Surfing Soapbox: Work with citizens, not against them

Has it really come to this, Laguna Beach? I just received a voicemail asking if I would join in during the Patriots Day Parade and ride a skateboard in support of skateboarding not being banned. Yes, of course I will. Or I would, if I wasn't already riding in the parade as Athlete of the Year.

Don't we have enough items and or activities banned in Laguna Beach? Now you want to add skateboarding. From my understanding, these kids that enjoy and love skateboarding have not only been working with parents and the city in setting forth adequate safety measures but also have been following the recommendations of the Parking, Traffic and Circulation Committee in adjusting their behavior and safety gear to what has been recommended to them.

You set a standard for these kids to follow and for the most part I haven't heard anything to the contrary — other than a few residents that have put up signs protesting this. I'm surprised that private citizens putting up their own signs isn't illegal.

I mean surely it must be on the banned list that includes such things as Frisbees, tiki torches and soon to be fishing. Although I have yet to hear of any new recommendations from our City Council in curbing the daily pollutants of urban runoff, which is far and away more hazardous to our ocean than our waters being over-fished. If you like, Laguna Beach City Council, I will introduce you to some experts in the field of storm-water issues.

In my time, we used to steal those orange cones (not recommended) and set up our own slalom courses down hills and now you have kids working with parents and the city and you still want to ban it? Where am I, Chicago? At least they came to their senses and lifted their ban on surfing in 2009, and I strongly recommend that Laguna Beach follow suit. Otherwise I might be forced to ride a skateboard in the parade, and I'm not sure anyone wants to see that.


JAMES PRIBRAM is a Laguna Beach native, professional surfer and John Kelly Environmental Award winner. His websites include AlohaSchoolofSurfing and ECOWarrior He can be reached at Jamo@Aloha

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