We realize that in the wake of Sandy, there are a lot of questions about the Summer Surf Schedule. Here are some of the questions the City has heard and addressed:
Q: I've heard there is actually less space for surfers in the 2013 plan. Is this true?
A: Yes – the plan actually does reduce slightly the total number of surf beaches, however the City tried very hard to balance out and distribute the beaches more evenly across the City itself, hopefully resulting in better use of the shared resource.
Q: Why was the plan changed from 2012?
A: Many people contributed to the revised plan. The City took all the feedback received last summer and through the offseason into account. Comments were received from the community at large, the Long Beach Lifeguards, the surf community and non-surfers alike. Most of the feedback was positive, but some people expressed important and legitimate concerns about the inconvenience of "back to back" surf beaches for the non-surfing community, and finding a way to share the burden of holiday weekends, so any one beach was not designated all three days.
Q: So what has changed from the plan from 2012?
A: Actually, not all that much. The plan is identical for the East End and the West End of town, where it was well received with minimal complaints. The real difference is in the 1.5 mile West-Central area (From Riverside in the East to New York Avenue in the west, where instead of a confusing rotation that left both the surfing community and non-surfers alike unsure of where to go, the rotation was simplified. On any given day, there are now just 2 beaches designated for surfing (there had been as many as four on some days of last year's plan). The simplified plan is as follows, using an alternating week system: One week it is Magnolia and Washington, the next week it is Laurelton and Lindell.
Q: There are a lot of beaches in the 1.5 mile stretch between Riverside and New York. Why were these 4 beaches designated?
A: Great question. It comes down realizing that the surf community must do their part and share the space available for ALL uses, not just surfing. This means that there are certain beaches that need to be reserved for other uses. Working west to east: Long Beach Road is reserved for swimming and the Surf Schools. Edwards is reserved for the Junior Lifeguards, National is reserved for City Events. The City also requested that Grand Blvd be reserved because it is the most popular swimming beach in the West Central area.
Most everyone is in agreement that due to the ever growing popularity of surfing, there needs to be a minimum of two beaches in the 1.5 mile West Central area, however with all the restrictions noted above, there were only 5 beaches left to choose from. Then once you factor in the "No Back to Back surf beach" rule, a simple 4 beach rotation became the only viable option.
Q: Wait, doesn't that unfairly burden a beach like Magnolia or Laurelton?
A: While it certainly must look that way on first blush, it actually is less of a burden this year than last year! Because there were as many as 4 surfing beaches in the same area last year, Magnolia was reserved for surfing all or part of the day 12 out of the 15 weeks of summer. This year, Magnolia is only designated for the equivalent of 7.5 weeks, with the rest falling to Laurelton, which was similarly burdened 12 of 15 weeks last year as well.
Additionally, the historic layout of beach access at these particular beaches minimizes the burden on families: The entrance on Laurelton Blvd to the beach is actualluy right at the jetty that divides Magnolia and Laurelton. People visiting beach always make a choice and move to the right or left of the jetty anyway – this schedule simply means that you choose based on what you would like to do: surf (or watch the surfers!) or swim. The same is true at the beach entrance on Lindell – it is a matter of simply going right or left. Regardless, non-surfers are always guaranteed the "border" beaches of National, Lafayette, and Grand.
Q: Did the City consider making Laurelton a permanent surfing beach, and rotating the other surfing beach throughout the West Central Area?
A: Yes, however it was decided by City Officials at this time of uncertainty, in the wake of Sandy, that a possibility existed that Laurelton Beach may not be available to the community during times of construction. It was felt unwise at this time, however City Officials did express that they would be open to discussion and feedback from the community on a proposal for this in the future.
Q: So what happens if a designated surf beach is unavailable due to boardwalk construction?
A: The surf community is expected to do their part along with everyone in the City, and obey all rules for safe access. If a beach is designated as closed for safety reasons and the surf community is asked to move, we MUST be good citizens, understand, and do our part.
Have more questions? Please contact us! email: [email protected]surfersassociation.com