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Tue, 24 March 2020

To any surfers thinking they can go surfing during the impending shutdown, think again. Some surfers at Derde Steen just got warned they'd be jailed next time, reports Spike.


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SURFING LOCKDOWN: Urban surfers should avoid surfing during the lockdown. Photo Unsplash


oggCops Warn Derde
Steen Surfers
A friend sent me a Whatsapp voice note via the surfing community saying that police warned a group of surfers who paddled out today at Derde Steen near Cape Town that they would be arrested next time. Cape Town beaches are closed for all activities, and when lockdown kicks in on Thursday at midnight, there is double reason not to venture to surf spots. Police will stop people from surfing, and have warned that you might be put in jail if you get caught.

When the first talk of a lockdown appeared, I thought there was no way the government could stop people from surfing. It is a pursuit surfers would define - perhaps selfishly - as 'essential'. I think many of us have thought, and are still thinking, that surfing is healthy, and the ocean is a great, vital source of Vitamin Sea. How can Big Brother limit us doing something so safe and healthy?

Surfers are by nature anti-establishment and a law unto themselves. You can see a lot of typically macho defiance on social media. But then you begin to think about the repercussions. Most people will have to drive to a surf spot in a car. You have to fill up with petrol. You have to park in a car park, before and after. You will see friends. For starters, is it worth the risk?

Even if you live at a surf spot, and can sneak out into the water, you're still breaking the law. The feeling might be that: "Hey, I am alone. I have not seen a soul. Now I am paddling out alone in the ocean. The virus can't survive here. I am not going to see anyone. You can't tell me I can't surf. It's my right."

Sadly, it isn't, this is not the time to be otherwise. Also, consider that we need to be in solidarity with the community at large. Breaking the law is not the greatest example to set, particularly when so many others are sacrificing so much. I know its second nature for South Africans to break the law. This time, however, we have to suck it up because it's the right thing to do.

ogg

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