Surf’s Up, and So’s My Dander
Dude, I thought surfing was, like, a non-motorized sport. Motorized personal watercraft (PWCs) are making waves in the surfer community — and riling environmentalists and some surfing purists. At Maverick’s, a prime surfing spot south of San Francisco, hardcore surfers use PWCs to tow themselves out to giant waves. Critics say the watercraft are noisy, polluting, and a threat to both other surfers and wildlife. (Maverick’s is inside the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, which is home to 18 endangered and threatened species.) Last fall, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration banned motorized watercraft from another Northern California marine sanctuary, and the agency is currently reviewing the impact of tow-in surfing at Maverick’s.