long story short: i paddled out at 44th street at about 4 pm wednesday night. oblivious to the world, i carved up some waves on my sponge, and ended up drifting up to 48th street. since i didnt paddle out there, i didnt know that it was the surfing beach that day. maybe 10 guys out and everybody was pretty spread out. it was probably 4:45 when this kid paddles his surfboard over to me and tells me to get out and go somewhere else. he was a lifeguard but i did not know that at the time, because he never identified himself as one. i thought he was just some d-bag breaking my balls because i was riding a sponge. i paid him no mind. 10 minutes later, a different guy swims right up to me. in a very hostile voice he asks me if i want to do this the hard way. he basically swam out to provoke me. i answered his brutality with my own brutality. he swam in and called the cops. he never once said he was a lifeguard. i rode waves for another half hour while the guard and cops were waiting for me. after catching one close to the inside another lifeguard came and told me i should come talk to the cops. he was respectful but even he didnt identify himself as a guard. so i got a $50 ticket for disobeying a lifeguards orders. i am sure that i will get off when i go to court. this is not about spongers vs surfers. i have been living here for 14 years and can get along with anybody. lifeguards need to show some respect for the guys that are out in the water the other 9 months of the year when the beaches go unguarded. if you have an issue with us, you need to identify yourselves as lifeguards. we are not used to you being there. dont assume we know who you are. show respect and you will get respect.