Surfing During the COVID-19 Pandemic

By Cameron Christian


I’m not sure what’s more common these days, a positive cover test result or a Wavestorm. Masses of people who have started their surfing journeys since the social distance mandates are very noticeable. Somewhere I saw that the number of people surfing in California has almost doubled since the pandemic set in.

It makes sense. The sport is generally socially distanced, it’s good for the mind and body and is my favorite reason to leave the house. It is as great a time as any to get out there and go surf.  If you just started surfing, be respectful, if you are respectful and follow the generally accepted rules and guidelines there should be no problems. Remember, the best surfer out there is the one having the most fun. 

Since so many people have been enjoying surfing in the times of Covid, there have been a few new changes to surfing. The most obvious one is the mask conundrum. Do you wear your mask down to the beach? I have many times, but I also have sometimes not, and have felt guilty. The idea of wearing the mask is to mitigate the spread of the virus while on your way out to the waves. Here in Southern California, we have thin beach accesses, oftentimes stairs or trails that are impossible to socially distance by more than 6 feet on.  Those times I forget the mask, I practice my breath holds on the way down, an effort to protect those around me but I also improve my breath holding skill (practice for big waves).



In my six or seven years of surfing, I have never before seen a shortage of Wavestorms. My sister and a friend recently started surfing since we’ve all had nothing to do at home. They must have seen me going out every day this summer and finally decided to join after summer came to a close. When it came time for them to buy their own boards I figured it would be as easy as it always has, go to Costco and get yourself a good ole ’Storm. My friend kept pestering me with texts asking about where to get a foamie and I finally snapped, in a way that many surfers understand after giving a handful of free lessons. I said something along the lines of, “go to Costco or a damn surf shop”. She told me she had called 3 Costco’s and 10 surf shops, and none of them had the popular boards. I felt terrible. In my defense, I have never seen this in my life.

Apparently, people are selling foam boards second hand like Supreme clothes or Jordan sneakers. I saw someone selling a Wavestorm for $250! Insane! I may be overreacting to this but I thought for as long as I surfed, I would be able to buy a Costco Wavestorm for $100. I feel like an old guy preaching about how he could get a Coke for a nickel ‘back in my day’. My friend ended up getting a Stormie for around $200, without that coveted Costco return policy. On this note, while sniffing around a local shop I noticed 6 Wavestorms still sealed and tucked away in the corner of the shop under the stairs. It was as if the store owner was keeping them off the floor on purpose because she knew she could get more for them online with the epidemic driven demand.


Just as I am unsure of what to do about Covid-19, I am conflicted with my feelings towards a plague of clueless foamboarders suffocating local surfers at every beach in Southern California. I think like with everything else, a little kindness and communication go a long way. I tend to not have any issues a little “yew” won’t fix anyway. I’ve always been a fan of sharing the stoke

By the way, if you identify with any parts of this article let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear some perspective/criticism/questions and concerns! GoSurf!