PIER RATS is a fast paced adventure that follows thirteen-year-old Lance Stratton through his first year of surfing.
In his single-minded effort to learn to surf, Lance is distanced from his old friends and snubbed by the surfers at the beach. Despite their ridicule, Lance is eventually initiated as a Pier Rat, setting in motion a surf-obsessed journey of self-discovery.
The story takes place in Ventura, California, 1972-73, a time when a wipeout means swimming for your board, professional surfers keep day jobs, and growing crowds are generating hostility in the water.
Lance plunges into the culture, joining in surf sacrifices, pillaging for food, and harassing Southers. His antics land him in hot water with surf shop owner/mentor, Dennis, who ousts him from the shop. Attempting to sort things out, Lance heads on a surf trip to Jalama with his friends in a VW bus they call the Turd. A chilling encounter with a tarantula has them believing they’ve been cursed, and bad things begin to happen, including Lance’s new surfboard being swept to sea.
Now board-less and trying to earn back Dennis’ respect, Lance learns his surfboard’s been spotted in Hobo Jungle. He ventures there and is at first intrigued with the lawless bums and their carefree lifestyle. But as the hobos demands for the surfboard rise, so do Lance’s fears.
Join Lance and his friends in this very real, highly entertaining, coming of age adventure.