Let The Kids Surf - Stab Mag

Let The Kids Surf

Ian Walsh speaks out against Hawaii’s ban on surf contests.

elsewhere // May 18, 2021
Words by Jack Mutschler
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Pro surfer Ian Walsh recently took to Instagram to address Hawaii’s ban on competitive surfing, despite various other sports being allowed on the islands.

The post reads:

LET THE KIDS SURF! The State of Hawaii placed a ban on all surfing events 6 months ago after they shut down large-scale professional surf contests because of their crowds and the risk of drawing spectators. This ban was implemented for the highest level professional surfing events that operate in the State of Hawaii and unfortunately, the State & surrounding Counties included in this ban, much smaller surf contests for our local kids. These small regional events for kids are the lifeblood of our surfing communities and do not draw anywhere near the same crowds as the professional events the world’s best surfers compete in, yet they have been and currently are under the same ban.
June 21, 2021, will be the US National Surfing Championships in California and no kids from the State of Hawaii are qualified. The reason for this is, under the current surfing competition ban, Hawaii’s kids can not qualify to compete on a national level.
Every day 4,000-8,000 visitors arrive Maui and much more throughout the State of Hawaii. They have complete access to our beaches and surf breaks. Creating crowds much larger than any of these small regional youth surf events. Our community feels it is time to allow our kids to participate in nonprofessional surf & water events following Covid protocols.
Restrictions surrounding Covid have been adjusted and lifted for many other sports and aspects of everyday life.
The State & Maui County are allowing volleyball events, water polo events, soccer events, baseball events, basketball events, flag-football events, farmers markets, weddings, and much more. And still no surfing or other water events. We are urging @govhawaii @mayorrickhnl @mayorvictorino @countyofmaui to please allow our ocean events to take place. All surf events are done outdoors, in the water, with wide-open space, and have more separation between the kids than any of the other approved events. Please allow Hawaii’s children to get back to doing what they love.


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