Monday, February 6, 2012

Fines for surfing in the Med - what's next...You can ski, but only when it is hot in the summer?

From the absurd desk comes this news....

The city of Barcelona will fine surfers for being out in the waves. This is because the surfers are considered "bathers" and all bathers must follow the posted instructions and respect the flags. Well, for the average tourist who has no idea about surfing, perhaps they should not go in the water when a red flag is posted. What City Hall (Ajuntament in catalan) does not seem to understand is that surfers need "surfable waves" in order to surf.

It is like giving fines to dancers for dancing at a dance hall because it is not safe for the people who are walking to the bar for a drink. Or fining skiers for being on the ski slopes because it is cold outside... you know less than 60ºF (15.5ºC).

The fines range from 700-1500€ per instance.  This is so pathetic.

What's worse is that we are talking about the Mediterranean!  This is not Hawaii, Mavericks or even Portugal.... this is the home of the "mediometrismo" (1.5 ft. sets).  Although I have to say that living here has been pleasantly surprising with the amount of "surfable" days there are per year, we are still only talking 2 to 4 days a year of true overhead surf.  Even then you will be hard pressed to find many DOH+ sessions near Barcelona.

I understand if they want to fine/charge people who need to be rescued, but in no way does it make sense to fine someone for being in the water exactly at the moment when they need to be in the water.  Going back to the mountain example.  If search and rescue need to go save you because you ignored all the signs and you get lost, OK... let them make you pay for the public services.  But if you are going down the bunny hill, no one should be racing to make you pay the government.

OK, pop quiz... 1 of these surfers could be fined... guess which one:
You guessed it, the poor fella in the lower right better be reaching for his wallet...

May the wave gods help us all.

1 comment:

  1. Hello,

    It is a shame about the increase in fining people in Barcelona for almost anything. The law of fining surfers for going in the water during red flag days is old news now, but I have heard (and seen photos) of surfers being fined on a relatively calm day for surfing 2ft waves. Is there a total ban on surfing in Barcelona now?