Surf Fights happen in Hawaii. A few years ago we were at Makaha beach on the west side of Oahu, when we witnessed something horrible! The lifeguards pulled a lifeless body out of the ocean. Their attempt to reanimate the guy was not successful at first. The police came and another surfer had to answer questions. What happened?
Surf Etiquette saves lives
Surfing is one of the most beautiful sports that brings people with passion together. Sometimes the most passionate people can also get themselves into trouble. The most important rule in the water is: SAFETY FIRST.
As an inexperienced surfer you sometimes get yelled at, if you don’t follow the surf etiquette. The surf etiquette does not mean to be nice to each other – most people are happy when they surf and so that’s a given. The surf etiquette helps to prevent injuries and safe lives.
Some of the important rules describe who has the right of way, what to do and what to avoid when you are surfing. Especially in bigger waves it is important that surfers know how to behave. In a 2 foot wave in Waikiki it might not be super important, but once you get to head high or overhead wave sizes, surf etiquette can save lives.
Surf Gangs in Hawaii
There are several surf gangs in Hawaii. The main reason why these surf gangs were founded was, to protect the people in the water – EVERYBODY! Yes, it is also about protecting “turf”. Especially the west side and the North Shore where big waves can kill people, it is important to follow certain rules.
Kala Alexander Surf Fight
The video you find in our youtube channel shows Kala Alexander, the founder of the Wolfpak answering questions to the police after the incident. We did not see what happened on the water. The video shows that the lifeguards start moving quickly at some point. The jet ski is brought to the water and minutes later the lifeless body of Eduardo Bassetto, a brazilian surfer is brought to shore.
Lifeless body of brazilian surfer Eduardo Bassetto
Eduardo Bassetto is known to be an experienced surfer. So what happened that day at Makaha, that he ended up being hospitalized? As we later found out, Kala Alexander stated that he was riding down a wave when Eduardo Bassetto suddenly appeared in front of him, paddling out. If this was the case, Eduardo Bassetto did not follow the surf etiquette. Kala Alexander said he jumped of his board to avoid a collision, but it was too late. Kalas board hit Eduardo and he was knocked out. After he was knocked out Kala said he waved at the lifeguards to make sure they come out fast to save Eduardo.
If this was the chain of events, nobody knows.
Was Eduardo hit on purpose?
We don’t want to speculate about what happened in the water. The Wolfpak with Kala Alexander has a history of being very protective of their “turf” at Makaha. It is not uncommon that other surfers who are not familiar with the spot are put in their place – sometimes violently.
Eduardo Bassetto in a Coma
Eduardo was transported to the hospital and the doctors induced a 2 week coma. His family called us and wanted to know more details about what happened in the water. Since we didn’t see anything, we were not able to help. Eduardo is back in Brazil now and he is doing better.
We do not know if his family or Eduardo ever got closure. Nobody but Kala Alexander and Eduardo Bassetto know what happened that day in the water.