comscore Beach fort of notorious ‘Bay Boys’ to be demolished
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Beach fort of notorious ‘Bay Boys’ to be demolished

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  • People stood at a stone structure at Rocky Point in Lunada Bay in the tony, seaside city of Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., on Jan. 22. The days are numbered for the “Stone Fort,” created by a territorial group of surfers known as the Bay Boys, erected illegally decades ago as part of their sustained battle to keep rival wave-riders from some of the best breaks in Southern California. (Charles Bennett/Long Beach Press-Telegram via AP, File)

PALOS VERDES ESTATES, Calif. » The days appear numbered for the “Stone Fort,” a venerable edifice that was illegally erected decades ago by a group of surfers and became a beachhead in their ongoing war to keep outsiders away from some of the best waves in Southern California.

Under pressure from the California Coastal Commission, the City Council in tony Palos Verdes Estates voted unanimously Tuesday to have the concrete-and-stone structure torn down.

A public hearing is scheduled in September to discuss how to do it, but the city manager in the seaside community of multimillion-dollar homes and priceless views says jackhammers are the likely solution.

The impressive structure is made of rock walls and sits on the beach just above the tide line at the base of towering cliffs. Its amenities include a table, bench, fire pit, shaded patio and a place to store boards and kayaks.

Critics have claimed in a lawsuit that a murky group of local surfers known as the Lunada Bay Boys use it as an observation point to spy on arriving outsiders then harass them when they reach the shore.

The lawsuit indicates most members of the Bay Boys are middle-aged men and longtime residents of Palos Verdes Estates. Members, however, make a point of not advertising their affiliation in public or on T-shirts or surf gear.

Many residents deny the group exists at all, and no one identified themselves as a Bay Boy at the council meeting.

Surfer Magazine recently listed the Lunada Bay beach as one of five places to avoid — no matter how good the waves break.

“To get there you’ll have to duck rocks chucked by the Bay Boys,” the magazine said while mocking the wealthy locals. “And your car windows will get waxed. And your tires might get slashed. You’ll endure chest-thumping and lip-quivering threats shouted from the beach shack the Boys inhabit near the shore.”

While calling for the removal of the fort, councilmembers cited liability issues, including concerns that an outsider might fall from one of the fairly treacherous pathways to the breakwater while toting a board.

But the fact is that the Stone Fort has been under assault for months by an increasingly agitated group of outsiders who say the Bay Boys use it as a staging area to keep others off the beach and away from the primo waves.

The class-action lawsuit filed against the city and several residents in March by a pair of outsiders describes the Bay Boys as more thugs than surfers. It accuses them of running out-of-towners over with their boards in the water and even taking their wallets, wetsuits and surfboards.

Police say the fort is almost always deserted by the time officers respond to complaints about the treatment.

The Coastal Commission, noting the structure was built without a permit, told the city to either remove it or apply for a permit with the promise of ending the harassment and providing better access to the beach.

Locals say waves along the beach can be spectacular but only occur about 30 days a year in the winter. When the surf is up, everyone wants to be there and that’s when the Bay Boys get busy.

“They tend to be aggressive in keeping other surfers out or intimidating people who look like they are going to surf,” 15-year resident Cliff Filepe said as he walked his dogs along the bluffs, noting that he has never been bothered by the group.

“I don’t know that they bother anybody who just wants to stand around here, but they consider the surfing their territory,” he said.

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  • Same problem here. North shore mokes. Waikiki jokes. Johnny Boy Gomes. Waikiki beach boys. Mathew McCounaughey and his goons at Malibu Beach. Rich in Portlock and Kahala (Hunakai Street). Too many people everywhere jockeying for limited spaces and housing.

  • Word os all the middle and older age Lunada Bay Boys all suffer from Micro P_ _ is, have to take the little blue pill to do anything, serious middle age issues.

    Exactly why these losers harass everyone who is doing what they no longer can. Total sub humans, dregs of the earth.

    Good riddance to these losers.

  • The hilarious thing about these “Bay Boys” (more like baby boys)is that they totally wimp out when the surf gets “big” at Lunada (1 foot overhead?). They all sit trembling on the shoulder, stroking for the channel, terrified of the peak which amounts to no more than a small day at Sunset at best. See for yourself: And they’re oh so tough in a gang on the beach or in the water, but you catch them alone and they cry like babies.

  • Surfing was great back in the 70’s and 80’s for me on Oahu. Now (not by choice) I live in Redondo Beach near Lunada Bay.

    Don’t surf anymore because it freezing cold by Hawaii standards and polluted here.

    I just use my Hawaii surf memories to lull me to sleep each night.

    Oh, the Hawaii I knew and appreciate forever.

  • The Bay Boys were loved by the government and people of Palos Verdes Estate cause they kept the “riff raff” out of their gated community without appearing to be part of the city itself. Thus, the castle stays up for decades in an upscale, rich city that could have easily afforded to demolish it years ago.

  • Would love to see these clowns try to approach Hawaii local boys. We would put them in their place and shove their silver spoons up their chutes.

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