Surfers might soon be banned from the northern end of Bondi Beach if a new proposal goes ahead. Waverley Council is currently considering restricting anyone on a finned board to the rougher, more rocky southern end due to “residential concerns” about safety.
The 900-metre beach is arguably one of Australia's most iconic surf spots. In October 2016 it was even designated a National Surfing Reserve, which recognised the area’s contribution to surf culture and history. At the time award founder, Brad Farmer, described Bondi as “more than a just another surfing site.”
It now it seems Bondi is set to become less than a surfing site.
Soft boards are currently permitted the full length of the beach, except in the areas between the flags. Hard fiberglass boards, however, have been restricted to the southern end for a while. But now, soft boards will also potentially be related to the same space, including kids who are learning to surf with the Let's Go Surfing program.
Bondi Boardriders president Ian Wallace told Fairfax reporter Megan Gorrey that the northern end was the better spot for young riders to learn. "It is a coming-of-age for kids,” he said. “They hone their skills on a soft board in a safer environment and then you get a fibreglass board and move to the south end."
He said potentially banning surfers from the north end would render the beach “essentially stuffed.”
The council is currently running a survey to gauge public response to the proposal. A decision will be made on the findings.