Santa Cruz Becomes The First Californian City To Broadly Un-Ban Surfing

by stab April 17, 2020 2 min read

In a sign that officials in California believe either the state has turned the corner on the coronavirus or that surfing isn’t going to kill anybody, beaches are starting to open up again.

Today Santa Cruz beaches and parks have opened back up, and with them the tear ducts of Ken ‘Skindog’ Collins.

“While outdoor exercise is considered an essential activity, it should be done close to home. Residents are advised to use outdoor City facilities within their neighborhoods. Traveling to a destination for exercise continues to be considered non-essential,” reads a statement from Santa Cruz city officials. 

All parks, beaches, open spaces, multi-use trails, and the Santa Cruz Wharf are now open, but most public beach parking remains closed.

Further south, Ventura and Oxnard beaches are also easing restrictions on beach access. Over the Easter weekend, Oxnard closed its beaches, but they have since opened back up. 

In Orange County, beaches in Huntington and Newport are still open, while Laguna Beach and San Clemente are closed. 

The patchwork of local responses to the coronavirus crisis illustrates the myriad of approaches that officials in the Golden State have adopted. While some beach communities have gone on lockdown, others identify the need to exercise and get out in the open space. There is still no conclusive scientific evidence that surfing is a harmful activity as along as social distancing guidelines are respected. 

This certainly does not mean that people in surf zones where beaches are currently closed, like Los Angeles and San Diego, should hit the road and head north, as Sam George used to say, “where a man can be free.”

It’s simple: stay close to home and stay on your own peak. If you have to leave your zip code, you’re blowing it for everyone. And when you’re done ripping, go back home. No bullshitting with the bros.

State stay-at-home orders remain in effect, as well as social distancing orders. According to the L.A. Times, there were 1,320 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in California yesterday with 101 deaths as a result of the disease. 

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