French Govornment Starts Manditory Surf Leash Law

posted by / News / August 16, 2005

Southern Landes “Leash obligatory”Surfing is an excellent sport giving freedom and pleasure to those who ride….what greater pleasure than to be a surfer without a leash in water warmer than 20c. And so this sport, our sport, has, over the past few years, begun to see itself now being reduced to a sorry state of affairs.

The latest news from the Landes prefecture states that it is now obligatory for surfers to wear a leash (written LICH in the statement). It was therefore on the 25th May 2005, that the order of the prefect made it compulsory for every surfer, in whatever conditions, to surf with a leash. This is the first time in the world that an law like this has been passed. In France we always like to be the first in the world to do things, but on the other side of the coin, we have the government pen pushers, the scourge of France, telling us what to do, (instead of getting rid of the immigrants from France, they would be better off getting rid of the pen pushers.)

Seignosse, Capbreton and Hossegor – to name but a few of those most affected by the law, benefited enormously from the arrival of surfing and its industry in the early 80s. It’s in these places where this repression of surfers without a leash, has become avant-garde. We live in a world and a society (supposedly civilised) where individual freedom has, for the past 20 to 30 years taken a knock due to over-governing. It will soon be impossible to do anything. What do they want? For surfers to be forced to wear a life jacket, a helmet, wetsuits and boots, in all seasons, to carry flares, a life boat and a condom in case a mermaid passes by? Let’s hope it never comes to this, although as far as the mermaid is concerned….that would be another story. If the prefecture or the deputy buys lots of shares in the helmet or a wetsuit industry you never know what might happen….

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  • Jonjon Taka

    This law mostly applies to overcrowded beaches during peak summer time when french police is on active duty on every major beach. If you don’t like it, don’t surf in front of the cops on a overcrowded beach. If you love surfing with a crowd without a leash, then be prepared for the consequences… Would you rather be fined 11 euros for surfing without a leash, or would you rather go through the anguish of injuring a kid with your lost board? Even if you’re good enough not to wear a leash and believe you should be the exception to the rule, you’d be setting an example for less skilled surfers to do the same, which would result in chaos.
    Sometimes you have to look beyond your own self-interest and think for the common good, something notoriously hard to do for french people, thus the necessity for a country riddled with all these “annoying” laws…