Back To Top
Beach Grit

mobile banner
banner

Just In: Puerto Rico To Ban Surfing!

Michael Ciaramella

by Michael Ciaramella

Uniformed cops may soon evict surfers during PR's dazzling hurricane swells!

You may have heard about Puerto Rico’s fight for, and loss of, the once natural reserve known as Playuela. This swath of land was a haven of ferna, fauna, and a several fun waves. According to local sources, development of this land has already commenced in order to build the Christopher Columbus Landing Resort.

This tourist center will take up 121 acres of the virgin soil, and the hotel plans to erect break-walls to create a sustained beach for its visitors. This practice has infamously ruined many surf breaks across the world, and locals fear it will do the same for Playuela.

But as of today, that’s the least of their worries.

Carlos Mendez, a Puerto Rican politician, has recently presented a law that would stop surfers from entering the water in cases of dangerous weather or waves, as dictated by the National Meteorological Service. The legislative measure would empower uniformed agents to evict surfers from the beaches when they think the weather conditions warrant it.

“When there’s a declaration of emergency due to atmospheric conditions, a lot of people jump into the ocean, putting at risk all the rescue teams, which are precisely for rescue purposes,” said Mendez. “There are people who are skilled at surfing, but they do not realize that they often endanger the people who have to watch over their security.”

Carlos Mendez, a Puerto Rican politician, has recently presented a law that would stop surfers from entering the water in cases of dangerous weather or waves, as dictated by the National Meteorological Service. The legislative measure would empower uniformed agents to evict surfers from the beaches when they think the weather conditions warrant it.

Local surfers were appalled by this proposed measure, citing the lawmakers’ ignorance of the ocean and those who frequent it.

“I understand that this is reasonable for tourists who are bathing on the beach, but for professionals like us, the most important moments of our career depend on these natural phenomena,” said surfer Gaby Escudero. “We always take care of each other in the water. The surfers who are chasing waves those big days are people who know what they are doing. They are not bathers who drown because they suddenly did not touch the bottom or because a current came. We do take risks, but they are calculated.”

Another Puerto Rican professional, Alejandro Moreda, shared Escudero’s sentiment.

“Apparently people who are running and making decisions in Puerto Rico are crazy. They are not taking into consideration that twenty-five percent of tourism in Puerto Rico is made by surfers. If they come now to arrest these people, all it will do is subtract tourism from Puerto Rico,” Moreda explained. “I will not miss the opportunity of getting incredible waves during those storms. We surfers live for that intensity and to catch those waves that our Island produces. And storms and hurricanes produce the best waves.”

Mendez insists that government resources take precedent over surfer’s rights and the Puerto Rican tourism industry. “If there is a statement from the National Meteorological System that a major meteorological system is approaching the country, we must reason with people that by going surfing or looking for waves, they are putting government resources at risk.”

In case you’re wondering what hurricane swells AKA major meteorological systems look like in PR, watch this.