A proposal to limit stand-up paddlers at popular surf breaks has been withdrawn, but the debate over sharing the surf is still heating up.
"Ever since the time of the kingdom of Hawaii, the paddle has been used as a weapon. I have seen and heard standup paddlers talk about enforcing the law. I have seen the paddle being used to enforce the law," said Honolulu surfer Kevin Ho.
Even though surfer Timothy MacMaster bailed on the proposal to limit standup paddlers, a public hearing was still held Wednesday evening. It gave watermen and women a chance to let others know what is going on in the surf, and tell the state what should happen in the future.
"In the water there are people that will help and will be courteous to you. You just have to respect them," said Honolulu surfer Eric Keawe.
"There should be no rules and regulations in the ocean. Hawaiians go into the ocean to cleanse, to heal. We don't need any rules and regulations. We already have so many rules and regulations," said Mahina Chillingworth, with Hui O Hee Nalu.
While the issue originally pitted surfers against standup paddlers, many of the longtime watermen all agreed on one thing.
"It is very crowded out there today. We've got more people participating, and we got a whole lot of standup guys," said Waikiki waterman Alika Willis.
This is not the first time the state has been called in to set rules in the water. It is a request the Department of land and Natural resources has been getting over the past few years.
"We have a lot of user conflicts between different groups. We've had other folks around the state, relative to their surf breaks, with similar requests," said William Aila, the DLNR Chairman.
Because the state wouldn't set up rules for the lineup unless there was a consensus between all the groups, MacMaster pulled his pilot project proposal. But he wasn't done making suggestions for the surf.
"Instead, I'm calling on all surfers to be guided by the principal, 'Just because you can, doesn't mean you should'. We all have to share the waves and show aloha in the water," said MacMaster.