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Mayor’s plea to ‘respect’ rule after dangerous act at famous Aussie beach

Mayor of Waverley Council, Paula Masselos, has been forced to reason with one Aussie community.

A Sydney mayor has called on his local eastern suburbs community to ‘respect the rules’ after multiple ‘near misses’ at an iconic Aussie beach.

It comes after one upset local in Bondi called out a pair in the water using hydrofoil surfboards to cut through the waves, an activity that is banned due to safety concerns. But the rule is only enforced between 6am to 7pm when lifeguards are on duty, with some ignoring the restriction out of hours.

“These hydrofoilers at North Bondi need their heads read,” the local complained online, pointing out the practice is banned at the beach by Waverley Council. He shared an image to Facebook of a hydrofoil surfer dangerously close to a swimmer.

“Spoke to one of them thinking he must not know, said he knows and doesn’t care,” he claimed.

Hydrofoil surfer has a near miss with a swimmer at Bondi Beach. Source: Facebook
Hydrofoil surfer has a near miss with a swimmer at Bondi Beach. Source: Facebook

The man added that he saw "so many near misses" detailing several instances including "one dad and his young daughter surfing [who] had a near miss with them and the guy told them to watch out for his foil! They always come to North Bondi when it’s not patrolled where people are swimming after work."

The man begged the council to do something, "before someone gets seriously injured."

Mayor condemns hydrofoil surfers taking advantage

Paula Masselos, Mayor of Waverley Council, told Yahoo News Australia she shares the community’s concerns about hydrofoil surfboards and public safety, pointing out the practice is not permitted.

When lifeguards are on duty, "we would ask the riders to exit the water or inform them on arrival that hydrofoils can’t be used at our beaches. This proactive approach by lifeguards has been effective and the majority of riders respect our position," she explained.

But after 7pm, there is no one to stop those who choose to enter the water with such a device.

“We call upon hydrofoil riders to respect the rules and we will continue to have conversations with our neighbouring Councils, and local hydrofoil rider groups, to ensure a consistent approach to managing public concerns,” she added.

Bondi Beach at sunset, after lifeguards clock off for the evening. Source: Getty
Bondi Beach at sunset, after lifeguards clock off for the evening. Source: Getty

What are hydrofoil surfboards?

Hydrofoil surfboards are designed similarly to a traditional surfboard, but they have a metal hydrofoil attached to the bottom, a feature originally used to help boats cut through water smoothly. For surfers, it allows riders to stand up on the board without the force of a wave behind them. They can also glide through the water with much more speed than a regular surfboard, posing a potential risk to others in the water.

The hydrofoil surfboard is a popular new fixture at beaches across the world, with global market demand expected to reach $3.5 billion by 2030.

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