I mentioned hydrofoils in a post a few weeks ago, asking if it was a good thing for the sport. No matter how you feel about that, and I’ll write about it soon, we need hydrofoils out of lineups, now.
Surfers already hate us.
If allowed to vote on having paddle boards in the lineup we’d lose in a landslide and be relegated to terrible, out of the way spots. But the truth is that small paddle boards being used by good surfers aren’t that dangerous, and thus there isn’t the public sentiment needed to push paddle boards out (except in Trestles).
A hydrofoil is a paddle board mounted to a lawnmower blade connected by a sword. Justin Holland joked on his first podcast that his first time on a SUP in Hawaii, he was just mowing down surfers. That could literally happen on a hydrofoil.
And when, not if, when, a surfer is hit by a hydrofoil, the backlash won’t just affect hydrofoils, it will be directed at paddle surfing. Because it looks like paddle surfing. It uses a paddle. And surfers will use it as a way to justify their sentiment towards paddling.
I’m the first guy regulating the lineup in my home break keeping those who shouldn’t be paddle surfing near people away from the crowd. It’s our job to as passionate paddle surfers to protect others in the water and to protect our sport from the narrow-minded surfing masses.
When the unfortunate accident does happen surfers will utilize the event as a way to force paddle surfing out of lineups, either by legal means or by peer pressure.
We need to regulate the dangers of hydrofoils before the surfing community regulates us.
Here’s a post from Jamie Mitchell about hydrofoils in the lineup.
And here’s Jamie Mitchell on the Paddlewoo Podcast, one of my favorite episodes!