Venice Beach-Based Surf School Owner Under Fire After Aggressive Leash Pull Incident


A surfer and surf school owner in Venice, California is under fire after aggressively pulling a female surfer’s leash on Tuesday morning at the Venice Pier.

Wagner Lima, owner, and operator of Brazilian Surf Club, was captured on camera paddling for the same wave as Danielle Lyons, who was riding a longboard. Photos show Lyons in clear priority position going right on a small two-foot wave, and as she passed Lima further on the shoulder, he grabbed her leash causing her to fall.

Here’s a frame by frame:

Local surf school owner pulls surfers leash at Venice Pier. Sequence: Rhonda Harper

Sequence: Rhonda Harper

“I was up and riding on the peak and [Wagner] decides to try to block me, so I turned around him, then he drops in behind me and pulls my leash causing me to fall,” explained Lyons in a Yelp review for Lima’s business. “Not only is what he did super dangerous, it’s assault.”

Rhonda Harper, owner of Black Girls Surf, was on site shooting photos. She told The Inertia she and Lyons were hosting Senegalese surfer Khadjou Sambe while NBC was shooting a profile on the Olympic hopeful. Harper was on the pier as were two filmers from the network.

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

According to Harper, Lima and a friend intentionally paddled out near the girls, cornering them and trying to force them into an altercation.

“In all my years of surfing, I’ve never been attacked unprovoked like this,” wrote Lyons. “I gave this guy every opportunity not to be a dick, hell 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. I certainly would not support a company that maliciously attacks people.”

According to Lyons, once Lima realized the incident had been documented by not one but three cameras he claimed the whole thing was an accident and later offered the same explanation in an attempt at an apology in the parking lot.

Lyons didn’t buy it.

“Not only do you assault random strangers, but you try to create doubt in their minds. Hope you enjoyed getting sprayed in the face by my RinseKit, douche,” she said.

Since the incident, Lima’s business page has been flooded with one-star reviews, and his Instagram account has been deactivated.

“Nope,” wrote Melissa M. from Redondo Beach on Yelp. “No one should be taking lessons from a guy who aggressively bullies women in the water. How you treat people matters.”

Several others echo the same sentiment.

It’s worth noting that even before this incident, older Yelp reviews suggest that Lima’s behavior may not have been out of character. “This guy is a jerk!” wrote Michelle O in August 2017. “Impatient and rude is definitely the best way to describe them (sic). I’ve also tried calling and got hung up on. Not professional at all!”

“This dude almost ran me off the road on PCH. Learn to drive asshole,” wrote Matt B. in August of this year. There were positive reviews from before the incident as well that complimented the instructor’s business.

Harper told The Inertia of the women’s intent to file a police report because she feels they were specifically targeted in the water.

“There is absolutely NO EXCUSE for this,” wrote Black Girls Surf on Instagram.

Editor’s note: Wagner Lima did not immediately respond to The Inertia’s request for comment.

Source: Venice Beach-Based Surf School Owner Under Fire After Aggressive Leash Pull Incident

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