In one of the dumber lawsuits we've seen in a while a surfer filed suit in L.A. Superior Court this week against Carpinteria board maker Channel Islands Surfboards.
Tom Gregg blames the equipment, specifically one of his board's fins, for a leg gash he suffered after pearling in France in … 2009. This according to the Los Angeles Times.
Dude says muscle tissue was severed in the accident and he'll never regain full use of the muscles in that leg. Strange suit on a couple of fronts though:
For one, surfboard makers often don't make the fins. They “glass” them in, sure, but often the come from other manufacturers, frequently replaceable fins from FCS. It appears that Channel Islands does use FCS, though it's not clear if it does so on all its boards.
Another point: Look at a contemporary surfboard. Flip it over. See those? Three fins. They're necessary for tracking and controlling the board once you're up on a wave. You're kind of signing away your rights when you grab a device with fins on it and try to go catch some waves.
Gregg's attorney says, according to the Times, that fins are so sharp that some surfers use protective coverings, a fact his client didn't know at the time of the accident.
Bullshit. What protective coverings? In the water? That would negate the whole purpose of the fins.
By the way, fins aren't that sharp. They're not knife edged. They're hard and hydrodynamic, as needed.
Another point: This happened in 2009, and the guy sues now? What, did he just discover that Channel Islands was owned by the deep-pocketed Burton snowboard company?
Finally: Al Merrick, the founder of Channel Islands, is arguably the world's most beloved surfboard shaper. His top client is 10-time world champ Kelly Slater, not to mention surfers' surfers such as Bobby Martinez. Gregg is going to have a hard time finding experts who would malign his design.
In conclusion, this guy's a kook. Amen.