Give us surf!
Quarantine hardened children and their parents took to the streets in Lahaina, Maui yesterday afternoon demanding the resumption of surf competitions and terrifying tourists with colorful signs reading “Let us surf!”
News of the protest, which spread like wildfire across the island via Hawaii’s famed coconut wireless, was in direct response to elected officials allowing soccer and other outdoor sports to resume while not lifting the ban on formal, competitive surfing.
Famous big wave surfer and snowboarder Ian Walsh, who sponsors the annual Menehune Mayhem competition, told Honolulu’s Star-Advertiser, “There’s water polo events, there’s soccer events, there’s baseball events, there’s basketball events, and I think with all those events operating, there should not be a ban on amateur events for surfing or other ocean activities, whether it be canoe regattas, Junior Lifeguards or whatever that might be. We just want to give these kids a chance to surf. A lot of them don’t have other sports; surfing is their primary outlet, and they’ve been standing by the wayside for some time. With these other events being able to operate successfully, we’re hopeful that they will allow us to put these events on for the kids.”
Zolten Poulsen, the to U12 surfer in Hawaii, was at the protest and told the local ABC news outlet, “Surfing is really an amazing sport it’s super fun super exciting when we get to compete and with COVID that got taken away.”
His father, Eric, added, “These kids just want to go out there and chase their dreams and it’s tough to chase their dreams when they don’t know how they’re doing unless they’re in front of a judge with a hooter going off.”
April Colpas, whose eighth grade daughter competes, felt incensed that she has to sit on the couch while blow-ins are allowed to do as they please, seeing crowds of them, maskless etc. lining up for boats and parasailing adventures.
“Our jaws just dropped. It was actually the first time it was in our face that you don’t get to compete, but all these people who are visiting, they’re coming here, spending money, and they get to line up for a freakin’ boat ride when my daughter can’t even do a four-man heat? It doesn’t make any sense.”
Jodi Leong, spokesperson to Hawaii’s governor David Ige, feeling the intense pressure issued a statement reading, “Gov. Ige is currently working through the details and is expected to make an announcement soon.”
Seriously, though, how are youth surf competitions still not happening in Hawaii?
Is it the World Surf League CEO Erik Logan’s fault for making a mockery of the state’s Covid-19 protocols way back in December?
It totally is, isn’t it.