"Cardiff Kook" Wears Mask of Zorro

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    NBC San Diego

    The character is that of a masked outlaw, defending the people against villains and tyrannical officials. The true identity of this cloaked creation is no Don Diego de la Vega, but he is somewhat of a legend around these parts.

    Perhaps the irony here is that Zorro tends to publicly humiliate his foes. Much like the series of pranks played on the so-called "Cardiff Kook” over the past few months. 

    The surfing señor, located off South Coast Highway and Chesterfield Dr. and created by artist Matthew Antichevich, has been the source of strong criticism and a steady stream of pranks since it was first erected in 2007.

    Many people feel the statue, and more specifically, the surfer's pose, is not representative of the local surfing community. Cardiff surfers say the bronze surfer, officially called the "Magic Carpet Ride," lacks proper from, including limp wrists and arms extended at odd angles.

    Over the years, the surfer has been dressed up in evening gowns, bikini tops and skirts, and even a wrestling mask. During Halloween, it was adorned with a giant pumpkin head. But the most notable prank was in July, when locals made a giant papier-mâché shark that swallowed the statue.
     
    The papier-mâché shark took about two weeks for a group of 25 friends to put together the "Jaws-like" creature made out of newspaper, wood and chicken wire. A group of more than a dozen moved it across a two-lane highway in the early morning hours without getting caught. It took the city more than 48 hours to remove it.

    "My personal reaction is I love it," said Encinitas Mayor Dan Dalager. "The city's reaction is that we do not condone or encourage these kinds of things."