“An Australian surf travel operator has introduced a “pass” system to restrict the number of surfers at one of the world’s great left-hand breaks, Lohis, in the Maldives,” writes Robert Upe for the Sydney Morning Herald.
“Only 35 passes will be handed out daily to try to control the crowds that have caused ‘chaos’, according to managing director of World Surfaris, Shaun Levings.
The congestion has resulted in heated exchanges at the reef break, opposite Hudhuranfushi Resort that has about 200 rooms and lists surfing among its activities.
‘The surfing population around the world has almost reached epidemic proportions because it is seen as ubercool to surf,’ Levings said.
‘A lot of the new surfers who don’t know the etiquette of the sport are booking themselves into international (surf) locations with reef breaks. But they aren’t experienced enough to surf them and they don’t follow the rules of surfing. Eventually, the experienced mellow surfers lose their cool.’
‘Surfing is meant to be for relaxation but (with the crowds) it becomes an arena where you are competing for waves. The whole vibe changes.’ ”