Residents Up In Arms Over Plans To Ban Surfers From Parts Of Bondi Beach

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18 July 2018

Article heading image for Residents Up In Arms Over Plans To Ban Surfers From Parts Of Bondi Beach

Bondi residents are up in arms about a new proposal that could see all surfers banished to the southern end of the beach.

In the wake of "residential concerns", Waverly Council is considering a ban on any board with a fin from North Bondi in an attempt to boost safety among young children and groups learning to surf.

At the moment, fibreglass boards are only allowed at the southern end while the beach is being patrolled while soft boards can be used anywhere along the 900m stretch of beach except between the flags.

A council spokeswoman confirmed that the proposal had been included in a yearly survey review by beach users at Bondi, Bronte and Tamarama.

According to the SMH, the plan would "restrict any craft with a fin to the breaks at the southern end of the beach", pushing 84 per cent of beachgoers to that end of the beach in a move that Bondi resident Adam Gibson branded "ludicrous".

"It's like saying this beach that was recently made a National Surfing Reserve, you can't actually surf on 50 per cent of it," he said.

"It is an absolute joke to consider a blanket idea of 'herding' soft board riders and general surfers into an ever-smaller area, with the introduction of buffer zones, or pushing everyone to South Bondi."

Bondi Boardriders president Ian Wallace agreed, saying that learning to surf at north Bondi was "a coming-of-age" for children.

"They hone their skills on a soft board in a safer environment and then you get a fibreglass board and move to the south end," he told the SMH.

A final decision on the proposal will be made when the survey results were complete, the council spokeswoman said.

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