The New York City Parks Department has banned the use of boogie boards at all of the city’s public beaches.
Anyone with a boogie board is no longer allowed to enter NYC water, the Gothamist reports. The move is unprecedented, although a ban on surfing was in place until 2005.
“This is absurd,” long time boogie boarder Jose De la Rosa told the Gothamist. “I’ve been doing the sport for 20 years, going to different beaches around the world and I can’t believe I can’t even do it where I live.”
The order came from Parks Department Rockaways Administrator Jill Weber Monday, Aug. 4, without much explanation, The Rockaway Times reports. “There has been an increased use of them and we have to ban them for people’s safety,” Jill explained to a “friend” of the Rockaway Times at a craft fair Saturday.
“From what I understand, there were two young kids who got swept out on their boogie boards down around Beach 33rd during Bertha,” A local explained to the Gothamist. “‘Their reasoning is that the boogie boards are a crutch for kids or people that don’t know how to swim and therefore they get themselves into trouble with them.
“They are drawing on a parks rule that outlaws ‘floatation devices,'” the local continued, “which is very frustrating because it’s so vague that they can manipulate the rule at their ridiculous whims.”
When Alex Karinsky of The Rockaway Times asked a lifeguard about the ban, the lifeguard said “No flotation devices! You can thank Bill de Blasio for that.”
The Rockaway Beach Surfers Association has started a letter campaign to get the ban lifted, and will be “protesting en masse” with their boogie boards this weekend if the ban is not lifted Friday.