quarta-feira, setembro 24, 2008
[Three issues after Gerry Lopez’s “Attitude Dancing” was published in SURFER in late 1976, young Australian Rabbit Bartholomew got his chance to respond on behalf of what are known today as the Free Ride revolutionaries, the enfants terrible who threatened to unseat the Old Guard on Oahu’s north shore.
"The fact is that when you are a young emerging rookie from Australia or South Africa you not only have to come through the backdoor...but you also have to bust that door down before they hear ya knocking."
In his treatise “Bustin’ Down the Door,” he described the other side of the cultural clash that stood to halt the radical, progressive surfing championed by the young Australian and South African surfers—and his title announced, in no uncertain terms, how they meant to achieve revolution. Though Bartholomew felt he made his case in a respectful tone, many Hawaiians seethed over Rabbit’s and his countrymen’s behavior in the water, and his essay, rather than quell their anger, had the opposite effect.
Weeks after “Bustin’ Down the Door” was published, Rabbit got in a tussle with Hawaiian legend Barry Kanaiaupuni during a competition in Australia. The following season on the North Shore would prove to be one Bartholomew would never forget. Death threats and punch-outs meted out by local surfers soon forced Rabbit and a handful of other Down Under crew to live in a state of siege in a nearby resort.
Fortunately, Hawaiian Eddie Aikau saw that things had gone too far. He and his highly-respected family stepped in and called together the aggrieved parties for some good old-fashioned ho’oponopono, the Hawaiian custom of putting things right in a group or family meeting. Held in a packed conference room at the Turtle Bay Hilton, this gathering of the tribes was a de facto public trial. The verdict: Rabbit had shown disrespect for the local people; he was banished from the North Shore, save only for his heats in the scheduled professional surfing contests.
Many believe that Aikau’s actions may have actually saved Rabbit’s life. It would be three years before he could return, and many more before he could stop looking over his shoulder. Today, Rabbit is the president of the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) and stands in good graces with the Hawaiian surfing community. Still, in a 2005 SURFER interview with editor Chris Mauro, Rabbit felt the sting of old wounds, observing that the affair “cut me in half as a man.”]
Leia aqui o artigo original da Surfer (ou clica no titulo).