Surfer Cuffed and Arrested at Malibu, CA | Should Same Apply to Backcountry Skiers Right Now?

SwellBrains | | SurfSurf
surfer, arrested, Malibu
Surfer cuffed and lead away at Malibu, CA. Credit: Brothers Marshall

Whatever you personally think, the people in charge have decided that to slow down and stop the spread of coronavirus it is best that we all stay at home, shelter in place, and practice self-isolation. Unfortunately, that means we must forgo some of the things that make us happy, connect us with nature, and keep us sane. Not just to prevent the spread of the virus, but to not potentially put further burden on an already struggling healthcare system.

Not everybody is abiding by these rules though. There are many reports of skier and snowboarders heading out into the backcountry causing avalanches, getting injured, and unfortunately dying in avalanches. In Costa Rica, videos of cops shooting at surfers also emerged.

Last week Los Angeles closed all of its county beaches. One SUP surfer decided though that he was going to go out anyway, enjoying an empty Malibu. That was until the cops and lifeguards showed up. After a game of cat and mouse, the surfer was caught, handcuffed, arrested, and taken into custody to a round of applause from onlookers on the beach.


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First Ever high speed Police S.U.P. PURSUIT??? MALIBU WE LOVE YOU!!!

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What if similar measures were taken at backcountry ski areas? What if, when you returned to your car after a skin up and ski down, the cops were waiting, cuffed and arrested you, and took you away? Too harsh, or is this what we need to stop people heading out there?

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12 thoughts on “Surfer Cuffed and Arrested at Malibu, CA | Should Same Apply to Backcountry Skiers Right Now?

    1. Right. Because what we need right now is *less* government intervention and more free-market capitalism. (I mean, how else are you going to make a killing during a pandemic.)

      /s, in case you didn’t get it.

  1. Exactly! Some prisoners are being released
    Pretty sure it was said in socal first
    “Fuck the police”
    And furthermore if a private citizen were to operate a watercraft in that manner near an officer they would most likely be charged with reckless endangerment at the very least.
    I understand the beaches were closed.
    But when a kid steals a candy bar do you chop their hand off? Everyday our judicial system hands out punishments that dont fit their crimes. But literally every time a white collar CEO (and most likely a white male) unscrupulously screw over thousands of people they get off scott free. The majority of people in government are incapable of admitting wrongdoing , to the detriment of the public they serve.

  2. Man that looked like the wet version of the East German border, the government is out of control. you are all now slaves.

  3. So we are releasing prisoners but arresting and ticketing people for isolating outdoors?? Smh…

  4. Misty, the article states that Los Angeles had closed all of its beaches last week, so even though bro was social distancing the authorities probably accused him of violating a park/beach closure and detained him on that basis.

  5. There’s a huge difference between tens of thousands of people, potentially, in close proximity on the beach and a few hundred spread across thousands of acres.

  6. So, in short, people couldn’t take responsibility for themselves, and now no one gets to enjoy these public spaces (aside from those lucky and/or rich enough to live right next door).

    There’s no reason we can’t enjoy these spaces safely. A crowded parking lot doesn’t have to imply people ignoring social distancing measures, if everyone’s thinking about their actions and being responsible. But that’s just too much to ask, I guess.

  7. This whole situation sucks for everyone. But, the police could have just ticketed him? How many more potential exposures will happen enforcing misdemeanor violations. I’m not pro or con, I just think our future society will b more prone to asking these questions of our government.

    1. It certainly seems like they were trying to make a point, and that’s never a good look for law enforcement. In the immediate term, this person wasn’t endangering anyone simply by being out there.

      Would it have not been sufficient to have an officer with a bullhorn wait for the guy to come in? Maybe bring in a regular police boat if it takes a really long time, or if the terrain makes it impossible to follow?

      I heard something this morning from a reporter which I think bears repeating. So far, most/all the orders we’ve seen have come with very little in the way of an explanation of the actual data and reasoning backing them. That’s okay, to an extent, when there are so many unknowns, but at some point people need to understand at an intellectual level why they’re being told to stay inside.

      For all we know, this guy’s reasoning was this: “I’ve been inside for two weeks. I live right next to the beach. Yeah, it’s closed, but I’m literally harming no one by going out today, because no one will be nearby, so why not?”. Yeah, that’s rather generous, but if that *is* what happened, indeed, why not? Even if the reason is simply “so other people don’t do what you’re doing but in an unsafe manner”, that’s worth stating explicitly.

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