Earlier this week we reported on a little dust-up in the Hamptons – where the rich and famous often summer and, apparently, take up surfing. According to a few local news outlets, officials of the village of Southampton were reportedly newly enforcing a decades-old law buried in the village code that stipulates surfing is prohibited during summer months along popular stretches of beach.
Locals and visiting tourists alike were understandably outraged and staged a “surf-in” over the weekend. Village mayor Jesse Warren, a surfer himself, reportedly attended in an attempt to assuage concerns.
“There is no ban on surfing in the village,” he told local news source The Independent on Tuesday.
And while there was in fact language in the village code that prohibited surfing during summer months that caused the debacle in the first place, on Wednesday the village successfully voted to overturn the rule.
So, count Southampton’s short-lived “surfing ban” dead. The question remains, though: what was the impetus for the brief resurrection of an esoteric stipulation in the village code anyway? Local bodyboarder Andrew Karr was able to share a little insight.
“An older surfer kept calling the town and complaining about lessons being taught in village beaches, which is loosely enforced but not allowed,” Karr told us via Instagram. “So the cops would confront people who seemed to be teaching lessons and people would deny it and say that they’re just surfing! Because they didn’t know what to believe, they just dug up that old code and banned surfing as a whole. [On Sunday] the mayor said that they wouldn’t be ticketing for surfing, though.”