Hang Ten: Miami Beach Decides to Ignore 1964 Surfing Ban Again
Back in 1964, the Miami Beach City Commission decided to be a total bummer and banned surfing and other similar water sports from all but two spots on Miami Beach. The ordinance, which could put offenders in jail for 30 days, had largely been ignored and all but forgotten until the city begin enforcing it again in earnest last month. No one was actually arrested, but offenders were asked to relocate south of Third Street. Well, now the city has decided its just going to ignore the law once again.
The old law restricted things like surfing, paddle boarding, skiing, kite surfing to the beach south of Third Street and in a small area in North Beach. Of course, jamming a bunch of people with boards, skis and other equipment in a tiny stretch of beach might not have been such a great idea.
"To take all the surfers in Miami Beach and jam them down south of Second Street and also jam in paddle boards and kite surfers, that is a recipe for diaster, injuries, lawsuits, chaos," Mike Gibaldi, a board member of the Surfrider Foundation, told The Miami Herald.
Boarders began complaining to City Hall, and officials decided to halt enforcement of the antiquated ordinance. The Commission promises to eventually taking a look at the law and either altering it or abolishing it all together. Hopefully, they don't just ignore it and leave it as it, only to have it briefly enforced again in another 50 years -- assuming, of course, Miami Beach isn't underwater by then.
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