I had a bad dream

I just had a really scary vision of the future of surfing in San Diego after attending the Ocean Beach Town Council meeting last night…“If you did not pay to be in this surf school you can not surf here”… We are way closer to this then you can imagine. After last nights OBTC meeting and seeing how cozy the lifeguards have gotten with the surf schools I can see public and private, paid, surf sessions at public beaches in our very near future…Just like swimming pools. Finally they have figured out a way to make money out of our ocean. Sadly there are lots of people that would be willing to pay for this exclusive service. Just like swim clubs rent pools, surf clubs, surf schools etc. can buy ocean time…$$$$$ Controlled and enforced by lifeguards…No more localism you and your kids are safe from those mean locals. The city makes $$$$$$$$.

 The surf schools in our area are trying to expand their hours. I was shocked that the lifeguards were trying to persuade people to agree to this until I had my Vision. This could be coming to a beach near you soon…

Where is the OB Shooter, when you need him!?

Give 'em Hell ace!

Fight the power!

One can already see the lineups filling with the products of these surf schools.  They have no Idea of surf etiquette, any of the established rules, do not know how to get out of the way, how to avoid other obstacles in the way, and are simply a major hazard in the lineup.  When they do catch a wave, they insult it and look like the average joe trying to surf switchfoot.

Most of them also have Gopro mounts on the noses of their boards, and  likely facebook accounts slathered with their inepitude.


Misanthropic mood…increasing.


I see this three ways;

#1 Pay up and get some waves. (Join ranks and attack from within)

#2 Start your own school and score water time, possibly gain new customers. (Rebellion)

#3 keep fighting City Hall. (We always lose).

Sorry for your nightmare!

We get random assaults up here from vans of gemmies with soft-tops stacked 5 high.

And of course the instructors bring 'em out in advanced surf.


I’m old and I love good entertainment.

And from a number of beat downs

Of which, a few, I got outta my chair (no lifeguards here, yet)

Damn bad beatings and I don’t thinks those kids will be back!

ACE, Pray for surf

Eh, maybe a hammerhead invasion.


What was the lifeguards’ argument in favour of this expansion of surf school time?

And how many people in your area (specifically, the local surfing public) are aware of what went on at the the meeting, and where it might possibly lead?

If you think there’s a real chance of your “bad dream” coming true, I’m guessing a highly-vocal opposition from the local voting public would stand the best chance of preventing that and as a group, I’m guessing the local surfing population would be a good place to start by at least ensuring they’re informed of what went on at the meeting (Town Council meetings don’t always attract high attendances, and major local developments can slip through unopposed before the majority of the public affected become aware of it)?

And, will the life guards being paying more attention to the schooled area because of the fees involved and less attention to the tourist stuck in the rip up the beach?A conflict of interest perhaps?  Expensive law suits in the future?  Get my drift? Mike

What I dislike about surf school alums and surf P.E. groms is that they are used to surfing in a pack of 20 -50 with a “just go for it” or “let’s all go for it together” mentality. They are the ones that will not think twice about paddling right out to where you are (all alone) and sitting on top of you. Drives me nuts.

The local underground “paper” the OB Rag is taking votes on the surf school thing to get feedback. ANYONE can vote. My recommendation is to move them to Dog Beach. DB is a bigger beach with long rolling whitewater waves. PERFECT for learning. This is where I learned on my Velzy/Jacobs balsa board 55 yrs ago. DB is where we tell everyone in the area to learn. Having the schools at DB is a compromise that we have a much better chance of “winning”. That’s my 2 cents. NO schools would be great but probably not going to happen the city makes too much money off them. Please help us put and VOTE. http://obrag.org/?p=99570#.Vg3GMaQd1ek. Hope the link works because I have areally hard getting on Swaylocks. If someone wants to fix link go ahead.

Send 'em to dog beach! Link worked fine, I clicked my vote. ACE for president of OB!

Did the same. Looks like that option is ahead in the poll too.

Here’s a slogan for you:

“Lift a Leg! Send the Schools to Dog Beach”

Sending them to Dog Beach moves them too far away from all the retail shops on Newport, hence, loss of tax revenue to the city.  That’s where I learned to surf, too. Mike

Thanks guys the only bad part about the Dog Beach option is OB Rag says “extended hours OK” This is not a good Idea for any of the options. Rag has been contacted about this. At least we can give a general idea about what surfers think…

That actually is kind of a great idea.  Here in Santa Cruz, the whole East Side has pretty much been ruined by surf schools, THE RICHARD SCHMIDT SCHOOL  in particular (caps to indicate not being ashamed to name names).  All of the consequences listed in the OP’s post apply, and the Schmidt instructors don’t help by showing by example that it’s a good idea when you paddle out to go and sit right on top of skilled guys trying to sit apart from the sh*t show crowd on a crappy peak, in an effort to surf in peace.

If groups of 5 locals even pretended to be surf schools, one guy wearing the dumb yellow hat their instructors all wear, and immediately went out and sat on top of the Schmidt people every time they came out, they’d leave and find a more appropriate place to pollute.

Makes me want to get some dumb yellow hats, 5 or 6, and make em community property.

The city of San Diego has designated two two schools for our 150 yard surfing area in South Ocean Beach. This is all that is allowed. ALL is up to 50 students 10 instructors in a one peak surf area…This does not count private lessions from surf schools the High school and jr high school surf teams…plus every hotel, hostel, surf shop and coffee shop renting Wave Storms… It is out of control…Sadly my “Vision” may be the only solution.Do not forget SUP time as well…When do regular surfers get to surf? $$$$$$$$

I served on my local town’s Park and Rec committee for a few years. One of the first things I did when I was appointed was to ban surf lessons between 9 am and 5 pm at the local beaches. The rule was worded so as to ban any and all commercial activity. You need a resident pass to park at the beach during those hours, and I was opposed to the idea of using one’s pass to make money. Then, there was the fact that two of the three people doing it didn’t know how to surf.

They can still do it during ‘off’ hours, but I often make a point to paddle out and get in the way when they show up. I also tell the clients they are being robbed because the instructor doesn’t know how to surf.


take the dickhead route? any surfing lawyers out there to write something up? if the city is allowing, on paper and in plain sight, the right for a commercial enterprises to use the beach/wave in a clearly unsafe manner (up to 50 people at a peak), it seems like you could get them shut down via lawsuit. you could go out and get run over by a soft board then sue the shit out of the city and the surf school for putting you in danger because of their incompetence. hell you could pay for a “lesson” and get run over. the safety of the public is not a consideration in these surf school decisions. there’s a difference between a beach being randomly crowded and dangerous by public attendance vs a commercial enterprise regularly crowding a specific part of the beach unsafely.

i’m sure you could get PLENTY of “experts” you could call as a witness who could point out that the city passed the rule without proper knowledge or investigation of the dangers. you have this poll showing the users want the classes at dog park, but that was ignored.

the city wouldn’t allow 4 teams to play baseball on the same field just because all the teams were bringing in the $$$. certain rules must be adhered to for safety (push the safety/threat of lawsuit angle…it’s all they’ll listen to).

when the city sees the a potential lawsuit (not to mention the surf school), they’ll shut it right now. not worth it.

passive aggressive idea? yeah, but a thought, i guess. if someone actually gets really hurts or drowns before things get shut down or controlled, that’d be a real shame.

When I asked the lifeguard “expert” at the meeting if putting 50 students plus 10 instructors plus private lessions in front of the 30 surfers who could already be out was a safety hazard his OFFICIAL response was “NO”…That is the official city stance and non surfing people sitting in the audiance belived the man in uniform.

 This is what surfing is going to be looking like soon…And SAFE according to experts…

and the first threat of a lawsuit means the city will shut it down. i bet you’d just have to film for 20 minutes to have plenty of evidence to dis-prove the lifeguard “expert”