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November 21, 2006



Quick IQ type test for your "shot all spongers" friend.

1. If you were the warden on your beach and you learned that bodyboards were disproportionally involved in more surf accidents than any other surf thing, would you:
(a) ban bodyboards and confiscate the bodyboard of anyone caught in the water with one
(b) arrest the people responsible for those accidents?

2. Which course of action in Question 1 do you think would:
(a) inconvenience the fewest number of people?
(b) be the more efficient use of taxpayer money?
(c) be more effective in preventing future accidents involving Bodyboards?

3. If your answer to Question 1 was (a) -- ban bodyboards -- and you then learned that, by a statistical quirk, drivers of confiscated Toyotas were now perpetrating further accidents by using, say, skimboards, would you then ban skimboards? If not, why not?

4. If your answer to Question 3 was, "Ban skimboards, too, dammit, something HAS to be done," then would you propose a ban on ALL surfing equipment, reasoning that all these things are inloved in dangerous sports (lets not forget all these sports are commonly seen as quite "extream" and "dangerous", and there are quite a few people who will use this to call for a ban on all boardsports)? If not, why not? If so, how would you deal with other "landboards"
5. Are you beginning to understand that:
(a) because xyzboard is loosely defined, "board" cannot be defined in a meaningful way, (ie if you ban bodyboards, what to stop someone from simple saying its a miniture surfboard. and what about the people who stand-surf on bodyboards {in many places were people are not so well of its quite common} will they be considered bodyboarders or surfers, same thing with people who bellysurf with surfboards"?
(b) that miscreants get bodyboards, boggie boards, drop kneeboards, skimboards, spongeboards, surfboards, maccyD boards -- that is, whichever board is handy -- as and dont bother to learn the safty rules of surfing
(c) that law enforcement authorities could waste inordinate amounts of time (and, therefore, taxpayer money) policing a xyzboard ban, adding to their jobs a task perhaps even more meaningless than enforcing jaywalking laws?
(d) that the people most likely affected by a xyzboard ban -- that is, those inconvenienced, harrassed and likely to suffer damage -- are the % majority of responsibe xyzboarders?
(e) most important, that xyzboard bans do ESSENTIALLY NOTHING to address the real problem: The inconsiderate twats on the boards?

Key: If your answer to any part of Question 5 is "no," I'm afraid you have flunked. Please go back and reconsider your responses.

Hint: The answer to the question, "What shall we do about the people who dropped in on your firned?" is not: Ban bodyboarders. Real answer: If your on our board and you break a surf rule and you end up hurting or even killing someone, you -- not the board -- should be responsible. Tell your board manufacers to put basic safty rules on all there boards or the pakaging, and beachwarden to put safty rules on notices, and insist that beach wardens enforce those rules and penalize those who break them.

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