"I don't like the odds of there being many 'responsible surfers' out there."
And who could have ever guessed, at the very beginning of 2020 when it was revealed that a Chinese man either ate, or fiddled with, a bat and unleashed a heretofore unknown disease into the world that surfers and surfing would end up center stage?
Truth is stranger than fiction, I suppose, but here we are with surfers and surfing dominating the debate over responsible behavior in the time of Coronavirus. New York Times features of Huntington Beach protests. Nightly news broadcasts of “crowded” lineups from Bondi to The Wedge.
Op-eds flying back and forth.
Yesterday, for example, you read here the wonderful story of Transhumanist Zoltan who dared surf in a nearby town. A small act of defiance that should be understood and applauded by surfers everywhere?
I would have thought, but this pandemic has laid bare who we really are. Dirty, rat fink snitches and Zoltan caught hell on social media with many surfers viciously criticizing his decision, some even imagining that Bolinas, California, a stone’s throw from San Francisco, is “secret.”
Well, as things work, the sensible surf media came swinging in to condemn Transhumanist souls yearning to surf free and shall we read a snippet from Stab magazine?
Examples like the above are obviously hypothetical, but I know several individuals who have driven either south or north of Sydney since the beach closures, one of which later had a Covid scare. In theory, local beach openings are fine, and a good way for people to exercise while keeping their distance, but the reality is much trickier; a point which the author of the Times article strangely seems to agree with. “[Q]uarantine rules must apply to everyone or the plan to flatten the curve doesn’t work.” A strange point considering he goes on to argue “responsible surfers” should be granted the rights to paddle out, get tubbed (read: nosedive for most of us), and head home. But with surfers spruiking 5G conspiracy theories online and surf media outlets referring to lockdown proponents as “the Gestapo”, I don’t like the odds of there being many “responsible surfers” out there.
Wait, surf media outlets referring to lockdown proponents as “the Gestapo?” Well that’s li’l ol’ BeachGrit. Maybe our suspicion of draconian laws and newly empowered enforcers, our wondering if sitting out in the ocean ain’t the worst thing ever, our questioning of wholesale trash-canned liberty, our not hopping right up into the seat of judgment in order to define “responsibility” is only born from the fact that we haven’t had “Covid scares.”
Don’t you either have the disease or not?
Is there some middle way I’m missing?
Whichever the case, what percentage of surfers, worldwide, do you think are on Team Tudor vs. Team Skindog?
Months ago, when Ken “Skindog” Collins posted on Instagram that surfers should observe “stay-at-home” rules and Joel Tudor made fun, the battle lines were drawn.
Initially, I thought surfers would break 70 – 30 for Tudor. I understand, now, that it is a solid 85 – 15 for Skinny.
Absolutely wild what self-righteous, spineless little tattle-tales we are.