Money, wealth, and societal standing are factors that do not hold any water in a surfing lineup. Surfers make up their own hierarchy when it comes to rules at a surf break, and that’s how it has always been.
So why should a pouty billionaire have any say to where people surf? He shouldn’t; however some rich dude called Vinod Khosla thinks that he should have a say.
Khosla is an engineer and businessman from India who thinks that he can solve his surfer infestation problem with a thick wallet. In 2008, the then-CEO of Sun Microsystems bought a 53-acre plot of land. It just so happens that this piece of property can be found in a surf-rich area called Martin’s Beach, 33 miles south of San Francisco.
When Khosla bought the property, he was told about California’s 1976 Coastal Act which gives the public access to the state’s shorelines. Despite being warned that his personal property did not include the “beach” in “beachfront”, Khosla immediately gated the land and threw away the key.
Since his purchase, he’s been to court twice to get surfers off his property. First, in 2014, a Californian court ruled against him. After Mr. Money Bags appealed, he was denied again in August 2017.
After two denials, Khosla still hasn’t got the message.
On February 23, 2018, Khosla sent a 151-page petition to the U.S. Supreme Court for review. In the petition, Khosla describes the issue as a, “textbook physical invasion of private property.”
The guy doesn’t even live in his ocean-overlooking mansion, however he is taking time out of his surely jam-packed day to deal with a more than four-year lawsuit against people who shouldn’t matter to him.
Khosla can’t and won’t be able to see the situation through the eyes of a surfer. However, it is obvious that his royal bitching and moaning won’t stop the apparently-devoted of Martin’s Beach. Can you picture these dudes pissing all over Khosla’s fence as the grouchy Indian weirdo watches security footage from another one of his estates?
To Khosla, the fight is a matter of principle, and if he does get his way, there will surely be more suits to follow. Vinod Khosla may be the biggest dick surfers have seen in a while, however chance has it that there are more like him who haven’t had the courage to file against Cali’s coastal laws.
The Supreme Court has yet to make a decision, however when the judges say their piece, it could start a precedent for future cases to follow…