After Concession from the Military, Songjeong Surfing Section to be Extended Longer Than Before

This summer, the surfing section at Songjeong Beach in Busan is set to be extended to its longest length ever.

There were concerns that the 53rd Army Division would reduce the surfing section by half due to the reuse of the summer resort, which was suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the military, along with the local residents and the surfing and tourism industry, decided to make a significant concession.

On the 17th, the Haeundae-gu Tourism Facility Management Office announced that the “surf activity section” at Songjeong Beach would be increased to 250m (excluding the safety zone) this year.

The 53rd Division agreed to give up 60m of the summer resort section adjacent to the surfing area and 70m from each of the seven organizations that operate parasols, resulting in a total increase of 70m. This makes it the longest surfing section ever at Songjeong Beach.

Previously, from 2016 to 2019, surfing was only allowed on an 80m section of the 1.2km sandy beach. It increased slightly to 120m in 2020 and further to 240m in 2021-2022.

The surfing section at Songjeong Beach is applicable during the official opening period of the beach, typically from July to August each year. The Haeundae-gu Tourism Facility Management Office consults with the Haeundae-gu Surfing Association and the Songjeong-dong Resident Autonomy Committee to make decisions regarding the surfing section every year.

The portion of Songjeong Beach near Gudeokpo, about 160m in length, is owned by the Ministry of National Defense and has been used as a summer resort or combat swimming site for the 53rd Division. However, due to COVID-19, it was not utilized for the past two years in 2021-2022.

Last month, the 53rd Division expressed its intention to resume using the military resorts this year, which posed a threat of reducing the surfing section back to its pre-pandemic length of 120m.

In response, Kim Seong-soo, the head of Haeundae-gu, met with the 53rd Division commander and resident representatives to request cooperation in expanding the surfing area.

In order to preserve Songjeong’s reputation as a “surfing mecca,” the county and residents made concessions.

An official from the 53rd Division stated that through consultations involving the public, private, and military sectors, they decided on the use of the combat pool to coexist with the local community.

Haps Staff
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