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Surfers ‘like a pack of animals’ when swell hit on weekend

TENSE: Swell-starved surfers demonstrated some bad behaviour this weekend at the region’s southern points. This photo was taken at Noosa West.
TENSE: Swell-starved surfers demonstrated some bad behaviour this weekend at the region’s southern points. This photo was taken at Noosa West. Geoff Potter

AFTER three months without waves, some surf-starved board riders have been accused of acting like wild animals in the weekend's congested conditions.

Local surf instructor Robbie Sherwell said surfers were so desperate to get a wave they were like "a pack of animals that had been starved for food and all of a sudden there's a kill".

The veteran boardrider, who owns Sherwell's XL Surfing Academy, said even youngsters were targeted in surf rage incidents.

One 14-year-old surfing with his dad at Pt Cartwright had an older surfer drop in on him and then physically push him on the wave.

"As a dad, you're going to say something at that. This guy physically pushed his child, that's assault," Mr Sherwell said.

"So the dad said something, this guy arced up and said 'let's go, let's (fight) on the beach'."

Mr Sherwell said he heard of other instances of surfers getting tackled while on a wave.

"It's like their life depends on getting that wave," he said.

UNIMPRESSED: Surf instructor Robbie Sherwell.
UNIMPRESSED: Surf instructor Robbie Sherwell.

"What it came down to was there were three months with absolutely no surf," Mr Sherwell said.

"Every time when we haven't had surf for a while this happens, we go through the same thing.

"There were three or four spots congested with that many surfers it was just out of control."

Ben Silk, who owns Silky's Surf School in Caloundra, said he surfed Moffat Beach on Sunday and while it mostly went down well, he noticed a few "minor incidents".

"There was more aggression in the water than there's been for a few months," he said.

"It was very crowded and it was a bit dangerous and frustrating.

"There were a few words being spoken."

While surf rage is considered rife at Gold Coast beaches, boardriders on Sunshine Coast breaks have mostly been immune to aggressive behaviour.

Mr Silk said it came down to respect and waiting your turn in the surf, which he tried to instill into students at his school.

"We always teach people about surf etiquette and to be aware of other people in the surf.

"There's a lot more to surfing than just standing on a board."

How much of a problem is surf rage on the Sunshine Coast?

This poll ended on 14 December 2015.

Current Results

It's a problem all the time.

34%

It's only a problem when there's a big crowd.

47%

It's only a problem when there's great swell.

18%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Topics:  sunshine coast surfers surf rage swell



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