"He pointed out qualities of the board – the fin, nose, and leash – that could injure someone in the water."
California is a very easy state in which to be a surfer. Virtually all the beaches are public and few laws govern behavior. Oh sure it is illegal to have booze, pop fireworks, let dogs run leashless but otherwise freedom reigns. Even the surfer, grouchy and anti-social, is generally tolerated. Sometimes, over some stretches, the black ball flag flies high but it is rare and usually flying high over less than ideal waves.
The same cannot be said for surfers on the United States’ east coast where draconian laws govern every small detail of beach life. No surfing here, no surfing there, no surfing during these months, no surfing during these times.
Well, the Cape Ann Surfers Union in Gloucester, Massachusetts recently met with their city council in order to extend the surfing calendar where currently, per Article III subsection H-2, “Surfing is prohibited between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. from Memorial Day to Labor Day, without the permission of the lifeguard.”
Many “pro” arguments were offered. Surfing being good for health, good for the environment, good for local businesses etc.
Another non-unionized group of surfers, however, asked that the rules be kept in place seeing that our kind is degenerate and dangerous and let us go directly to the Gloucester Times for first hand reporting:
Carrying a 10-foot tall long surfboard to the podium, two local surfers expressed their concerns with the community’s safety if the requested changes were to occur.
“The surfers union, in my estimation, gave a very idealistic, fun view of surfing that was beneficial to the surf community. Not beneficial to the swimmer, beach-going community,” surfer John O’Hara said to a Times reporter following the meeting. “I am not an opposition group. I am coming from more of an educational and safety point of view.”
He pointed out qualities of the board – the fin, nose, and leash – that could injure someone in the water.
“Between nine and ten (in the morning), the beach crowd increases significantly,” O’Hara said. “So by extending that to 11 a.m., to me, is incredibly dangerous.”
Other long-time surfers agree.
“Good Harbor is not a surf destination, unless you plan on visiting Addison Gilbert (Hospital),” Gloucester resident Paul Feenie said.
I agree with John O’Hara. Any board longer than 5’11 is not only dangerous but evil and the city council should take them out and try to sink them all in the Atlantic and if they don’t sink that means the long boards are witches and should be burned at the stake.
A fine little town called Salem is just a stone’s throw away and the burning can be done there.