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Surfing instructor under fire for causing female surfer to fall

For The Win logo For The Win 6 days ago David Strege
a man wearing a wet suit riding a surfboard on a wave: File Photo © File Photo File Photo

Surfer Danielle Lyons was riding a 2-foot wave and clearly had the right of way when a surfing instructor dropped in behind her, grabbed her leg leash and tugged hard enough to cause Lyons to fall.

The incident occurred Tuesday morning alongside the Venice Pier in Southern California, and it was caught in photos and on video, as reported by The Inertia and other surfing outlets.

Now, Wagner Lima, owner and operator of the Brazilian Surf Club, is under fire for his unprofessional and cruel antics that were clearly out of line.

Rhonda Harper, owner of Black Girls Surf, told The Inertia she and Lyons were hosting Senegalese surfer and Olympic hopeful Khadjou Sambe while NBC was shooting a profile on her. Harper shot photos of the incident from the pier. NBC captured video and allowed Harper to use it.

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"[Lima] was acting aggressively the minute the girls started to paddle out in the water," Harper told The Inertia. "Even before he went out, he came on the pier and asked the camera crew from NBC who they were filming."

Harper told The Inertia that Lima and a friend then entered the water and paddled out near the girls, attempting to force an altercation.

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"In all my years of surfing I've never been attacked unprovoked like this," Lyons wrote in a Yelp review of the Brazilian Surf Club. "I gave this guy every opportunity not to be a [jerk]…I even gave him room to share if he was that hard up for a two-foot wave.

"I'm not sure if this was localism, racism or sexism. There were two black women in the lineup and he targeted me for whatever reason."

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Lima was not returning requests for comment, and he deactivated his Instagram account, The Inertia reported. His Facebook account also appeared to be deactivated. Other unflattering reviews of the Brazilian Surf Club have since been added to Yelp.

Lyons wrote in her review that once Lima was aware of the tapes he tried telling people "he accidentally pulled my leash, that his arm got caught," though video and a photo clearly show him grabbing the leash with his hand.

Harper told The Inertia the women intended to file a police report because they felt specifically targeted.

Photo by Rhonda Harper used with permission.

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