A group of veteran surfers contacted the Hamptons Police Departments on Friday to ask the police for help in “getting these damn kids off of our waves.”
According to the aging soul surfers, they’ve been surfing a particular break since the 1970s, and—while there’s absolutely no legal grounds for making such a claim—they told police that this gives them squatters’ rights to the spot. In the last few months, they complained to officers that a local surfing instructor has been bringing large numbers of young, beginner surfers to the break and encouraging them to trespass all over the area they consider to be their nautical domain.
The veteran surfers told police that they’ve attempted to scare off the young surfers themselves by claiming that the waters are infested with sharks—they even showed the youngsters a surfboard with a bite taken out of it—but to no avail.
“These little kooks are dropping in on our waves—it’s brutal,” one of the older local surfers said. “They’re all over the place.”
While the Hamptons Police expressed sympathy for the situation of the experienced surfers, they were forced to point out that, in fact, nobody owns the ocean and the young surfers had as much right to be there as the experienced surfers did.
Meanwhile, police said the question of whether or not people can or cannot own the beach is still undecided, at least in certain parts of the Hamptons.