SUP in Maui – a local issue or a global trend ?


Recently some big hitters in the SUP world have released this on the website (check out the conversation here) :

Because of the rising tensions between surfers and SUP surfers on Maui, we felt that it was our responsibility to create a set of rules that will be used to self-regulate our usage.

1.    At Ho’okipa we will be adopting the existing regulations as they apply to windsurfing and will follow the 10 man rule as it is currently posted on the DLNR signs.  Even if you do have the opportunity (by the 10 man rule) to go out at the Ho’okipa area it is necessary that every individual take a very critical look at their own skill level and accurately estimate their own personal level of acceptance in the lineup.
2.   We will not be using Honolua Bay when there is any surf breaking. The only exception would be when the surf is so large that there are no surfers out.
3.   We will not use Paukukalo, Mala Wharf, or Dumps when these areas are being used by any surfers.  The only exception at these spots will be when no surfers are in the water (the Zero man rule).
4.   At Lower Kanaha, beginners will be asked to stay in the area below the canoe hale, past the end of the inside right or on the Paia side past the channel of the main break (a map will follow).

As we need some time to spread the word, we are setting Jan. 1 as an effective date for the above.

Dave Kalama
Laird Hamilton
Archie Kalepa
Robbie Naish
Buzzy Kerbox
Scott Trudon
Loch Eggers

It is pretty apparent that there have always been issues and conflicts between water users in Maui, mainly due to the number of folk vs the concentration of spots.  Once you read through this announcement it is clear that this is a very local issue to Maui, however due to the global environment that SUP is being shaped in it will be viewed by enthusiasts and detractors and used as surfing “case law”.  I have personally seen the changes in California’s attitude to SUP over the course of the last 2 years, and I am wondering if the old adage “When America gets a cold, we all sneeze” will hold true.  I hope not.  I hope that through communication, good etiquette in the water and abiding by the law of the waves (no dropping in etc.) and by having a friendly attitude that we can continue to grow this amazing sport.  Mind you I always was hopelessly naive!

Lets hear your views – comment below….