12 May, 2020 12 May, 2020

Surfing Under Lockdown

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 **



  1. Tintin
    12 May, 2020 at 2:47 pm · Reply

    👏 Bravo ⚡️

  2. Anton
    12 May, 2020 at 4:25 pm · Reply

    Our national representative body still using @gmail.com for their web address?

  3. Trevor Gray (required)
    12 May, 2020 at 8:04 pm · Reply

    Disgruntled passive aggressive entitled baby boomers need not sign obviously? I seem to remember a time when the very same beaches were off limits to many?
    Does Surfing S.A endorse the above sentiments? Don’t recall signing up as a member.Asking for a passive aggressive entitled baby boomer.

  4. Andy Spliffalot
    13 May, 2020 at 2:13 pm · Reply

    Baby boomers ????
    Or more commonly known as doosh bags.
    Let us not be so kind.

    For all the Jbay sessions missed out my window.

    #$^@$^% ! u Muizenbergers.

  5. Caitlin
    13 May, 2020 at 8:25 pm · Reply

    It is oppression. Just because surfing is freeing and beautiful and “holds no real sense of value”, does not mean that being prohibited from doing it, doesn’t constitute as oppression. Personally I am getting worn down by people’s insentient need to correlate a want to surf, with an apparent ineptitude to grasp the seriousness of the situation of the poor (who are, through oppression, only becoming ragingly more poor). Stop it. It’s all the same thing. Take a stand against becoming a police state, in whichever peaceful and meaningful way you can. We need it.

  6. Pieter
    15 May, 2020 at 11:27 am · Reply

    Agree with you Caitlin! Why now all of a sudden is a comparison being drawn between the surfers (considered as the privileged by some) and the starving poor? The inequality in our country is nothing new – not much has changed from the pre-corona days. Corona has just reminded all of us again and forcing us to deal with it. Based on this privileged / poor attitude, none of us should surf again, buy luxuries, go on holidays, etc. without feeling immense guilt.

    • Greg Hart
      15 May, 2020 at 3:24 pm · Reply

      Feel guilty all you want Pieter, stay at home and cower in shame, all the more space in the line up for us!
      C’mon, don’t be a complete cuck bru. Get real. You aren’t responsible for the inequalities of society and neither am I. This infringement on our freedom of movement is a criminal act, and is completely unnecessary to fight, nor helpful in curbing, this disease – period!

  7. Greg Hart
    15 May, 2020 at 3:18 pm · Reply

    “mistaking a few weeks of “inconvenience” for “oppression”.” – no mistake whatsoever! We ARE being oppressed. Last I checked this has dragged on a BIT longer than a ‘few’ weeks! The entire lock-down is completely unnecessary, a gross violation of our basic human rights, unconstitutional and frankly criminal. Quarantine is isolating sick people, incarcerating and entire population is a crime against humanity!

    Protest on in whatever way you see fit. The regulations and restrictions on our lives are hopelessly illogical and arbitrary and should be opposed at every level available to us.

  8. Pieter
    18 May, 2020 at 2:36 pm · Reply

    Greg, I agree with you! 100%. I don’t think my comment was very clear. I do not feel guilty at all! It was a sarcastic remark at those that want us to feel guilt.
    There are some out there that somehow connect our desire to surf, and us wanting to fight for, with being privileged and not giving a f@%& for the poor. (now all of a sudden, it never bothered them previously) I do not understand how surfing and poverty are even in the same dialogue. That is all. End the lockdown! Let us surf!
    So, yeah, I’m front in the line to take back our freedom. See you out there on the 1st of June!

    18 May, 2020 at 2:36 pm · Reply

    Great article by SSA – eventually….I say to hell with the dooshbags who state that surfers must just wait until we are allowed to surf. Fuck that – the fact that many others are suffering does not mean that we surfers must shut up and obey the rules because we may make it worse for ourselves – that is bullshit. Muizenberg paddlers/ surfers/ protesters did a great deal of good for shining the spotlight on the ridiculousness of the situation and should be seen as heros – not getting flak from everyone! If you wish to surf and pay the price – good for you. If rules are not relaxed about surfing by month end, many surfers will have had enough and will surf regardless….

  10. Jako
    22 May, 2020 at 10:03 am · Reply

    Lucky us…we surf every day in Elands!

  11. Berg Local
    1 June, 2020 at 5:36 pm · Reply

    What an utterly WEAK article.

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