How NOT To Surf S-Turns

posted by / Magazine / May 9, 2008

Don’t shit in people’s outdoor showers.Funny. We never even considered that as a possible tip for the “How to Surf S-Turns” piece in our July issue, on newsstands next week. But apparently — embarrassingly — it should be rule Number One (or at least Number 2), as Mirlo Beach homeowners discover the offense as often as three times a week.“Last fall we finally prosecuted someone,” says Midgett Realty property manager, Jennifer Hooper, who handles many of the homes in Rodanthe’s first neighborhood, which fronts the famous sandbar. “I didn’t want to, but after so many offenses, we couldn’t drop the charges. I mean, we’ve found it not just in showers, but on decks. We’ve even found it on grill tops.”That’s right: grill tops.Now, we here at SURFING are more than willing to fight for surfers’ rights to Outer Banks breaks —from ORV access on the Cape to maintaining the road through Pea Island. But – crapping on food preparation surfaces? That shit’s indefensible. Literally. Not only is it just plain wrong, it stinks for the overall surfing community as we now must face increasing scrutiny from homeowners, who might otherwise look the other way at more minor offenses like a parking in the wrong spot, using a vacant deck to check the waves, or changing in a towel. “The frustration level is very high – to say the least,” Hooper continues. “Not only is there the defecation issue, but we’ve had people walk into vacant houses, leave water running in showers. People park in driveways and block other vehicles. It’s gotten to the point where we now have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to trespassing. Private property is private property.”That zero-tolerance policy by Mirlo Beach homeowners has now trickled onto Rodanthe’s public streets where cars frequently swerve to avoid surfers changing outside their cars or crossing without looking. As a result, S-Turns surfers will find more “No Parking” signs than before and greater scrutiny by law officers. So, to make things easier on everyone — and make to make sure we don’t face another huge access fight in the future — we beg you to ignore what the current mag says about where to park and access the beach, and obey the following rules:1.Park in the refuge, on the west side, before you get into town. That will eliminate any hassle with any homeowners.
2.Keep four wheels off the road and don’t change in the street. (Even if it means getting your little tootsies sandy.)
3.Look carefully before crossing – watch the nose of your board.
4.Pay attention to all no parking/no trespassing signs while in Rodanthe.
5.Don’t use the Mirlo Beach access—cross over at S-Turns and walk down if necessary.
6.Don’t talk smack to any homeowners or officials. It will only make things worse.
7.Police other surfers. If you see anyone acting up, let them know what’s up before any other authorities can get involved.Outer Bankers are surfer-friendly by nature. It’s only the rampant offenses that brought on the restrictions. With a little compromise and respect, the people of Rodanthe could be surfers’ greatest ally in working toward a long-term solution. Without it, they could our worst enemy. “I don’t know who to contact,” says Hooper, “But I think our civic association would love to see a permanent access as close to the S-Curve as possible. We’d love to see a parking, and port-a-pots, and a boardwalk to help keep the foot traffic down because we need that dune to stabilize. We love surfers. It’s only the 5% of people who abuse the situation. The other 95% are all very kind and considerate. Those are the ones who need to get the message out — and let ‘em know, we’re willing to prosecute to get that message across.”

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