Stab Magazine | A Surfing Ban May Be Lifted In Florida

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A Surfing Ban May Be Lifted In Florida

Longboarders, surf starved, and our Editor-In-Chief rejoice!

news // Jan 13, 2019
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

A decade ago, loggers and craft users worldwide writhed in pain as a surfing ban was handed down to Hallandale Beach, Florida. Now, a 48-year old law might be breathing hope back into surfers wishing to roll along the soft and supple lines at Hallandale.

“A city can ban surfing in an area where it might be dangerous because of rocks or ships coming out or where they might be colliding with swimmers,” Bob Jarvis, Nova Southeastern University law professor told the Sun Sentinel. “But you can’t do a blanket ban.”

The near half-century old law states that you can regulate surfing, but you can’t just throw a blanket ban on it. In 1964, Palm Beach, Riviera Beach and Palm Beach Shores all had blanket bans enacted, but soon after, in the early 1970’s, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that the laws were unjust. 

Based on this 40-year old Supreme Court ruling, many are now calling for the currently implemented Hallandale ban to be lifted. Jennifer Merino, a Florida City Attorney, is currently drafting a law which could see the current ban revised to accord with the Supreme Court’s original ruling. 

Surfing isn’t the only aquatic hobby exiled from Hallandale’s straight shores either. Scuba diving, spear fishing, skim boarding and all boating is banned from the region. There’s also been a recent push to restrict fishing along the shores, leaving the unadorned swimmers to have wholehearted and free access to the water. But what’s the fun in swimming unless there’s a chance of a board slamming straight into your dome. 

It’s not as if Hallandale Beach ever gets any good anyway! It’s just a couple clicks north of Miama, and a few blocks short of the East’s take on Hollywood. There ain’t much swell rolling in there, and when there is, it’s not as if it’s worth surfing. Nevertheless, if people want to surf some slop, let them do so!

Even if the ban is not uplifted though, lifeguards are already lenient. No one has ever been cited for breaking the ban. Typically, lifeguards just issue warnings to those surfing in the area, and only issue these warnings when a crowd of swimmers are nearby. 

“You get amateur people surfing and paddleboarding,” A local lifeguard told the Sun Sentinel. “If someone falls and the board flies out from under them, it can hit a bather.”

The biggest concern though is their lackadaisical approach to the killers that are stand up paddleboarders. “We have been lenient with stand-up paddleboards,” he said. “It’s more of a live and let live approach.” The lifeguard continued.

Stay safe out there on those borderline levelled seas folk, and keep an eye peeled for our ex-Floridian Editor-In-Chief, Goggans. I’m certain he’s stoking at the opportunity to finally take his log to Hallandale. 


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