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Surf "Exclusivity"

Surf "Exclusivity"

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Published by Rippé Rifaee

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Published by: Rippé Rifaee on Aug 16, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/22/2012

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Surf "Exclusivity"
First, Tony Hussein Hinde (R.I.P) blocked public access to the waves (PastaPoint) at Kanu Huraa and started an "exclusive" surf camp there. Local surfersweren't too concerned about it; Tony was the one who introduced modernsurfboards to us, he married local, had kids and he lived in our community. Hewas practically a local. He got along well with almost all the local surfers. Plus,there were plenty of other fantastic waves* around for us to surf.We had waves. Before Tony there was no such thing as Surf tourism. We hadwaves and we surfed because it was fun. We shaped our surf riding craftsfrom wood. We did it as a tribe and surfing was our proving ground:When the waves become big we find out who the bravest is, or who the ismost reckless, who is the strongest and who is the most skillful. We find outwho we are. Surfing keeps us in touch with who we are and how we fit in toour community and environment. It keeps us humble and we learn toappreciate and respect the ocean.But mostly, we surf because it is
JOYFUL
!We had plenty of waves to surf. We didn't have to fight to get waves. Thereweren't many surfers in the resorts. There were virtually no surf safari boatsaround. We had kuda Villingili, Thulusdhoo, Lhohifushi, Kani Finolhu, the twowaves at Thamburudhoo, Furana Fushi ...etc. Almost all these places wereempty most of the time. We could spend weeks or even a month at some ofthese spots and we wouldn't see any surfing tourists. We didn't even realizehow valuable the freedom to surf these waves was because we never thoughtthat it'd be taken away from us. The waves were always there and it was freeto surf.Then word got around and surfers around the world started hearing of thegreat waves in Maldives. The numbers of surfers started increasingexponentially. The Dive boat operators started realizing that they could makea lot of money even in the season that was bad for dive trips (the season withWest winds, big swell and rain: when the surf gets good). That kicked off theirsurf safari tours. Then the other resorts with waves started seeing all themoney in surfing, became greedy and followed Tony's strategy by closing theislands' surf breaks to public access.Now, there are no laws that state that the waves can belong to a resort. It's ahazy area regarding "house reefs" and island perimeters and what not. Thereare no laws regarding surf breaks or surfing. However, since Tony hadmanaged to close Pasta Point and no one had challenged him, the otherresorts followed suit and claimed "exclusive rights" to the islands' surf breaks.Then
voila! 
 In less than a decade the number of accessible waves to local surfers, orsurfers other than the ones staying at an “exclusive” surf resort, hasdecreased from seven (7) to four (4). With the numbers of surf safaris and thenumber of surfers coming to resorts increasing everyday surf breaks arebecoming war zones. Tourists who spend thousands of dollars to come here

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