Coast KZN

22 Jul 2020

Amended surfing regulations leaves surfing community confused over ‘pay to train’

Juan Venter (North Coast Courier) Picture: Salt Rock's pro surfer Shane Sykes during the quarter finals at the inaugural Pro Taghazout Bay competition at Anchor Point, one of the jewels of the coast of southern Morocco earlier this year. Photo: WSL/Masurel.

Surfing South Africa (SSA) has come out guns blazing, saying that it does not care about what recreational surfers get up to. The defensive stance of the country’s surf body follows the release of the new surfing regulations, which led to the mistaken belief that all surfers – recreational and professional – had to register and pay a fee of R300 in order to be allowed to surf again.

The registration fee is included in regulations set out by sports minister Nathi Mthethwa, requiring that SSA register its competitive athletes (those who take part in competitions). Once registered, competitive surfers would be allowed to legally train.

“We are not trying to control if people surf. We do not care what recreational surfers do as we do not represent them,” said SSA spokesperson, Robin de Kock.

He said that only competitive surfers were required to register, however recreational surfers would not be turned away if they wanted to join a surfing club and enter a competition. Membership fees are R300 if paid during 2020 and R500 if paid in 2021. This also extends to World Surf League surfers, officials and coaches who would like to take part in future school, club, district, provincial, national or international competitions and would need to do so for both 2020 and 2021.

“Training may legally start only once athletes, coaches and technical officials have joined SSA as members and paid membership fees,” he said.

De Kock highlighted that while competitions are still not allowed under current lockdown regulations, virtual competitions may be held.