(Jan. 10, 2014) Much as was done – at one point or another in history – with the internet, skateboards, and indoor plumbing , it was suggested this week that government look into making an allowance for a fad that might just be here to stay.
Local resident Gabe Mancini asked city council Monday night to consider changing the city’s ordinance on beach usage to allow stand-up paddleboards to be used under the same conditions as surfboards.
During daytime hours in-season, surfing is only allowed on select stretches of beach, and at the inlet. However, the Ocean City Beach Patrol will frequently declare a “modified” surfing schedule if there are few swimmers in the water, particularly during the shoulder season, allowing surfers to spread out.
“The issue is that when the beach is modified, SUP’s are presently considered watercraft [which are prohibited] because of the paddle,” Mancini said.
It was his understanding, Mancini said, that the paddle stipulation and prohibition on such watercraft was necessary to keep canoes and kayaks off the beach during the summer, but paddleboards were not of the same nature.
“The other great thing about an SUP is that it has a leash, like a surfboard, and you can control it in the surf unlike a canoe or kayak,” Mancini said.
Councilman and Recreation and Parks Commission Chair Joe Mitrecic said he would bring the possible revision up at the next commission meeting.
The city decided last year to lift the prohibition on skateboards on the Boardwalk, and allow skateboarding during the same hours in which bicycles are allowed, given the resurgence in skating’s popularity in recent years.