The New York Times has an interesting story about violent surf territorialism, Southern California beach culture and class. A group of WindandSea surfers called the Bird Rock Bandits murdered another surfer in their home town of La Jolla. The wealthy suburb of San Diego has had serious locals-only attitude for years. It was portrayed by Tom Wolfe in "The Pumphouse Gang" back in 1966.
Now the state is trying to prosecute them as a gang, which can add all kinds of trouble to the trouble they're in. The wealthy parents and lawyers defending the guys are crying foul. We don't see much of a difference between these guys and the Norteños and Sureños who attack people in my neighborhood here in San Francisco every day.
The Times doesn't mention a few important things. The gang guys really weren't avid surfers by any stretch. Emery Kauanui , the victim. was a pro surfer but in no way a saint. He was on probabation after serving time for assault. He was involved in some on the fights out on the water, a few of which resulted in heavy fines and misdemeanor charges.
In any case, it's a bad story all around. For more see this article in the San Diego Union Tribune