Wax On, Wax Off: Jesse Ventura on Boards and Water

In case anyone hasn't heard, former pro wrestler, navy SEAL and Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura has fallen in love with surfing. He answered Larry King's kooky questions on the issue in May, explaining that surfing, for him, goes way beyond just a new hobby. For Mr. Ventura, It's a passion, "a dedication," as he told King. Is it just me, or has this guy mastered the art of making sudden, drastic transitions? SEAL--wrestler--governor--surfer.

The long-haired, deep-tanned Ventura is living somewhere just north of Todos Santos, surfing peaceful, lonely point breaks in a fairly remote part of the Baja peninsula. Reportedly, the man who once stepped down from office in order to spend more time with his family is doing just that. He's living any surfer's dream--a quiet town on a sunny, wave-stricken coast.

But leaving politics (and the States) behind hasn't meant he's lost interest. In fact, sun-baked Jesse has had the time to hone some his formerly edgy political commentary into outright resistance. Although he loves to board on water, he vehemently opposes waterboarding. SEALs are subjected to waterboarding and other forms of torture during the "survival, escape, resistance, evasion (SERE)" phase of their training, so he should know, right? His words?: "If I were president, I'd prosecute every person that was involved in that torture. I'd prosecute the people that did it, I'd prosecute the people that ordered it. Because torture is against the law... waterboarding is torture, it is drowning... you give me a waterboard, Dick Cheney, and one hour, and i'll get him to confess to the Sharon Tate murders."

Luckily for all of us, this large and threatening man prefers the other kind of board--our kind. Keep it up, Mr. Ventura. We're glad you surf. May the force be with you.


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