Stab Magazine | Kelly Slater Battles Development At One Of Bocas Del Toro’s Best Waves

Playing (Mostly) Exclusively On Stab Premium: Facing Monsters, Featuring Kerby & Cortney Brown


Kelly Slater Battles Development At One Of Bocas Del Toro’s Best Waves

“It makes absolutely no sense,” Kelly tells Stab. 

news // Jun 9, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

A developer has started to build an illegal 40-metre pier over the reef at Paunch, one of the best surf spots in Bocas Del Toro, Panama.

Kelly Slater has joined the fight to protect the wave. He told Stab that “apparently a developer from Argentina is trying to build a resort with a huge pier/dock right at the main break at Paunch and it makes absolutely no sense. The waves would destroy any pier within months and the pier would be in the current line of the wave. Surfers would get stuck in it after a wave or wipeout.”

Red Frog Bungalows, Bocas Del Toro’s go-to surf resort, organised a protest and, as is tradition, has taken to Instagram to generate awareness before developers begin to make irreparable damage.

Screen Shot 2017 06 08 at 4.22.44 PM

Cash ruins every wave around me. Photo: Red Frog Bungalows

“Happy World Ocean Day! Unfortunately, this is how the residents of Bocas Del Toro spent their day! Protecting one of the best surf spots in the Carribean. They started to illegally build a 40-metre pier over the reef. The community knows exactly who is up to the stunt and it is a shame that these people think their big money can destroy something that is for all of the world to enjoy. The surfing community in Bocas Del Toro showed up in force to stop this illegal activity. This is horrible for our coastline, horrible for tourism, and extremely dangerous when the waves are on! This benefits one or a few people and not the country of Panama.”

Paunch, which at times, can be comparable to Indonesia’s Green Bush, is an international draw for surfers. It will take surfer’s from around the world, or one big swell, to show developers what a terrible idea this is.

There isn’t a petition to sign to sign, yet but if you’d like to help protect one of Bocas Del Toro’s best natural resources, show your support on Red Frog Bungalows’ Instagram page.


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

Jack Robinson Isn’t (Really) Injured, Police Say ‘No Surfing’, A Chinese Star Emerges

Our first Tahitian dispatch from the 2024 Olympic Games.

Jul 25, 2024

The Hog Makes His Olympic Predictions

After a night spent vigorously cross-examining athlete data, Hedgy produced these BOAG picks.

Jul 25, 2024

2024 Stab Surfer Of The Year MYC (Mid-Year Check-in)

Who's made the biggest footwell in surf culture, thus far, in the Year of the…

Jul 25, 2024

Are Bronze Medalists Really Happier Than Silver?

Owen 'Bronze God' Wright demystifies the 2024 surfing Olympics.

Jul 24, 2024

‘Desensitised’ Chronicles Kipp Caddy’s Journey To The ‘Wave Of A Lifetime’ In Mind Melting 8K 

“I think crew get a bit too beaten up on the whole tow vs paddle…

Jul 24, 2024

Long Read: How Surfing The World’s Most Dangerous Slabs Saved Kerby Brown’s Life

"There is big wave surfing, and then there is what Kerby does." - Kai Lenny

Jul 24, 2024

Who Nathan Florence Is Betting On For Olympic Gold

Become a better better with our 2023 SSOTY.

Jul 23, 2024

Kai McKenzie Attacked By Shark In Port Macquarie

The young freesurfer sustained a life-threatening injury to his right leg.

Jul 23, 2024

Op-ed: PSA From The Photog World — Know Your Fucking Limits

Nate Lawrence, Chris Bryan, Dom Mosqueira, Morgan Maassen and more chime in on the recent…

Jul 22, 2024

Unlocked: Oxbow’s Children Of Teahupo’o

10,000 miles from Paris, here's a portrait of surfing's 'Olympic Village.'

Jul 22, 2024

Dimitri Poulos Is Reinvigorated After Losing His Taurine-Caffeine Sponsor

Now the 21-year-old ‘comp guy’ from Ventura threatens a Dane-esque pivot to freesurfing.

Jul 22, 2024

Empty Set: When Is It Ok To Bail Your Board?

The Florences and Mark Healey dissect the razor-thin line between cowardice and common sense

Jul 21, 2024

A (Non) Objective Look At The Best Backside Barrel Riders In History

Who has the best pigdog in the pen?

Jul 21, 2024

The Stab Interview With Jordy Smith

"If I won a gold medal, yeah, I'd probably kick out. I'd have one up…

Jul 19, 2024

How Does A Board Brand Licensing Model Work?

The Lost Stub 3.0 Joyride.

Jul 18, 2024

Challenger Series Losers Win Consolation Prizes At Namibian Desert Casino

"Some crew were saying it was a 3/10, but for me, it was 10/10. The…

Jul 18, 2024

How Teahupo’o Slungshot A Surf-Mat Toting Photographer Into An Induced Coma

Byron Mcloughlin tells the tale of his secondary drowning.

Jul 18, 2024

On Making A Living As A Gen-Z Surf Photographer And Surviving Hyper-Rare Cancer

This 21-year-old protégé of Ryan Miller and Morgan Maassen is back and #opentowork.

Jul 17, 2024