Surf Federation pushing for a return to the sea

in News · 25-04-2020 08:00:00 · 3 Comments

The Portuguese Surfing Federation (FPS) has ensured that “it will motivate to the maximum” the practitioners to return to the sea with rules, waiting for the Government's understanding when the state of emergency is lifted, in view of the pandemic of covid-19.

On the day that the organization addressed a letter to the Portuguese government, to the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, and to the Assembly of the Republic, together with the National Surfers Association (ANS) and the World Surf League (WSL), to present a set of recommendations to authorize the return to the sea, the president of the FPS, João Aranha, spoke about the current situation of the sport on national soil, in statements to the Lusa agency.

The economic impact that the new coronavirus had on surfing in Portugal and the clarification that the idea is to have access to the sea and not the beach, were two points addressed by the entity's head.

“We want to [go back] when the emergency period is lifted, supposedly on 2 May. We have to give it some time. We think we will have a positive response from the government, not least because the executive himself is already inclined to make a gradual opening of the sea”, he started telling Lusa.

Regarding the letter addressed to the Portuguese Government, to whom he asks for “ears and understanding”, the president of the FPS states that this “appeals to civility and community unity”, revealing that “it will motivate practitioners as much as possible to return to the sea with rules”.

João Aranha justifies his return by pointing out “reasons for health and well-being” and speaks of a “different view” regarding the differences of returning to the sea and the beach.

“The beach for us is a crosswalk and is not where we stop and come together. We have a different view. Our environment is the sea, the waves and we want to return to the sea. We understand that the government had some fear, due to the gatherings on the beaches, as is normal,” he explained.

Even with closed beaches, or with a maximum capacity of people, the idea is that “there is access to the sea for surfers”, who are “getting a little dry, with a lot of desire to return and desperate”, according to the leader.

However, the great concern for the Federation is the “brutal” economic impact, such as the reduction of sponsorships, events and the closure of surf schools.

“What concerns me the most and what is critical is the area of ??surf education and schools. Those are in an extremely complicated situation. There has to be some kind of situation that will help them to return gradually. They should be allowed to return, with rules and classes with fewer students”, he lamented.

Finally, João Aranha was hopeful in carrying out some tests even in 2020 “already very conditioned and reduced”.

Like the person in charge of the federation, the president of the ANS also mentioned to Lusa that he believes in the understanding of the Government so that the modality returns from 3 May.

"We have the notion that there is a good reception on the side of the municipalities and we hope that also on the side of the Government, to restore [the modality at sea] with all naturalness and justice", said Francisco Rodrigues.

Even so, the manager remembers that it is a long process and that the priority is to establish individual surfing.

“Establishing what individual surfing is first, then believing that it will run as normal and, yes, start specifying the measures to resume events. We have to understand when the real conditions for the events happen”, he declared.


I am surfing and before covid arised and the state of emergency, i already used to go alone (or with 1-2 friends, but in the water you are separated anyways). Its rather going to the beaches, put on the wetsuit, going inside, surfing couple of hours, going out, change clothes and leaving. At least this should be possible. And we have to say, that the whole community (here in Portugal) followed the rules and respect the lockdown. We know the risk and would never go surf if not feeling well!

By Mui from Lisbon on 27-04-2020 11:09

I agree with John. It makes no sense at all to have beaches closed and shops open. Liberty is a human right.

By Thomas Wissmann from Lisbon on 25-04-2020 01:58

I cannot understand why activities at the beach have been made impossible anyway. It is perfectly fine for all TV Channels to put people at a distance of 2m (or less) into a studio, but it isn't allowed to be at a beach at a distance of 200m. Madness.

By John Dough from Lisbon on 25-04-2020 08:59
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