Bodyboarding banned at New York beaches

Really, NYC Parks Department?
Above: John Whale pulls into a tube in nearby New Jersey. Photo: Connor Halpin

Worrying news out of New York – the city’s Rockaway Times is reporting that the NYC Parks Department has banned the use of bodyboards at the city’s beaches. “For the first time in history, an ocean facing international city has banned the outright use of boogie boards,” the paper said. While the reasoning behind the ban seems shaky at this stage, the Times and also Gothamist have both reported that the ban seems to be on safety grounds. From Gothamist: “The ban seems to be based on their ban of flotation devices—another local and member of the Rockaway Beach Civic Association, Beth Perkins, explains, “From what i understand, there were two young kids who got swept out on their boogie boards down around Beach 33rd during Bertha. Their reasoning is that the boogie boards are a crutch for kids /people that don’t know how to swim and therefore they get themselves into trouble with them. They are drawing on a parks rule that outlaws ‘floatation devices’ which is very frustrating because it’s so vague that they can manipulate the rule at their ridiculous whims.”

Read the Rockaway piece here, and the Gothamist piece here and then tell us what you think about the decision.