Originally published July 14, 2014.
By Albert Elliott
This involves an incident I had on July 11th with Pacific Surf Schools in Ocean Beach.
I have heard people complaining about the amount of space both ON THE BEACH and IN THE WATER the surf school (Pacificsurf.org) has been taking down at the beach. On the 11th, someone had gone to the lifeguards and asked how much space the school was allowed and can they rope off the area to save it.
The lifeguards told the surf school to remove their rope. Thinking that I was the one who had complained, a guy from the school yelled at me from the beach “thanks a lot man!”. The next thing I know all their instructors are coming over and yelling at me – telling me to leave the beach. I told them, ‘I did not do it! I knew nothing about it. I was standing on the grass in my normal spot.’
It got fun from there.
Why did they come at me? Because I am a big guy easy to spot and everybody knows me. And while I had not said or done anything to the school, I think my “look” had made it pretty obvious how I felt. Plus people who had been complaining about the school are all are my friends and were coming to me, asking me what can we do? So it all must be my fault.
These guys have to go. I say, ‘Take your school to Dog Beach’. That’s where I and most everybody I know learned how to surf around here. Easier waves and less people.
But putting a bunch of beginners by the pier is unsafe and rude to the people who use the water and beach, and who live here.
We have one peak and can not handle a bunch of beginners in the way. Heck, I have not even been riding a surfboard lately because of the crowds I have been on a mat.
Telling someone, me, who has lived here for almost 66 years to get off the beach is not how to make friends.
I am going to be writing to the City council to limit the amount of space or get them moved.
I am a 3rd generation beach area native, lifelong surfer, I was a surfboard manufacturer for over 35 years, Home owner in OB. It is unfair to the “local” surfers of Ocean Beach who after North Beach is closed to surfing all get lumped together at the pier. But at least in the past when it was surfers who knew what they were doing it “worked”.
It used to be possible to get a left under the Pier and ride it all the way to the other end of the surfing area. Now good luck – as a surfing instructor pushes his student in the wave in front of you as they crash and burn causing you to either straighten out or be run over. “My bad, Bro!” yell the instructors as they do it over and over.
I’m sorry for the long rant – but this has become a very sensitive issue to me and almost every local surfer and beach goer, because of the amount of space being used in the water and on the beach that has been taken away from the locals so someone can make $$$$$$$$ at our expense.
That’s it. It is a crowed issue, a safety issue and is down right unfair to the people that live and use Ocean Beach year around. Added bonus I hear there is another Surf school with a permit for the end of Newport Ave. Are we really going to sell off our beach like that?
Albert C. Elliott “ACE”