Chinese Authorities To Replace Sawn Surfboard

19 Sep 2016 2

COASTALWATCH | LATEST NEWS

Story by Milton Brown

If you have seen the footage of Chinese “Police” sawing into a bemused surfers board you must be wondering what is happening there. Taking a shark bite out of the rail is a pretty good way of thinning the crowd but there is a bit more to it than that.

Most surfers have heard of Hainan Island and the surf breaks there, but surfing on the mainland is relatively unknown. Even though Chinese factories have been pumping out our boards and product for years, surfing on the mainland has flown under the radar. That is slowly changing and a committed group of Chinese surfers and expats are taking to the waves, and they have plenty of them. The coastline between Shenzhen and Taiwan (See map below) gets local and typhoon swells and has many beaches that are yet to be surfed.

That is where the issue starts: Surfing is foreign concept to the Chinese, even though they have a fishing and seafaring history, the coastal Chinese have not had the exposure to surfing that we are familiar with. To see the beach, swimming and recreational side of Chinese leisure time, Google Sanya Beach and check the swimming images. This is where the core of the current issue sits. Swimming is popular and surfing is new. Put the two together and bingo – conflict time.

SEE ALSO: Jim Banks On: How The Retro Movement Changed Modern Surfboard Design 

John Yang from the Shenzhen Surfing Association explains. “The beach in the video (above) is managed by a private company who have banned surfing. The staff policing the beach have taken it into their own hands to deal with the surfers who might be endangering swimmers ” Note: they are not Police.

John and his group have been in meetings with the parties involved over the last 24 hours, and a resolution has been reached that will allow surfing to continue in Xichong. As of today, the local government has mandated an apology and compensation from the company to the man and his board. They have also asked the Surfing Association to find a workable solution that satisfies all parties. Surfing is still temporarily banned but a policy of cooperation should see an end to the extreme action that has made global surfing news.

Surfing is growing in China and this incident reminds me of the early days of surfing in Australia when surf life savers and surfers battled it out on the beaches, confiscated boards and surfing in between the flags were rife. These days the swimming and surfing boundaries are clearly understood but it took time for the development. The Shenzhen Surfing Association and other fledgling surfing clubs in China are about to fast track into the global surf scene. This incident should help them overcome some of the local ignorance about surfing as a great recreational activity and ultimately make the beach a safer place.

*VIDEO BELOW, The First Surfing Event On The Mainland Of China - Hong Hai Bay December 2015

Tags: video , china , topnews (create Alert from these tags)

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