Australia's oldest board-riding club is fighting a move to ban surfers from City Beach for six months of the year.

The Town of Cambridge proposal would also ban fishing at the City Beach groyne, restrict it at Floreat to the evening and ban bikes, skateboards and rollerblades from the promenade.

Only swimmers would be allowed on the beach between City Beach and Floreat groynes from November 1 to April 30.

The council claims some surfers ignore existing rules, which allow surfing in the evenings and early mornings, and take advantage of the absence of council lifeguards at weekends. To address public liability and safety concerns the council plans to ban all board activities during summer and will introduce a roving lifeguard service at weekends to police it.

City Beach Surf Riders, whose members have surfed around the groyne for decades, say the ban is unfair and a complete ban is unnecessary.

Club vice-president Mark Thompson said surfers had an understanding with other beach users.

"We're well aware that during the summer months we don't get priority but if there are no swimmers there and the waves permit we love to get out there and we're usually allowed to under the discretion of the beach inspectors," he said. "To introduce a black-and-white law that bans us completely is unfair."

Council director of development and sustainability Ian Birch said board club members were fairly responsible but not all surfers were members. The plans are open for comment until Tuesday.

The West Australian

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