Wave of abuse scares paddler from the water
JOSE Coelho's passion is surfing but he is too scared to return to the water after he was verbally abused at Moffat Beach last month.
Mr Coelho, who surfs on a stand-up paddle board, was told to "f*** off" and that there "aren't any waves here for you" by a surfer on a longboard.
The video captured on Mr Coelho's go-pro of the encounter shows him telling the man "you're bullying and abusing me" and the man replying "yeah that's right".
It shows Mr Coelho trying to paddle away, but the other man and his friend follow him.
Mr Coelho, a retiree from Brazil, said he believed he was targeted because he was on a stand-up board and his accent.
Partner Kath McConnell was stand-up paddle boarding in the deeper, calmer water and witnessed the encounter.
She said it was "heartbreaking" that Mr Coelho was too scared to return to the surf.
"It's such a shame because that's his passion," she said.
WARNING: Foul language
Caloundra Police officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant John Mahoney said occasionally police received reports of physical and verbal altercations between surfers.
Mr Coelho's incident was reported to police, but Sen Sgt Mahoney said there was insufficient evidence to take the matter further.
Sen-Sgt Mahoney likened it to road rage, and said it only increased when there were more surfers on the water.
He said it rarely resulted in charges being laid.
Have you ever come across bullying in the surf?
This poll ended on 04 July 2020.
Yes. It's rife at "locals only" beaches.
No, I've never had an issue.
Not on the Sunshine Coast.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
"Obviously there's surfing etiquette and certain people feel aggrieved if that etiquette isn't followed," he said.
"Surfing is a hobby … and I think people shouldn't take it too seriously."
Mr Coelho was worried that as beaches became busier rivals between local and visiting surfers would worsen.
"Now there is tension in the water and no one wants to deal with it," he said.