Dude Hurts Himself While Surfing, Blames, Sues Surfboard Shaper, Channel Islands

finknife.JPG
Chasen Marshall/OC Weekly
Knives don't hurt people, surfboard fins hurt people.
Surfing isn't for everyone. It requires a certain level of physical fitness and balance, along with the realization, that, like in anything, there is the risk of injury. 

Tom Gregg didn't get that memo. He was surfing in France in 2009, took a wipeout and suffered a severe slice on his calf, through to the nerve, by the fins on the bottom of his Channel Islands surfboard. Wipeouts happen frequently in surfing. Occasionally the surfboard adds a bit of further injury to insult. Usually surfers will shake their head, assess the injury, and move on. 

Gregg went a different direction.

He blamed Channel Islands. The fins are too sharp, he claims, and he filed a product-liability lawsuit on Wednesday at Los Angeles County Superior Court, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"The surfboard, fins and their component parts were unsafe for their intended use," Gregg claimed in the lawsuit. Gregg indicated that the fin severed muscles in the leg and caused injuries "so severe that he will never regain full muscle strength in the injured leg."

Channel Islands is based in Carpenteria and was founded by Al Merrick, who remains one of its primary shapers. The company is one of the largest manufacturers of surfboards in the world, and owned by Burton. 

Among the team's high-profile list of surfers is the world's most famous surfer, Kelly Slater. Since discovering Twitter (@kellyslater), Slater has become quite the proficient Twitteroso, and he had some commentary on the lawsuit.

"Shame on you, Tom Gregg. Gonna find u and drop in every chance I get. Tell everyone! What do u think a fins do, idiot?!"

and...

"Tom Gregg should be sued by the public for the precedence of filing such a lame lawsuit. Anyone know this guy in LA? #FindTomGregg"

Gregg's attorney told the LA Times that the fins are so sharp "that some surfers cover them with protective sleeves." 

To use a bit of surfer vernacular, Gregg and his attorney seem like kooks.

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38 comments
Nudist75ssssss
Nudist75ssssss

I have just bought an Al merrick biscuit which has the FCS Al Merrick G-AM fins on it. Have been using glass ons, FCS and Futures for the last 18 years. These G-AM fins are ridiculously sharp they will definitely cause serious injury if they come into contact with your skin, they will surely slash you up. 

I have a whole collection of fins and went to test others and none are anywhere near as sharp as the fins supplied with my new CI board.

i actually googled "why are Al merrick fins so sharp" and came to this article

I am taking my board to my shed tonight and gonna smooth them out with some sandpaper

There was a guy who severed a major artery near his groin while surfing near Margaret rivere Western Australia and bled to death within minutes 

 Wether a lawsuit is valid is open to argument for this guy above.

One thing for sure these fins are very very sharp and will cut like a knife....no joke!

Hendo
Hendo

Sue Huey, he sent the wave!

Paul White
Paul White

Anyone who knows Tom Gregg should do him a favor and tell him to never show up at any surf break known to man. His picture should be posted at every surf spot and post office....he is a surfing criminal and should be punished with a lifetime of drop ins....

KC
KC

Kook...should have stuck to the SUP like the others.

Paul Zetizio
Paul Zetizio

it goes like this at the store when  i was checking out the fins- i would say man these fins is too sharp!   

Ronni Keichline
Ronni Keichline

Tom Gregg is a douche... he should live in a bubble like the pussy he is

Gericault
Gericault

A K2 ski edge scarred up my forehead pretty good about 20 years ago.....mmmmm, should I sue them?

909Jeff
909Jeff

We can now add surfboards to the long list of people / things that have defeated the french!

Jeff
Jeff

It is obvious that Tom Gregg doesn't know how to use a surfboard properly. How can you sue the manufacturer if you miss use a product.Take some responsibility, your the one that wiped out.

MATEO HOWARD
MATEO HOWARD

who makes em??????????know one knows...they are china crap.the masses buy them because they are sheep...so are you

Lespinassemaui
Lespinassemaui

howard,STOP WRITING! YOU obviously DON'T KNOW HOW. PLEASE DO US ALL A FAVOR,JUST GO BACK TO THE COLORING BOOK AS WhoNeedsLogic said,WOULD YOU?...

Jygantic
Jygantic

All surfboards should be made by surfers

Paul White
Paul White

what a puttz Howard.....have you ever ridden a CI? can you even surf? obviously not...China made or not they work...try one...maybe you will be able to stand once u get off your boogie board...

howard mateo
howard mateo

Ditto--------Al Merrick is a sell out...CIs are crap.

WhoNeedsLogic
WhoNeedsLogic

Merrick is a sell-out? Why, because his boards sell well? Because he has some of the best surfers in the world riding his boards, making them ultra-marketable? Howard, go back to your coloring book.

joe smith
joe smith

over 50 Channel Islands made avery day...you dorks do not actually think Al is making every Channel Islands.Burton owns Channel Islands and most are made in China and Mexico.Biiiiiiiiiig Skam

WhoNeedsLogic
WhoNeedsLogic

Learn to spell. And clearly Merrick doesn't make them all. And, uh, CI boards are pretty legit.

Mark Geiger
Mark Geiger

Guys like this should stick to riding knobs and stay out of the ocean

Steve Snodgrass
Steve Snodgrass

In my younger years, I have had stitches in my head and in my arm from the fin. It is part of the risk you take when you surf. To sue a surfboard company for getting cut by a fin is totally nonsense!

Guilhem Rainfray
Guilhem Rainfray

@Ammer Naber: "That french kook is a barney" Where did you see it written that the guy was french? He was just surfing in France, like a number of british, american, australian, south african surfers. But I guess it's easier for you to associate "kook" and "barney" with "french" rather than "american" for instance. Now, tell me, does "Tom Gregg" sound like a typical french name? Jean-Pierre Dupont does, not Tom Gregg.

Atlantis_aqua
Atlantis_aqua

I apologize for jumping to conclusions. My politically corrected statement is "that kook should stay out of the water before he ruins it for everyone"

Egospeed
Egospeed

You had a good story here Chasen, your bias undermines it.

Bob Barnett
Bob Barnett

Slater may be #1, but there's no way I'm not gonna drop in on Gregg first-and I'M an attorney

Daniel Johnston
Daniel Johnston

problem in America is no one wants to take personal responsibility. Just get a shark lawyer and sue. Heck, maybe he should sue his parnets for having genes that made him want to surf in the first place. Tom Gregg, what the heck are you thinking, oh, that's right, you want to get rich quick. Amazing, just amazing.

Michaelphearin
Michaelphearin

When I first saw this headline, I thought it was from "The Onion"... Ridiculous!

Ammer Naber
Ammer Naber

My six year old was surfing River Jetties last night and the board hit him in the head. He cried for around 20 seconds, paddled back out and caught 20 more waves laughing the whole time! That french kook is a barney.

Tamar
Tamar

What a kook.   Surfing is not for everyone--it's clearly dangerous. Too many times, you get cocky idiots like this, who let their male egos drive them to go beyond their capabilities making themselves a hazard to themselves and others.  Stay out of the water, Toms of the world.  If you don't know that fins are sharp , then you don't know what you're doing. 

Jack Grimshaw
Jack Grimshaw

French rugby captain Pierre Berbizier, afterScottish accusations of foul play in a 1995 international: "If you can't take a punch, you should play table tennis." Maybe Gregg should take up building sand castles.

Tamar
Tamar

What , then you don't know what you're doing.  Too many times, you get cocky idiots like this who let their male egos drive them to go beyond their capabilities making themselves a hazard to themselves and others.  Stay out of the water, Toms of the world.a kook.  Surfing is not for everyone--it's clearly dangerous.  If you don't know that fins are sharp

Cardo
Cardo

Do surfboards come with knife fins like the picture? If so I would sue too.

Bill T.
Bill T.

Or don't buy one if you think they're a bad idea ...

M00neyes2183
M00neyes2183

Dude should stick to boogie boarding ..

Chasen_Marshall
Chasen_Marshall

Sitting in a bubble is probably the safer alternative.

Fins
Fins

How come he isn't going after the fin manufacturer (FCS)?  Channel Islands doesn't make the fins..

WhoNeedsLogic
WhoNeedsLogic

That would make at least a bit more sense, though Mr. Gregg strikes me as pretty senseless altogether. Maybe he can sue France or Mother Nature for producing waves that were too much for his ability level.

Ronnie
Ronnie

There has to be a certain amount of assumed risk when participating in any physical activity. If I'm playing baseball and I get hit by a pitch, should I sue Rawlings? This guy is just an opportunist and a douche.

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