Feds bum out surfers

Tow-in surfing prohibited at popular central coast sites

Surfers will be riding fewer waves in the waters off California’s central coast now that federal officials have banned or limited the use of personal watercraft in several popular surfing zones.

The new rules go into effect this spring at Moss Landing jetty in Monterey Bay and Ghost Tree in Pebble Beach. They will prevent tow-in surfing, a way for surfers to catch big waves that are too large or powerful to catch by paddling, reported the San Diego Tribune.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration instituted the regulations as part of its plan to manage and protect several regions, including the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The new rules for that site restore an original limitation of personal watercraft.

At another spot in Half Moon Bay called Maverick’s, one of the best big-wave regions in the world, federal officials compromised by allowing surfers to use personal watercraft only on the days that the NOAA issues high-surf advisories.