You, here, are an educated bunch, well-read etc., and so there is no doubt that you are aware of The Hague and its place in our world. The northern Dutch city, home to roughly half a million souls, is the seat of the International Court of Justice where war criminals of smaller nations or gross human rights abusers of equally smaller nations are tried in abstentia, convicted and told to feel very bad about their actions whilst eating caviar in their capitals.
The architecture is beautiful, Bauhaus-adjacent, the weather is bleak, touched with grey, and surf is plentiful, albeit of a lower quality.
Well, for surfers who reside in cities, or neighborhoods, around the world with much better surf, a move to The Hague’s Scheveningen beach must now be considered for in a heavy slam against vals, blow-ins, commuters, a first-of-its-kind “if you don’t live here, don’t surf here” law has been passed.
Beginning immediately, it will cost a whole fifty Euro to park a vehicle on the street, be it for a minute or an hour or six hours.
Jurriaan Esser, a spokesperson for the city council, told The Guardian, “We want the primary way of transportation to be your legs, and then the bicycle, public transport, and, last, cars,” he said. “That doesn’t mean we don’t allow cars in our city: it means that if you have a short distance to travel, your primary way of transportation should be your legs. It benefits not only the environment but also travel times.”
But also also surfers who live a walk away from the shore and can carry their boards under their arms. And imagine if these sorts of rules were passed in, say, San Clemente, California or Coolangatta, Australia or Sebastian Inlet, Florida. Lineup crowds would, no doubt, be slashed.
Peace and prosperity.
A car in every garage and a wave under every surfer who lives a few blocks away’s feet.
Not all are in favor of the move. Fleur Kruyt, the owner of the Van Kleef distillery, told broadcaster Omroep West she was not keen on the scheme. “This will not make business any easier,” she said. “A lot of buildings here are empty, and if you set a minimum of €50 to get to a shop, I just don’t understand it.”
Though what is more important, business or uncrowded waves?
I think we all know the answer.