Ocean City's Bodyboard Restriction up for Discussion, Temporarily Lifted
OCEAN CITY, Md.- A decades-old restriction on using certain bodyboards in Ocean City has been lifted for now.
During a staff meeting Thursday, Ocean City Manager David Recor issued the temporary suspension. WBOC is told that since the 1970s, there has been an ordinance prohibiting some "Boogie" boards as defined in the Town Code: "semi-soft, buoyant, semi-curved object, no more than 42 inches long, 24 inches wide and 4 inches thick, is permitted on Ocean City beaches in non-designated surfing areas."
Recent complaints prompted reenforcement of the ordinance by lifeguards, to the outcry of some surfers and other visitors. Some took to social media and radio airwaves. A local surf shop owner said board styles have changed and lengthened over the years. A "beater," for example, is specifically designed for standup use, which would be against the rules.
"I think it's absolutely unnecessary," said Malibu's Surf Shop's Lee Gerachis. "There's not a huge difference between these sizes and there's not a whole lot more that's going to happen differently."
Meantime, Ocean City Beach Patrol Captain Butch Arbin will meet with surf shop owners to look at what can or should be done. A presentation/proposal will be made at next Monday's Ocean City Council meeting.
"If changing the ordinance is going to make it unsafe, we're not going to change anything but if we can safely change it, that's what it's about," Arbin said.
Surfing on surfboards is not allowed from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. in Ocean City.
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