain John W. Howe: Rest In Peace...

Dateline: Saturday, February 24, 2018 at Santa Monica Lifeguard Headquarters. Family, friends and colleagues gathered to celebrate the life of Lifeguard Capt. John W. Howe.

Rest in peace, Captain Howe. Thank you for your lifetime of service.

Respectfully submitted,

Will Maguire,
"County Recurrent" News

(All photos by & Copyright Will Maguire 2018.)

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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Strafing Southern Section, Feb. 21, 2018...

Dateline: Wednesday morning, February 21, 2018...

Below, the "new" official LOGO as shown on the new "optional" long sleeve navy blue sweatshirt hoodie, that is currently (and basically) unavailable.  At Hermosa HQ, there is one size LARGE, and a handful of size MEDIUM, and one SMALL (as of this morning when I checked out the LACOLA Locker there).  All of the XXL and XL are currently sold out. Cost is $20 (Twenty Dollars), preferably by check to "LACOLA".  No new hoodies are currently available in either Central or Northern Section, which, of course is _________ (fill in the blank).  :-)

Below, the back of the new hoodie with block lettering only (and no logo).

Below, the "old" logo. This is no longer the official logo wear for on duty!

Old logo - no longer the logo for on duty

Below, back of hoodie showing "old" logo - no longer the logo for on duty.

Old logo - no longer the logo for on duty

Wax On Wax Off!... above and below.....

Below: Atten Hut!  Chief Lifeguard, Fernando Boiteux, in his newly remodeled corner office!

By the by, and per Chief Boiteux:  This year the only "comfort" on duty clothing item that will be available is the above-referenced "optional" sweatshirt hoodie ("optional" meaning you have to pay for it).  For 2019, however, the Dept. is going to provide a "Comfort Fleece" outerwear item (that can be worn by itself or underneath the new HELLY HANSEN® windbreaker.

Below, off camera, Assnt. Chief Tim Arnold, shows us his black CONDOR® on duty jacket with velcro on the shoulders for the official LACo shoulder patches which can be removed easily for on duty and off duty.....

(FYI:  Assnt. Chief Tim Arnold ordered his "black" CONDOR® jacket online at Amazon Prime and had the uniform supplier provide him with velcro backed patches.  The jacket itself comes with the velcro on the shoulders).

Dockweiler drive by, below...

Back to Central Section intact!... #whew



Until next time.....

"County Recurrent" News

(All photos by & Copyright Will Maguire 2018.)

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