Stab Magazine | Hydrofoils Banned At Bondi Beach
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Hydrofoils Banned At Bondi Beach

The rideable guillotine has been banished from the sands of Sydney’s glistening shore. 

news // Jan 29, 2019
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Almost a year ago to the day, we penned an article called “The Problems of Surfing: Hydrofoils”It wasn’t a direct attack on the peculiar craft themselves. And not even one targeted towards the people that ride them. It just simply pointed out they were potentially dangerous in the wrong hands, plus, sometimes they look incredibly fucking stupid – such as every time they’re ridden on a properly breaking wave. 

Since then, we’ve seen an array of surfers embrace the foil revolution. Joel Parkinson stepped off one into a set at Greenmount, John John Florence bounced around the shore at home in Hawaii, and Kai Lenny did a few chop-hop-esque airs on the things.

As those we follow on Instagram adopted the craft it was only a matter of time before the general masses tried their luck. They haven’t quite overrun our coasts yet, or caught up to the SUPs dominant preponderance, but they’ve made enough of an impact to result in a handful of bans.

A few months back, the City of Anglet in southern France banned hydrofoils from their beaches – the first ban of its kind. A few days ago, Waverley Council in Sydney passed a ban on hydrofoils at Bondi as reported by The Daily Telegraph. You know, that same Bondi that housed the antiquated Boost Mobile air event, and the same shoreline which makes you question your very existence as you stumbled upon the talent-laden sand. 

“Due to their high speed and the metal-like keel that raises it out of the water… lifeguards have determined it was too dangerous to allow these boards” a council rep told the Daily Telegraph after the decision was handed down. 

Previously, Bondi lifeguards had asked foilboarders to distance themselves from other surfers. Also reporting that most foilers were competent and aware of any danger they present. In truth, foilers present little danger in comparison to the hundreds of oversized-steamer donning backpackers littered in the lineup, or the dozens of mid-life crisis enduring SUPs, nevertheless, the council has opted for an outright ban. 

Only a handful of incidents have been reported in the past number of years involving foils – most of which involve the rider themselves – and as sadistically pleasing as the idea is, no one has been decapitated so far. 

Only time will tell as to how far and wide the foil virus infects us vulnerable surfers, and only then will we be able to determine whether a good old ‘nanny state’ intrusion is warranted or not.

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