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

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.


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