Surfing HORROR Story

Today started out really well. I went to the beach after my class got canceled, man I was stoked. I got a chance to try out the new board my friend shaped me, worked really well by the way. I was out for about 3 hours so I was really wiped and I was looking forward to going home and eating.

But when I went to take my car key out of my leash, GONE. The little velcro compartment that houses the key had totally ripped open, how 1 in 10 million is that. The sad thing was it had worked for a long time and didn’t look like it was deteriorating at all.

So basically, I was locked out o my car with no cell phone and no spare key. But the day didn’t end there. I used a guy’s slim-jim to open the care. I thought I had a spare key in the car. When the care was open, it turns out I didn’t. No big deal right. My dad had a spare key, in Los Angeles (I live in San Diego). I figured since my girlfriend is from that area, she can bring it to me over the weekend when she visits.

As it turns out they tow all overnight parkers, according to the lifeguards, so I had to get my car towed 20 miles ($100) back home. When I called AAA I told them who I was and didn’t think much of it. Turns out, my parents paid my membership when I lived at home, but neglected to tell me they canceled it now that I moved out. I had to beg the operator to send somebody out, but it’s against policy. I had to call my dad to borrow his membership, but I couldn’t get a hold of him (they have to reach him via walkie talkie). Finally, after I got a hold of him (after an hour on hold) I got him to call AAA. When I went to call what do I find? The call never went through, they had record of the call, but nobody documented any permission. So I waited on hold for another hour while people tracked down my old man.

Finally, after it was all said and done I called AAA and asked them to send out a locksmith since it would be cheaper to have anew key made. They said it would take between 1 and 2 hours (nice window). I had sat and watched all the other people enjoying the waves while I had to wait for a locksmith.

After 2 hours and 15 minutes (late if you recall), a tow truck shows up. “What the f**k?” I pondered. Apparently the operator at AA sent a tow truck instead of a locksmith, I had to send him away and wait for a locksmith (add another hour and half). One hour and 45 minutes later he arrived. I paid the $45 dollars and got my key. Drove home at 6:45, even though I got out of the water at 2:30.

So tomorrow I’m making copies of my key. My great totally had a bummer ending. What’s worst is my confidence in leashes with key compartments (I don’t know what they are called) is completely dead. Plus my wetsuit has no real good place to put it. I guess I’ll figure something out, but I’m just glad to be home.

The moral of the story:

  1. AAA sucks

  2. Don’t drive to the beach. Instead live on beachfront property. It solves a lot of problems.

When I lived in Hawaii, I would tie string to the side seam of my trunks

=and tie an extra key to there for each session.

Of course there was always an extra key duct taped to the underside of the vehicle.

Before that method , I would crumple up the key inside some litter-trash and non-chalantly

litter it to the underside of my vehicle.

Nowadays, in California, with a wetsuit, I just tie it to my trunk drawstring.

We wear full suits year round up here. I keep my truck key on a chord tied around my neck under the suit. Or, I leave it in the truck with my shit eaten pit bull/queensland. He gets way more respect than he deserves. mike

I got this nifty thing called Key-Safe. Its a little box with a sliding top and a magnetic botom. the magnet is super strong and I have it stuck to the underside of my car on a panel. I ran into that problem before, but it was when I went out for running. fortunately I wasnt far and my friend had his cell.


I got this nifty thing called Key-Safe. Its a little box with a sliding top and a magnetic botom. the magnet is super strong and I have it stuck to the underside of my car on a panel. I ran into that problem before, but it was when I went out for running. fortunately I wasnt far and my friend had his cell.

The key safe sounds like a really good idea actually. Also, I like the necklace chord around the neck idea too. The most effective way to hold a key is on my trunks. They are tied to the trunks and put into a pocket the velcros completely shut. If only I could trunk it year round.

I had similar experience in Japan. Typhoon swell is starting to fill in - I take the train to Enoshima to surf a rivermouth sand bar. I change into my wettie and stick my clothes in my board bag and leave it on the grass in front of the car park about 20 metres up from the beach - I’d heard of rip offs so I stash my wallet under a rock.

I surf for about 3 hrs, swell jacks from 3 ft to 6 ft in that time. I paddle in - I note the tide has come in - a lot and the shore break is now 20 metres inland from where it usually is. With the tide, the big swell and now flooding river, the carpark is now knee deep in water - my board bag is nowhere to be seen - I guess it has floated out to sea. The typhoon is now getting closer and it’s starting to rain heavily and there are these announcements that everyone should leave the beach. I desperately grope around in the knee deep water - my hand finds a rock, it’s the rock I stashed my wallet under. my wallet is still there. I walk up to the road and into the first surfshop I see and buy a towel and some clothes with the wet money. The surfshop guys crack up when they hear what has happened. I have just enough left over to buy a train ticket home. I go to the station, the conductor won’t let me take my board on the train without a board bag - apparantly the fins will endanger the other passengers. I explain what has happened - he cracks up too. We tape some card board around the fins and I get on the train. I have to change trains at a station inland, some old people see my surfboard and tell me I shouldn’t go near the beach - a typhoon is coming.

I’ve been using Rooster’s technique since 1965.

Even at big Pipe or Sunset, and my one real Wiamea day, the washing machine couldn’t defeat my drawstring knot.

Of course, I’ve gone surfing and forgot to tie my key, and once put the wrong key on the string, but you can’t blame the technique because a fool was the operator.

wait a minute… the locksmith rocked up and just made a key for your car? how the hell do they do that…


So I guess rooster technique is the way to go. What type of chord or string should a put around my neck? I’m looking for comfort and dependability here.

something like that almost happened to me to. i had my key tied up in my boardies pocket with that little rope thing. after an hour or so i got some wax out of my pocket and the key got untied from the string. and it came flying out when i grabbed the wax. fortunaetly i was able to grab it in mid air. since then i always use one of those magnetic lock boxes. and i try to put it in different spots, so know one can cathch on.

those leashes with the key holder are nice but they have always kind of scared me for that reason.

you are right though the best way to resolve that issue is to live right on the beach. but then you have to leave the door unlocked. i know i love it during the summer when i live in ocean city. i can look right out the door of my room and see the waves.

beats the 45 minute drive the rest of the time


wait a minute… the locksmith rocked up and just made a key for your car? how the hell do they do that…

It was actually the highlight of the day (aside from the surfing and watching the sunset). He took out the entire keyhole from my trunk and looked up something on his laptop and got schematics or something and shaped a key, total pro.

when i was about 17 or 18 (1996-97) i surfed Bar Reef one day with my key in the leggie pocket (same place you were talking about) and when i came in i found it had somehow worn a hole through the tough material and made it’s way to the bottom of the ocean.

i surfed from before sunrise until about 9am or so (4hrs approx.) and was there til about 2:30pm cause i had to wait around for a locksmith to come and cut a key for my car too. what a bummer that was. same thing, i didn’t know exactly when he was going to come so i had to stay dry and wait. felt like an eternity.

i had one vehicle that could fit loads of boards inside (i don’t decide til i see the waves) and if i locked the keys inside (which happened often) i could open it with someone elses key too. after a while i figured i could open it with a paddlepop stick, a twig or anything. i had to ask some questions at an information centre near home one day for a uni assignment and when leaving i realised my keys were inside the van. i walked back in and asked the lady behind the counter if i could borrow her keys so she walked out with me and watched as i took her house key, opened my car door, returned her keys and hopped in.

a friend of ours in high school had a Kombi that we let ourselves into one night and took for a drive using a padlock key to start the ignition.

I forgot to add this in my first post, but not only did waves and the desire to surf them make the wait seem like eternity, but the second wait for the locksmith, was in the dark while it was drizzling. No opportunity to turn on the car heater. It was during this time that a million cars decided to drive through the parking getting my hopes up. And not just passenger cars, like work truck from cable guys, plumbers, whatever. All just coming to chill until they get a call.

And during the first wait (for AAA guy to open my car) the people parked next to me were hot boxing their car so they get out and ask me every 5 minutes: “hhhhhey man…are u locked out?” Plus one time I said no I need a key so the lady start singing about the key to life. At the end she states that the key to life is having a spare key. I was pissed and annoyed at the time, but I guess she was right.

f-it. don’t wear a leash…

the locksmith has key codes …he has to take the lock out of the passanger side door read the codes, put them into his robot and set the key maker to what his robot tells him…that how he makes keys…

done it many a time and still drive around with one key…i guess i just love the feeling of having to get out of a fuss as fast as possible and learning new ways to do it because ive dont it so many times…lost locked stolen…i always find a good way out and sometime it involves meeting girls…

and i surfed hidaways in kauia with them keys in my shorts zipper pocket…postal,house and car keys, hit the reef and shoved my pointy toyota key right into my leg…still got the purple scar…

good a



f-it. don’t wear a leash…

I only do with my thruster, I don’t like the feeling. But putting the key in my wetsuit is just as sketchy.

Well then, I think you need to give feedback to your freind that shaped that board for you…tell him to incorporate a key locker into the next board so you can just slide a key in your board while you surf…

just a thought…

I never hid my key using the mag boxes or putting it inside your rimes or anything. Used to run with a bad crew in highschool, one of our focus was joyriding. You steal a car and drive it around town, and after you’re done, clean it up and lock it up and leave it. Of course most of time in borrowed rides we’d use gloves . . . and PB or LaJolla HS (forgot which one, or was it mission?) told us how surfers hid their keys . … So we’d look around. Think if you wanted to hide something no one would look . . . where would you put it . . . This one car owner parked next to a trash can, move it aside, see a ford key. parkin lot is imports, but a few fords, it works with this grey f250 . … I forgot who came up with the mirrors on a stick and a flash light to shine around (you see a flash reflection from shiny key rings . … general spot to look). Got some surfers rides that way. It takes only 30 secs to min to break into an unalarmed / unclubbed car, and have it running. One day one of the group gets shot and dies from a gang situation . . . and so I got out of that lifestyle.

Of course karma came back and I had my dad’s truck stolen and got it back in parts. Needless to say I don’t hide my keys around or near my vehicle.

My new car: It has this electronic key, if its inserted into the ignition it will start, its a anti hotwiring thing. I went surfing and found out the key would get me in but it wouldn’t start the car. Sucks dookie booty. But I have this red key the one the mechanics use . . . supposedly the dealer said if you use and abuse it will screw up the engine etc . . . I put it in and the ignition lights up . . . But if I turn it . …

I pulled the key out. But I really needed to get home. Someone’s asking for my spot. I tell them park six cars down, its open down there. I put the key in, but decide it’s stupid to reset the engine by using the mechanic’s key. Several times I debate, key going in, praticality yanking it out. I notice the ignition ring stayed lit for 2 seconds after the key was pulled out . . .

I used the mechanic key to lit up the ring, and switch keys with the one that doesn’t work, engine turns on!!

Now I’m cool. I got a replacement (dealership said don’t immerse keys in water for longer than a minute . . .) and keep my key in a waterproof dive container (good to 400 ft depth . . .) in my boardshort pocket (and tie it).

My leash has the same velcro pocket, but what if the leash breaks or you need to undo it and lose your board and have to swim in. yeah I’ve been a victim of bad preparation . …

I’ve been locked out of my truck in the mountains while snowing, countless times at the beach, just about everywhere. 99% of the time it was my fault. On my old trucks, I’d keep stashed 2 extra keys and a slim-jim in the body. I watched a pro locksmith once and got pretty good with the slim-jim. With electronic locks it isn’t that simple anymore. The latest was last month when my son decided he needed something from the truck during a session. He walks up the cliff holding the keys so that the water running out of his wetsuit sleeve shorts out the electronic remote. I hear alarm go off, run out of the water, up the cliff and find that he unlocked the door manually but the overide button in the truck isn’t working. With the alarm cycling over and over, I opened up the remote, removed the battery and dried everything with a tissue. After a few tries, it unlocked the ignition. I took it apart when I got home and cleaned the guts with alcohol and replaced the battery and saved $90. Now I keep an extra remote + batteries stashed underneath a section of the bedliner and I put the remote in a baggie if it goes down to the beach. I’ve always had a bad relationship with anything that locks - if it’s a key I’ll lose it, a combination I’ll forget it.

What’s the problem with that???

Not Gilda fan. Just showing a local wetsuit manufacturer how well worked the detachable sleeves he made for me.