The National Park shortboard shuffle, The older shortboarders at Tea Tree have been famously gnarly for years, and not all the longboarders are immune from it either.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Tourists who travel across the globe to surf Sunshine Coast waves are leaving with a sour taste in their mouths after being abused by locals who believe they own the breaks.

And it's not just visitors who are being targeted, according to a long-time surfer who claims older surfers are the worst offenders. Damon Bereziat said the attitude, language and aggression of some older surfers was sad.

The Buddina man said basic surf etiquette went out the window when it came to anyone younger, female or less experienced surfers. The 40-year-old said it was beginning to send a bad message home to the tourists, some of whom came from the other side of the planet to surf the Coast's iconic spots.

"I can only hope that when I reach late 40s, 50s and beyond I will never behave like that. You blokes have forgotten what surfing is all about and you should be ashamed of yourselves," Mr Bereziat said.

"I have travelled to some perfect, challenging waves in Australia and abroad where such behaviour would not be tolerated for an instant."

He said the problem was especially rife at Noosa's Tea Tree Bay.

"It saddens me to be witness to the 'elders' of the local variety unashamedly bullying anyone younger, female, less experienced or visiting surfers who patiently wait their turn for the opportunity to catch a wave.

"Some have travelled from as far as Europe only to be denied the experience by a grumpy, greedy, miserable, nasty, bitter old man taking wave after wave as if it was his right."

Mr Bereziat said he could understand that local surfers were being swamped by disrespectful visiting surfers and had become protective of what they saw as "their" break. But he said it would be nice to see more manners in the surf.

Former professional surfer Robbie Sherwell, of Alexandra Headland based XL Surfing Academy, said some local surfers did feel ownership of surf breaks.

"At the same time I don't like it but I understand where they're coming from," he said. "They live there and have all these people coming to surf where they live. Noosa is just too crowded now. It's not just the locals who are causing problems though . . . I've heard of fights in the car park between visitors."

Mr Sherwell said his last surf at Noosa was about 20 years ago when he was hassled so badly he swore to never return.

"The simple thing is at Noosa ... expect that or just don't go," he said.

 Report - Patrick Williams
 Source - The Sunshine Coast Daily


Don't drop in: Basically, this means the person closest to the breaking wave has the right to ride it. Wait your turn in the lineup. . And don't catch a wave and then turn straight back around.

Paddle wide: Don't paddle out to the line-up through the impact zone (where the waves are breaking and people are surfing) or where others are waiting to catch a wave. When paddling out, a surfer riding the wave always has right of way.

Communicate: When catching a wave let others know which way you are going. Refrain from verbally abusing other surfers.

Don't throw your board: Hang on to your board. Learn to duck dive to get under waves. Make sure your leg rope is intact. Never throw your board and dash; it could seriously injure someone.

Respect the beach, the ocean and others: Respect the beach locals, don't be a wave hog and respect more experienced surfers than yourself. Do your bit to keep the beach and ocean clean.

Damon Bereziat says some Coast surfers need to have better manners


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