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Aug 11, 2016 1:58 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Supporters Of Montauk Surf School Challenge Complaints About Classes At Ditch Plains

David Lys speaks at a Town Board meeting to address surf schools at Ditch Plains Beach. KYRIL BROMLEY
Aug 16, 2016 11:18 AM

The operators of a popular Montauk-based surfing school and many of their supporters and students stood up to defend the school last week in the face of criticism from several veteran surfers of Ditch Plains Beach. The instruction program, CoreysWave, has a permit from the town to operate out of the easternmost parking lot at Ditch Plains Beach giving surf lessons for up to 25 people, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. in summertime.

Last Tuesday, August 9, about two dozen surfers, many of them veterans of the days when the waves in Montauk were lightly populated, complained to Town Board members that adding a large group of surf school pupils to the increasingly crowded lineup has created a dangerous situation and clashes between instructors and recreational surfers.

On Wednesday, August 10, at a special meeting of the Town Board called to review the CoreysWave mass gathering permit, a chorus of the surf school’s supporters cried foul.

“I’ve been surfing next to these guys for years and I’ve never seen any of them have an altercation or be anything but polite, James Katsipis told the Town Board, referring to the operators of CoreysWave.

“Saying that they are aggressive, rude and not safe is totally untrue,” added Mike Grande, whose children are students of CoreysWave. “If you want to do away with surf lessons, you’ve got to do away with everyone. But singling out Corey and Kristin is totally unfair.”

CoreysWave owners Corey and Kristen Senese said that the company has been in compliance with their permit at all times. Ms. Senese said the school has gone out of its way to make the imprint it leaves on the beach and on the water minimal.

“I believe we are working to keep the lineup safe,” added her husband, Corey Senese, the company’s founder. “We have a few more weeks left. We can adapt and make everyone happy.”

However, some who said they are long-time surfers at Ditch Plains Beach, were not assuaged.

“It’s nothing personal with CoreysWave,” said Chuck Weimer, whose son, Charlie, operates one of several other small, un-licensed, surf instruction programs at Ditch. “If you issued this permit at Kirk Park or the state park or anywhere else, there wouldn’t be much of an issue.”

More supporters of the CoreysWave program said that Montauk’s growth in popularity are to blame for frayed nerves, not surf school pupils.

“Montauk in general has grown exponentially in the last few years and you cannot turn back the clock,” said Michael Angelo, Ms. Senese’s father, who said he’s lived and surfed at Ditch Plains since 1968. “You want to blame someone, blame the New York Times, blame GQ magazine, blame The New Yorker magazine. The New York Times, every summer there’s one article on Montauk, which devolves to surfing which devolves to Ditch Plains.”

“There are a lot of people here that give surf instruction,” said Jay Levine. “There are hundreds of people in the water. The surf schools are a [tiny fraction] of it. If you eliminate all the surf instructors and surf students, there will still be hundreds of people in the water.”

Montauk BoardRiders, the company owned by Mr. Weimer’s son, and several other veteran surfers give instructions without any licenses or permits from the town, which town officials say is permissible without the mass gathering permits CoreysWave, Air & Speed Surf School and MBX Surf School hold for different lots at Ditch Plains and beaches to the west.

Some of the surf school’s young students said that without the lessons they got from CoreysWave instructors, they were much more dangerous on the water than they are now.

“I’m one of the worst surfers in my family,” said 10-year old Kenneth Forbes. “My mom found CoreysWave on the internet and they booked my first lesson and I just had so much fun because I wasn’t hitting anybody, I wasn’t running into rocks and I learned how to catch my own waves.”

The Town Board did not revoke the permit issued to CoreysWave, as it had threatened to do, but said it would monitor the conditions at Ditch Plains Beach and reserve further action for a future meeting.

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This sounds more like daddy being angry that his little sons unlicesned surf camp at Ditch has competition from a registered and licensed group. That's pathetic! Does daddy's son have insurance? A business license? Does he pay taxes? I'll guess not......
By G (342), Southampton on Aug 12, 16 9:04 AM