How long has it been since your last surf? I’m pushing 49 days. That’s long enough to recover from a serious injury and totally lose whatever paddling fitness you once had. Needless to say, we’re all getting a bit desperate. But maybe, just maybe, there’s a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel…
Here at the Zag we’ve been very circumspect about supporting the Surf Protest, feeling that the effort was ill-considered and destructive. Currently only three sports are allowed under Level 4 Lockdown: walking, running and cycling. What makes surfers any more entitled than golfers, rugby players and your local five-a-side football club? Disgruntled, affluent, middle-aged Boomers riling up the law enforcement by being belligerent or passive aggressive on the Muizenberg boardwalk, will not get us into the water sooner. What it does is shine a spotlight on the myopia and overblown sense of entitlement that many surfers exhibit. Especially when so many people in South Africa are locked in an actual battle for survival.
So let’s not do ourselves, and our beloved pastime, the disservice of losing perspective and mistaking a few weeks of “inconvenience” for “oppression”.
That said, Surfing South Africa, the body that represents the sport of surfing in the Republic has been quietly engaging with a variety of stakeholders (Zigzag and Wavescape included) and has produced a very well-reasoned and wide reaching appeal for surfing, and other ocean sports, to be permitted as exercise under the Lockdown. This has now been submitted to the main decision making body, the Covid-19 National Control Council as well as SASCOC and the Sports Ministry. You can download it below, and forward to your mayor, ward councillor or local government representatives and ask them to push it to the Covid-19 National Control Council, through their channels. Ultimately, this is the best chance we’ve got to get back into the water, legally.
Then join us in holding thumbs for a shred under Lockdown Level 3.
** Featured Image – Neil Hellerle **