Europe Ostensibly Bans Surfing, Here’s One Resident’s Take
One last wave until the next one.
I surf every day.
Discounting the 30 or so days a year I spend on trips away from the coast, that is.
I don’t do it with the goal of reaching a certain number so that I can self-congratulate and fuck off. I’m not trying to prove a point and I usually only mention my efforts as a means of harassing friends into surfing appalling waves. The reason why I surf every day is simple.
It makes me happy. I find that, even on the absolute worst days, any amount of time spent surfing is unquestionably worth it. Is it pointless or selfish? I think neither. I am a better person when I come in, in every way. I hope that nobody would underestimate the power of that.
My current stint has lead me to perfectly groomed 15-foot backs, 1-foot shitty double-ups onto rocks and a session in a 60kmh sideshore breeze. That last one was particularly interesting — the sheer force of the wind created wedges up and down the beach.
That current stint is about to come to an abrupt stop.
France, where I reside, just announced a complete 15-day shutdown due to the Coronavirus — a lock yourself in the house, leave only for “essential journeys” type deal. Everybody heard the whispers. We saw it coming.
So, today, I had my last surf for a little while. The sky was gray and the waves weren’t great. There were 10 or so of us out, ranging from about 15 – 50 in age. The level of surfing was as high as I’ve ever seen it there. Everybody surfed well and there was an uptick in the overall vibe. People were hooting each other into waves and so on. We were all addicts enjoying a few moments of clarity in a world that’s becoming increasingly surreal.
Later this week, the sun will be out and the waves will be pumping. None of us will be in the ocean. And that is perfectly fine.
Many people — particularly here in Europe — are already in this position. Spain banned it over the weekend and even Kepa Acero, a man who has surfed in Antarctica, is advocating for people to stay at home.
I’m not here to preach, but I will offer a simple suggestion to anyone who is banned from surfing, quarantined or fighting this virus:
I’m going to use my extra time to stretch more, work out, take a free meteorology course online, get stoned, read books, love my wife, skull wine and write BDPS articles, make fun of my friends on FaceTime and enjoy life from the confines a one-bedroom apartment.
The sooner we get through this, the sooner we return to surfing.
The waves will still be there and that’s more than enough to keep me positive.
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