The powers that be in Orihuela, a city and municipality in Spain, are copping some serious heat and waves of criticism after banning surfboards from its coastline. I’ll let you catch your breath quick after spewing coffee all over your office chomma, how ridiculous. Now that you’re done lol’ing lets unpack this quick shall we.
Orihuela, with its 16 km’s of postcard quality white sandy beaches blessed with those warm water vibes, offers plenty of opportunities for those with water sports in mind. Every now and then, this stretch of coastline receives some decent Mediterranean swell pumping out some cracker conditions for surfing.
Yet, in the past 10 odd years, the government of Orihuela has imposed limitations on wave and wind riders by slapping no-surf zones at the local beaches. Is this 1832, you know when people got their hands pulled off by some ironically named dude called Tiny while his eyes glowed like hot embers in the shadows of his black hood? NO. IT’S 20 FRIGGEN 18. ACT LIKE IT ORIHUELA.
Thier argument is that surfing puts beachgoers in jeopardy (isn’t that a game show?) and that surfboards can be deadly, like Tiny. In other words, politicians introduced a black ball flag style policy in the territory. Today, surfers are no longer welcome in these oh so welcoming, picturesque waters. And those who decide to defy the directives of Tiny and Lord Farquaad are severely fined with penalties that can reach 3,000 euros.
“We do not want to be in the same area where people bathe. What moves us is the swell that arrives when it is too dangerous for a swimmer to get into the sea,” explains Luis Tomas, owner of La Zenia Surf Club.
“Surfers need areas with breaking waves and currents, and that’s precisely where swimming is not advisable. Beachgoers understand us, and support our suggestion of special delimited areas for surfing.”
Meanwhile, the surfers of Orihuela Costa have set up an online petition asking the city council for a revision of a “clearly unfair and outdated ordinance.”