Stab Magazine | Californians Continue To Surf Despite State's Official Lockdown (And, Frankly, Poor Waves)

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Californians Continue To Surf Despite State’s Official Lockdown (And, Frankly, Poor Waves)

Does the mandate’s exercise clause justify their insolence?

news // Mar 21, 2020
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Yesterday, we discussed how California’s newly-instated “lockdown” prohibited the act of surfing unless it was considered “essential” to the constituents’ wellbeing. 

After alluding to this fact (and leaning toward the surfing-is-totally-essential standpoint), I received a strongly-worded email from an established, California-based surfboard manufacturer who thought I was being “irresponsible” for promoting surfing in the face of our global pandemic. 

Fair enough. The fewer people that go out into the world, the less quickly the disease will spread and the more equipped our medical system will be to care for the ill. But as we know, surfers are the most selfish subset of the entire human race, which is probably why we saw half of San Diego County paddling around, mid-morning, in conditions that could only be described as poor-to-pitiful. 

Screen Shot 2020 03 20 at 9.54.20 AM

In these surfers’ defense, the “lockdown” law includes an exercise clause, which allows people to go outside and move their bodies in (almost) any way they see fit so long as they don’t come in close contact with others. For instance at this morning’s Lowers session (see above)…

Anyway, I was talking to a friend who has connections with people who have connections with people, and they told him that it’s likely California’s lockdown will become much more serious in the coming days and that surfing will be properly banned. 

“They tried this same laid-back approach in France, then one day it was super hot and sunny and a thousand people showed up to the beach. After that, they implemented much harsher laws.”

In other words, all it will take is one day of good waves or nice weather and California will be in true lockdown mode.

And imagine the power Surfline has at this crucial point in history—should they decide to keep the forecasts blue, they can keep Californians in the water for the foreseeable future. But an orange report? Oh, that might cancel our favorite pastime for the calendar year.

Decisions, decisions. 

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