When you depend on Mother Nature for waves, the competition at local surf breaks can get fierce.
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"There are some close calls some times because it's very congested out there and everybody sort of packs into the sweet spot," Bruce Lum, a retiree who took up standup surfing four years ago, told KITV4. "There's always competition for the waves out there, so the main thing is a cool head."
The struggle to catch waves is almost as old as the sport of surfing itself. In the 70s and 80s it was short boarders who complained about the paddling power of long boarders. Now, it's traditional surfers who are raising alarm bells about their standup surfing cousins, who have taken to the surf with super-sized boards and paddles.
"It's kind of irritating sometimes when they take off on every wave," said Anfernee Liwai, a traditional surfer who frequents Oahu's South Shore. "Sometimes it can get really hectic with all of them because some of them are really inexperienced."
The perceived danger and paddling advantage of standup surfers has led a traditional surfer to the doorsteps of the Department of Land and Natural Resources. The unidentified man is asking the state agency to outlaw standup surfers from surf breaks between Magic Island and Kewalo Basin at certain times of the day.
"We get a lot of complaints about conflicts and we did have an attorney that was interested in trying to limit standup surfing in surf breaks at Ala Moana," said Meghan Statts, the Oahu district manager for DLNR's Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation. "I'm using this as an example, kind of 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. or 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. no standup paddle boards in the actual surf zone."
Statts said a public hearing on the issue could be held as soon as next month, hopefully at McCoy Pavilion. The meeting could lead to the adoption of new administrative rules to regulate standup surfing at Ala Moana, or result in DLNR dropping the matter entirely.
"So, what we're planning on doing is getting public input because that's what we want to do," said Statts. "We don't necessarily want to create regulations; the more regulations the more restrictions."
"They're quicker (and) they can catch more waves," added Greg O'Shea about standup surfers. "But everybody that I see out there has been pretty polite."
Although DLNR already sets aside Point Panic for body surfers only, most of the wave riders approached by KITV4 felt the state should stay out of the surf zone as much as possible.
"It's not only about the standup surfers, it's about the surfers (and) the body boarders," said Andrea Dias, a bodyboarder from Hauula. "It depends on the guy to be polite or not."
In Southern California, the regulation of surf zones has become common during summer months. At Huntington Beach and other popular spots, a yellow flag with a black ball is raised by lifeguards to designate areas where only swimmers and bodyboarders are allowed.