This isn’t normally a topic I write about but I just got rubbed the wrong way today and I need to get some stuff off my chest.
My California readers know what I’m talking about when I say big surf. I saw a video on Facebook of a body surfer in, I believe it was in San Diego, who needed to be rescued from 25ft waves by four lifeguards. For some reason, I decided to scroll through the comments and a lot of them really bothered me. I get the feeling a lot of the people commenting on this aren’t surfers. They’re just content trolling Facebook and calling people idiots for having the balls to do something. These people were so cruel. Calling the body surfer an idiot, saying the lifeguards shouldn’t have risked their lives for the one, saying that the beaches should be closed, saying surfers should be fined, or swim at your own risk. Some even said straight up said lifeguards shouldn’t even save them in these conditions. Isn’t that their job? It just got to me.
Living in southern California, I know surfers, swimmers, and lifeguards. I have been swimming my whole life. I’ve even recently taken up surfing myself. I am very much a beginner. I know I am no good at it. I also know to stay out of the water in such conditions. However, there are surfers and swimmers who are vastly more experienced who would want to experience these massive waves. I don’t think they should be looked down upon for that. I don’t think their willingness to put themselves in such dangerous situations doesn’t make their lives any less worth being saved if the need for saving arises. It doesn’t make them idiots. Experienced surfers (the ones I know at least) understand the risks they take by surfing in these conditions. They’re not stupid.
What about the lifeguards? They are trained to minimize the risk to themselves while saving lives. They’re not stupid either. Though, I don’t believe they should just refuse to save them because they chose to surf in 25ft waves vs 3ft waves, like some Facebook users suggested.
I’ll end this by saying, I hope all the surfers who choose to go out in these conditions catch their waves and come back to shore safely.