Wed, 18 March 2020

The impact of Covid-19 on sport has been huge. Tournaments and leagues around the world have shut down, but can we still go surfing, asks Spike or has our curve been flattened?


SOCIAL CLUSTER-$%#@: You can't have situations like this right now. Photo WSL / Cestari

tyler-nix-6mze64HRU2Q-unsplashFollowing President Cyril Ramaphosa’s national address on Sunday night, the City Surf Series was canned, as was the ULT.X action sports event. The Series was scheduled to start on 11 April but organisers Accelerate Sport, World Surf League (WSL) and Surfing South Africa (SSA) have reached an agreement to suspend the tournament until it is safe to do so.

The South African Sports Confederation & Olympic Committee (SASCOC) recommended that all sports competitions or tournaments be cancelled or postponed until further notice and gatherings of 100 people or more are prohibited. SASCOC advised athletes to limit all non-essential travel, including travel for competitions or personal travel, until further notice. Surfing South Africa sanctioned events have been postponed with immediate effect.


STAY INSIDE! Thanks to Aaron Gach of the Centre for Tactical Magic for original sketch (below)

brett-sanderson-drawingBut is it safe to surf as long as you're contributing to the global bid to "flatten the curve"? Incidentally, the image (right) has gone viral in the social media sense (curious how the words virus and viral have come full circle). It was drawn by surfer Brett Sanderson the night before last. He sent it to a friend in Australia, who posted it on a surfing forum. Boom.

Anyway, getting out in nature is an important way to keep fit and stay healthy. Vitamin Sea is crucial. The ocean is the great cleanser, and going surfing can only be a good thing, but do it solo with limited contact to people and places enroute. There is no evidence that the virus can survive getting pounded in a thumping shore break.

A ban on surfing was not mentioned by Cyril for South Africa, but many European countries have banned ocean leisure activities and beaches have been closed, although more to prevent the human contact. The Portuguese Associação Nacional de Surfistas said on their Facebook Page that surf was forbidden for groups of five people or more at beaches around Lisbon, Cascais and Peniche, as well as Porto and Gaia.

How on earth you police that is up for debate. First come first serve? Lottery tickets? Heaviest locals choose first? Everyone has a different opinion, but common sense, with a fair dose of science is required. And the gut feeling is ... go surfing!


HAZMAT SURFING: No need to go surfing dressed like this. Thanks to Michael Dyrland for image

A cranking six foot day at the Dune in a ripping SE is probably safe. Just the sticky 3km walk in sand-blasted heat is enough, let alone the relentless saltwater rinse, and the sinus flushing enema of getting your head pounded ceaselessly by cracking sets. Sadly, we have a dearth in swell at the moment.

If you're in doubt about the virus because of all the crap you're reading on social media, go to the World Health Organisation website and check out the situational dashboard here or the WHO portal for all things Covid here.

The extent of the lunacy that is clouding the issue is hilarious. I personally like the post by satirical writer Tom Eaton, who said on Facebook: "If you're posting stuff on Facebook about how Covid-19 is 'You have tested positive for weapons-grade stupidity'part of a conspiracy involving Bill Gates, 5G, sex trafficking rings and so on, please understand that you are not sharing anything that vaguely resembles information or even an opinion. All you're doing is broadcasting the fact that you have tested positive for weapons-grade stupidity, and are actively harming this country's efforts to minimize the damage that is to come. There'll be time for conspiracy theories later. Now, just go and wash your hands and stay away from people."

In Europe, the lockdown is real, not fake news, or part of a conspiracy, or the media's fault. “Tough times over here, everyone locked themselves at home, and no one is really leaving their houses,” Portuguese big-wave surfer Nic Von Rupp told Surfer Magazine. “Beaches are closed, and they say for activities as well. I haven’t seen the ocean so I don’t know if it’s true or not. But I’m respecting the procedure.”


QUARANTINED: Six unused surfboards lie lonely upon a distant beach. Photo: Unsplash.com

When big sports events result in road closures - think Two Oceans Marathon or Cape Town Cycle Tour - surf spots are sealed off, but not to surfers who live nearby, or to those who are prepared to hike, like the guy I saw carrying a board on Kommetjie road as I cycled past during the Cycle Tour. He still had about three kilometres to go, but was in for some epic surf. The waves were pumping Sunday before last!

Countries in varying stages of lockdown have cancelled flights such as Costa Rica and Indonesia, and millions have been unable to travel. Self isolating in the Mentawais as we head into the southern hemisphere autumn. Now there's a plan.

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Wed Aug 12 19:37:31 +0000 2020

RT @vanssurf: Watch and learn, Son! Joel Tudor’s version of taking Tosh to summer school. 🎥 Jimmicane https://t.co/zBB2DgW8vh
Wed Aug 12 19:37:07 +0000 2020

RT @LewisPugh: "It's only one plastic bottle", said 8 billion people. [📷 Ben Curtis] https://t.co/h6BJf3hZ9G
Wed Aug 12 19:35:44 +0000 2020

Two storms in a winter coat. Spike gets a call from @kellyslater - something about a surf report for Lemoore.… https://t.co/DK3XNAP4t8
Sat Aug 08 08:34:42 +0000 2020

Saw this from the shops yesterday and rushed home just in time 😉 #sunsets #capetown #nightfall https://t.co/lLjED4ZqQe
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