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Kelly Slater surfs Lowers ahead of Pipe Masters

Kelly Slater, during better times. Photo: YouTube


The Inertia

It’s happened. San Onofre and Trestles, stretches of beach traditionally accessed via hike or bike (excluding Old Man’s) are now closed beginning last night at 7 p.m., according to the California State Parks, which reportedly wanted to line up with San Diego County since much of the area falls in that jurisdiction. San Diego County closed its beaches two weeks ago.

CSP put out a release yesterday, explaining the closure:

As the State of California continues to protect all Californians from the COVID-19 pandemic disease, State Parks today announced the temporary full closure of San Onofre State Beach effective sunset today, April 7, 2020. One of California’s most popular beaches and home to “Trestles Beach,” a world class surfing site, visitation to San Onofre State Beach has seen a recent visitation surge due to the closure of other beaches and parks along California’s coast.

In fact, the beach located in San Diego County even had visitors coming from as far as Ventura County. This kind of destination travel is highly discouraged during the COVID-19 pandemic. During these difficult times, protecting individuals, families, communities and those who take care of parks from the exposure to COVID-19 is critical and lifesaving. Now is not the time for road trips to a destination parks or beaches.

Previously, State Parks closed vehicular access at this popular beach to decrease visitation surges but that did not deter many surfers from walking or biking several miles to access the various surf breaks found at San Onofre. Surfers looking for that perfect wave ended up congregating too closely for safe, physical distancing.

It wasn’t initially clear how CSP plans to enforce the closure. You can read the full statement here.

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