Coast KZN

24 Apr 2020

Surfers in need of a break petition to ease lockdown regulations

Juan Venter (North Coast Courier) Picture: A petition aimed at getting lockdown regulations eased to allow surfing has garnered over 1 200 signatures.

Surfing during lockdown should be allowed in KwaZulu-Natal, so says the creator behind a petition which aims to see the ban on surfing lifted. Salt Rock local, founder of North Coast Board Riders and member of iLembe Surf Riders Association, Wayne Duncan said surfing was a social distancing sport.

“Surfers are like waves to ourselves, we don’t share a wave,” he said.

Wayne said a petition was first started in the Western Cape to allow surfing during lockdown and he has started a similar petition with the hope of getting President Cyril Ramaphosa to ease the restrictions.

“We are not saying anyone should defy the orders of the president. If anything, we respect what he has done and applaud him for his leadership. But what we are saying is that we have hundreds of kilometres worth of coastline,” said Wayne, who believes social distancing could be maintained while allowing citizens to exercise.

Wayne said there were multiple health benefits, both physical and mental which needed to be considered as well.

“Surfing is healthy. I have three kids and a wife, we all surf and are used to being outdoors for two to three hours a day.”

According to Wayne, his children desperately need motivation to continue studying and, for them, surfing is a means of motivation.  Since the start of the original petition in the Western Cape, more than 4 700 signatures have been collected. While it is unclear exactly how many signatures could sway the president’s mind to consider lifting the ban, the KwaZulu-Natal petition, which can be found at, has garnered nearly 1 200 signatures since starting last week Friday.

Spokesperson for Surfing South Africa, Robin de Kock however had other views on the matter, saying that starting a petition was selfish.

“Surfing South Africa is a part of government and we will respect whatever government has decided is best,” said Robin.

Robin said that if surfing would be allowed, why shouldn’t mountain-biking or any other similar sport.  He argued that surfers do not miraculously appear on the beach or in the waves but instead, drive to beaches and group in parking areas, something which should be avoided during lockdown. Robin called on all surfers to respect the nationwide lockdown.

Chief director of communication at the Department of Sport and Recreation, Mickey Modisane was unable to comment at the time of going to print.