Our first blog post about surfing happens to be during a time when surfing is currently banned under the level 4 COVID19 lockdown. A little ironic I know, a lot more than even, say needing a knife and all you have is ten thousand spoons but let’s just focus on this unique situation.
Surfing, especially in this country is a subculture or even a counterculture, thumbing its collective nose to the mainstream. It is no wonder then that even after it was made clear by the New Zealand government that surfing was not an activity that should be undertaken during level 4 lockdown that there were and are still some surfers in the line-up flouting the law.
The reason given for the ban is if a surfer happens to find themselves in trouble it would bring others (namely essential workers) out of their bubbles in order to come to that surfer’s aid. That is understandable, however for about 8 months of the year there are no lifeguards on duty, so “managing yourself” has always been one of the risks accepted by those who surf all year around.
They are lifelong surfers who have never looked to others for help should things get challenging and the safety net of surf lifesaving does not exist at this time of year. So then, what is the difference between someone going surfing compared to someone going for a run? Especially when elsewhere in the country someone, say who has climbed some of the world’s highest peaks, is going for 30km plus runs through the countryside? Is that staying in their bubble? Keeping local? I am sure they feel it is. That is where the law doesn’t make allowances for those of exceptional ability/experience and it instead is a “one size fits all”.
The real shame is that there are obvious debutants to surfing still thinking it is ok to try this new sport despite specific statements by our Prime Minister outlining that now is not the time to take up a new activity. We do not condone either the experienced or the debutant’s actions during this time, however we do understand it. For someone that is a lifelong surfer and with the passing of years realises that there is only a finite number of days left to enjoy surfing, the sense of urgency does not diminish but only gets stronger each day. So, will we surf during the level 4 lockdown? Sadly No.
Stay safe everyone.