New Rules Protect Bodysurfers at Point Panic - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

New Rules Protect Bodysurfers at Point Panic

Steve Kapela Steve Kapela
Peter Young Peter Young
Walter Agnew Walter Agnew
This buoy marks off an area reserved for bodysurfing at Point Panic This buoy marks off an area reserved for bodysurfing at Point Panic
New sign erected at Point Panic New sign erected at Point Panic

by Stephanie Lum

KAKAAKO (KHNL) - Point Panic is not only known as a popular surf spot on O'ahu, it's long been known as a battle ground  between body surfers and board riders.

 "There's been a lot of injuries, a lot of altercations a lot of disrespect and we're only asking for one place," says body surfer Steve Kapela.

The state just installed a buoy to mark the area where only body surfers can catch a wave.

It is aligned with signs on Kaka'ako waterfront that say: no boats, kayaks, surf boards, or body boards  are  allowed.

The Department of Land and Natural resources had to draw the line after tensions in the water reached a boiling point.

"Our responsibility is to try keep people safe but if there is someone who is going to violate the rule there is also going to be a consequence," says DLNR Chairperson Peter Young.

Board surfers who enter the body surfing area can face up to one thousand dollars in fines and jail time.

"It's a great idea. It's such a small area, and we can surf anywhere else. I'm all for it" says board rider Walter Agnew.

DLNR officers have already issued 11 citations and confiscated numerous surf boards.

 "Its sad it had to come to this, sad it had to come to a line between land and sea so people don't get hurt," says Kapela.

Other body surfers say there need to be more DLNR officers at Point Panic to enforce the rules. The state says people can call DLNR to report violaters.

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