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Jul 23, 2019 3:59 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Village Mayor Looks To Bring Surf School Back In Time For August

Southampton Village Mayor Jesse Warren is looking to get a surf school in place in the village by August 1. GREG WEHNER
Jul 23, 2019 3:59 PM

Southampton Village Mayor Jesse Warren, who has been on the job for less than a month, is planning to bring surf schools back to the village by August 1, after the previous mayor and Village Board placed them on hold due to questionable practices.

Since the village is a beach community, Mr. Warren said, he would like, once again, to have a surf school operating there—but it would have to be under controlled conditions.

“The key points here are a transparent surf program that is clean and well organized, that is monitored in complete transparency with the village, and a surf program that does not take away any beach parking from our residents,” Mr. Warren said during a Village Board meeting on July 11. “If we can find a partner to work with that can adhere to those key points, then we would be happy to move forward with a surf school, or a surf camp or lessons.

“Ideally, we’d like to get that going before August 1, so that we can kind of salvage the rest of summer,” he added

More than one school will be allowed to obtain a permit from the village under Mr. Warren's plan, and since his announcement earlier this month, two schools have begun the application process.

In 2014, the village began to implement a competitive bidding process allowed a single surf school to obtain a permit to operate within village limits. The same sort of process is in place when the village looks for a company to provide concessions during the summer at Coopers Beach.

Prior to 2014, Flying Point Surf School was the first to get a contract with the village, permitting the organization to host surf lessons at the beach. When bidding was part of the process, the surf school became the first to win a permit for $500.

In just five years, Shane Dyckman, the owner of Flying Point Surf School, went from paying $500 for the village-issued permit to operate on the beach between 9 a.m. and noon, to $2,500 this year for the same period.

Kurt Rist, who offers surf lessons, submitted a bid for $2,000 this year.

Neither company won the permit. Instead, the village board placed the process on hold to allow board members to reevaluate the concession.

The amount of money collected from the bid, compared to how much the surf schools actually charged, raised eyebrows from many board members.

Flying Point’s website stated that a single day of surf camp cost $190, or $950 for an entire week. Included in the cost are surfboards, and for an additional $25, students can rent a wetsuit.

In years past, the permit allowed surf schools to operate Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to noon. The schools were limited to 20 students at a time, and prohibited private lessons before, during or after the time period allowed under the permit.

The schools were also prohibited from posting signs on the beach that advertised the business.

Many beach goers complained to the village, however, that a side business was being conducted on the beaches by the surf school, and ultimately, the board rejected this year’s bids.

Mr. Warren said he wants to propose a partnership with any surf school that is awarded a permit, in which the village gets a percentage of the money that is collected through the camp. During discussions earlier this month, he said 10 percent was the amount being suggested.

If a school does well and gives a number of surf lessons, Mr. Warren said, then the village should do well also.

In order to ensure transparency, Mr. Warren also suggested that a flat rate be charged and that all transactions be conducted through an application on a phone, making it a cashless process.

It is not clear what Mr. Warren is suggesting the additional income go toward.

Miles Brucculeri told Village Board members on July 11 that he has been offering surf lessons “under the radar” inside village limits for more than 20 years. He admitted that he never obtained a permit because he was unaware that one was required.

All of Mr. Brucculeri’s classes are maxed out at 12 students, and he described them more like a club, in which kids join and then ride their bikes down to the beach for the lessons each day.

Paying up to $2,500 for a permit, like Flying Point proposed this year, would make it difficult for Mr. Brucculeri to operate a camp in the village.

“We could never pay something like that,” he told board members. “The only way that we could, would be to take 40 kids per day.”

The program Mr. Brucculeri runs is much smaller than that, he said.

Depending on surf conditions, Mr. Brucculeri said, he sends a text out to all of the campers telling them where to meet, rather than transporting the students in a bus from one location to the beach. The latter option would give his school the image of being a camp, which he said he is not interested in operating.

“Right now, we charge, I think, $650 a week, which is in line, or below, what most other camps are doing,” he said, adding that salaries and insurance rates are high. “We feel like it’s a pretty good system so far. We’ve had zero complaints about us and nobody’s ever said anything to us about it.”

Whatever companies Mr. Warren and the board choose to award the contract to, a critical piece for the mayor will be making sure the lessons are available to everyone in the village who wants to learn how to surf, regardless of income.

So if a middle school student approaches the school and expresses an interest in learning how to surf, but does not have enough money, Mr. Warren said he wants the company to be able to offer some sort of discounted rate.

Mr. Brucculeri said he has done that in the past, though on a case-by-case basis.

“We’re not trying to make a killing here,” he said. “We’re just trying to make ends meet with it, buy our equipment, pay some friends and make a few bucks at it.”

Southampton Village Attorney Wayne Bruyn advised the board members that originally, all commercial activities were prohibited on the beaches, with the exception of the food vending portion of Coopers Beach.

In 2013, the code was amended so that the prohibition did not apply to swimming or surfing lessons being operated under a license from the Village Board.

Mr. Bruyn also said the code does not limit the board to only issuing one permit.

Because there are currently bids on the table, there is a possibility that the village could grant Mr. Rist and Mr. Dyckman permits, or even Mr. Brucculeri, who showed interest at the meeting.

At the same time, Mr. Bruyn advised the board, they are not obligated to accept any of the bids if they do not think they fit the requirements of the board.

Mr. Brucculeri said he did not think he could take the whole demand for a surf camp and that there should be multiple options. But one thing he advised against was putting everyone who wants to run a surf camp at the same beach, because it would result in overcrowding and issues.

Village Trustee Kimberly Allan said she was not in favor of “tons of surf schools,” but favored the idea of transporting students to and from the beach from a central location away from the beach.

While the overall consensus was that a surf camp could be put back in place, village resident and surfer Paul Bolo questioned the risk that comes with operating a camp, along with limited space.

Mr. Warren said on Tuesday that although the village is still hammering out the details as far as how many schools will be issued licenses, two schools have shown interest and begun going through the process.

The two schools, he said, are operated by Mr. Rist and Mr. Brucculeri.

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I believe they have been operating at Gin Lane/Bath corp beach irrespective of having a permit...
By V.Tomanoku (788), southampton on Jul 23, 19 7:46 PM
1 member liked this comment
This is the new America - laws don't matter, everyone can do whatever they want. I'm starting to put together the list of laws I plan on ignoring and if the government bothers me I have a whole set of news articles as precedent for my defense.
By HamptonDad (236), Hampton Bays on Jul 23, 19 11:18 PM
Sounds like a plan..LOL
By V.Tomanoku (788), southampton on Jul 24, 19 1:22 AM
There are many group lessons and private at our beaches every day. These "schools" take up parking spaces that should be for the use of village residents. Check out the trucks parked all day with lots of surf boards in the back. There never has been enforcement of the surf schools and they mayor and trustees have put forth no plan. So the residents have no place to park at our beaches and the surf schools rule the beaches. This is no way to run a village. Lots of talk and a failure to provide ...more
By localcitizen (110), Southampton on Jul 24, 19 7:22 AM
2 members liked this comment
Thank you for your concerns. We have communicated with instructors, and they have agreed to keep keep group lessons (no more than 15 students) from 830am - 1130am and to carpool as well as to have an insurance policy. This is part of a new and specific license agreement issued by the Village. If you would like more details, please email mayorsoffice@southamptonvillage.org. We hope that this will solve the issues from the past, and allow for members of our community to learn how to surf. We appreciate ...more
By JesseforMayor (3), Southampton on Jul 24, 19 8:20 AM
Thank you for clarifying. New blood , New ideas
By Fred s (3199), Southampton on Jul 24, 19 8:25 AM
1 member liked this comment
LOL - i'm sure that they have told you what you wanted to hear - but it's pretty clear that these groups and others will continue running private lessons for individuals and groups w/o caring about any restrictions the village or town attempts to put on them....
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (741), southampton on Jul 24, 19 9:58 AM
1 member liked this comment
That some people will break the rules for surf camps is a terrible reason to not allow surf camps at all.

I'm presuming that's your underlying intent since you didn't actually make any suggestion, you just complained.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8065), HAMPTON BAYS on Jul 24, 19 10:11 AM
ok - to be more clear i am not in favor of further commercialization of our shared natural resources.
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (741), southampton on Jul 24, 19 11:23 AM
2 members liked this comment
So current commercialization is OK? Like with insurance requirements and other forms oversight, provided there's actual enforcement?
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8065), HAMPTON BAYS on Jul 24, 19 11:38 AM
Yes, current meaning the existing areas where food is able to be sold - should not bring more for profit entities into the equation.
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (741), southampton on Jul 25, 19 11:17 AM
Everyone who pays for a permit has the right to park at the beach. Surf school teaches kids to have fun in the ocean and their parents go to the village for a few hours to shop.........it benefits the village to do this and it benefits the kids.
By AL (82), southampton on Jul 24, 19 7:33 AM
1 member liked this comment
If you have a beach sticker for the village, you can park at any village beach requiring a sticker. There has been this same nonsensical argument going on for years. We couldn’t surf before unless it was a designated area, regardless if there was a good bottom or not. As to parking, first come first serve. If you get to the beach late, don’t expect a spot. To single out anyone is plain wrong. As to the surf lessons, go to any beach in the world and surfing lessons are going on.
By Fred s (3199), Southampton on Jul 24, 19 7:34 AM

To use a surfboard in the water adjacent to that portion of the area lying between the westerly line of Halsey Neck Lane extended southward to the ocean and the easterly line of Old Town Road extended southward to the ocean and also for a distance of 200 feet to the east and west of Fowler Lane extended southward to the ocean, between the 15th day of June and the 15th day of September in each year from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., prevailing time.
Anything to the contrary herein notwithstanding, ...more
By Local247 (36), Southampton on Jul 24, 19 8:18 AM
This beach has been used for years, by many senior citizen. It is the one beach that is not too steep to get to . Although the terrain has changed due to the Bathing Corporation building the sand up on their property, it is still not as bad as the other entrances. The parking spots at the Meadow Lane Beach is continually taken up on weekends with pickup tricks piled high with surfboards. I have counted over 50 surfers in the water at one time. This can be dangerous as they are not all together.A ...more
By bayview (158), Southampton on Jul 24, 19 10:51 AM
Surfers smoking weed, not surprising.many people smoke weed, not just surfers.
By Fred s (3199), Southampton on Jul 24, 19 10:57 AM
Burt not on public Beaches go sit in your truck if you need a high that bad. Stupid reply Bunch of losers !! Smoking pot if still illegal in NYS !!! The subject was smoking weed in a public beach !!
By bayview (158), Southampton on Jul 24, 19 11:23 AM
1 member liked this comment
Thanks for the insult. To add, someone calling surfers losers is nothing new. We’ve been called that for ever.
By Fred s (3199), Southampton on Jul 24, 19 11:27 AM
Surf schools are great for our children. Teaches them about the water and an active sport. They are off the beach before anyone is there! Bravo mayor
By Sag harbor resident (5), on Jul 24, 19 8:47 PM
Will there be a proviso allowing the permit to be revoked if they violate the terms of said permit? Will they be allowed back at the picnic area? Will there actually be enforcement this time?
By bigfresh (4595), north sea on Jul 25, 19 6:29 AM
1 member liked this comment

This is a yearly declaration of their existence, a unified acknowledgment that the water around New York is a shared space, open to all.

All. This just surfers out here.
By AL (82), southampton on Jul 25, 19 7:30 AM
Kudos to the Mayor for being sensitive to beach parking availability. I would suggest, to the extent its under his purview, to review the parking privileges that the Bathing corporation enjoys at Agawam lake/gin lane. There is a sidewalk there whereby parking on the south side is "unres tricted" and on the north side is reserved exclusively for the club. Unfortunately, what happens there is that club members often park on the south side thereby reducing the number of unrestricted spots to the ...more
By V.Tomanoku (788), southampton on Jul 25, 19 10:16 AM
I would love to see all the naysayers who love to surf Nosara tell the local crew they can't have a surf school at Guiones... better yet tell Brian Suratt he can't do his surf school at Sunset Beach on the North Shore (Not a ton of parking at Sunst either) ...or The Hawaiian Lifeguards Surf Instructors in Kona they can't teach kids... I'd like that.. Got Aloha... hypocrisy at it's finest.

Last summer a European tourist ventured out on a very rough day at Little Plains, he was all of 6 ...more
By ridethetruthwave (17), southampton on Jul 25, 19 3:41 PM
1 member liked this comment
FYI, the village board is only looking to abide by the laws of the town/village and do what's best for all community members - do not worry about SH village trying to stop surf camps in Costa Rica, Hawaii, or elsewhere - the residents of those communities can sort it out on their own.

surfers may save lives and whales, that does not mean that we need surf camp/day care.
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (741), southampton on Jul 26, 19 9:14 AM
1 member liked this comment
Great post. It’s a big world out there. If the worst you can come up with is someone smoking weed on the beach, your argument is weak. By the way, cats don’t surf. You forgot Luke saving that guy at Halsey neck, surf school guy.
By Fred s (3199), Southampton on Jul 25, 19 4:42 PM
Keep going Jesse!! Great to see that your making improvements to our Village.
By anapple (4), Southampton on Aug 2, 19 10:46 AM