VIDEO: Surfers clash with stand up paddlers on Hawaii waves

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Video by David Corrigan | Voice of Stephanie Salazar

Surfers vs Stand Up Paddleboarders.

Apparently thats what it has come to at the increasingly crowded East Hawaii surf spots, like Hilo Bay and Honolii.

Recently, the Big Island Safe Surfing Alliance approached the state to impose “reasonable restrictions” on a relatively new watersport that has exploded in popularity: stand up paddleboarding.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources called an informal public meeting on Wednesday in Hilo, where both sides sounded off.

With an advantage of mobility over traditional surfers, S.U.P. surfers have been accused of wave-hogging by the traditional surfing crowd. All surfers and SUPers seemed to agree that there has been an overall lack of etiquette on the water.

At the meeting, an equally large group of standup paddle boarders spoke out to defend their sport.

Mayor Billy Kenoi was there for the start of the meeting, and suggested that the next time the two sides get together, it should be at the beach and not in a conference room.

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2 comments

  1. Most local surfers take ownership of their sport. At least we do not have canoes like places in Waikiki where these missiles can take off one’s head. No surfer wants to have someone “drop-in” on them when they are on a wave. It is all about respect and giving the right-of-way. What is the rules that guide surfers or surfing? There is a definite lack of respect now and even years ago. As Hawaiian wave riders, the spirit of Aloha must be present in our waters and our land.
    As surfers, we must understand that we do not own a wave, it is a precious gift given to us by nature. If we can adopt an attitude of balance, then there will be a harmonious relationship among all those who love our waters. Hawaii is a very special place and that special place starts with the hearts, minds and action of our people.
    Beautiful waves will always be arriving at our shores, it is how we receive it and share it that will have an everlasting joy for everyone that rides it.

    Aloha

  2. Capt. Ed Enos says:

    As the discussion relates to Hilo Bay specifically, there is another serious concern regarding SUP users. There are many instances where SUP’s are crossing in front of large ships and tugs/barges while these commercial vessels transit Hilo Bay. The Captains on these vessels have no way of knowing whether the SUP is a novice or well seasoned surfer. But the danger exists just the same. We would like to see both SUP’s and canoe paddlers too, use a lot more discretion when out on the bay for recreation. On behalf of the other commercial ship operators, please DO NOT CROSS IN FRONT OF A COMMERCIAL VESSEL no matter how “good” you think you are or far away. To us, you are too close and have no idea what danger you put yourself in and the risk we have to take to avoid running you over. Stay safe out there! Play on the water with Aloha!

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