‘Twas the Day Before the Christmas

And the Cardiff Kook was feeling festive -- and political

NBC San Diego

Another holiday, another makeover for the so-called Cardiff Kook. But this time, the ridiculed surfer statue adorned a political message.

Dressed as Santa’s elf, complete with an elf hat, elf shoes and gifts, signs next to the public artwork read, “Stop Global Warming” and “Save Santa’s Home.”

“It definitely looks elfish. Very festive,” said Siena Randall. “It’s pretty good. I think they did a good job.”

This isn’t the first time Randall has been at this spot snapping photographs.

“Not every time, just when I think it’s something I think my kids might find amusing,” she said. “I think the favorite has got to be the shark. The great white shark, definitely. You couldn’t drive by without seeing that one and commenting on it.”

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.

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

Last month, the Kook was dressed in Chargers gear, and on Veterans Day, the statue sported Marine fatigues to honor the troops.

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 form, including limp wrists and arms extended at odd angles.

“I think there are mixed opinions. Some people think that it’s great and it’s kind of a little local,” said Randall. “And then I’m sure there are other people who think it is vandalism.”

She thinks it’s purely entertaining.

“It’s kind of a compliment to show that we have something in the community that people can use to express themselves,” said Randall.

Carrie Williams was visiting San Diego from Chicago.

“I love it. Every Christmas I go running out here and I always stop and take a picture of him,” she said.

So far Williams has seen the statue dressed up as Santa and as Uncle Sam on Fourth of July.

“Now this one, it’s awesome. I look forward to it,” Williams said.

The so-called “Cardiff Kook” has even gained national attention. Back in August the Wall Street Journal published a story about the controversial statue.
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