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Ocean City Reconsiders Ban On Beater Boards

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A man rides a beater board in Ocean City, Md.
Bryan Russo
A man rides a beater board in Ocean City, Md.

Ocean City officials were bombarded with angry phone calls this week from hundreds of people who had taken exception to a recent ban on a popular mid-size board known in the industry as beater boards.

They are a bit larger than normal body boards, yet smaller than traditional surfboards. Town officials say they had received a number of complaints about local kids standing up on the boards and riding them quite aggressively in areas where young children and families were swimming. But because of this backlash, Ocean City Manager David Recor has temporarily lifted the ban on the beater boards and the city council will meet on Monday to decide their next move.

Surfing is only allowed in Ocean City at specified surf beaches, which change daily. So the town chose to enact an obscure law that dates back to 1972 that bans any body board exceeding 42 inches in length.

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