Monday, 4 April 2016

Sandboarding vs. the Law

In the year 1457, King James II of Scotland banned football and golf; even after his death in 1471 and 1491, the ban had to be repeated since many men preferred to spend their time doing these 2 particular sports; but 559 years later, can a country still legally force you to not do one sport and make you play another?

Well, the answer is yes. There are 4 sports which I had found on this article on Wikipedia which are 'Illegal' sports. The illegal sports are:

  • Cockfighting
  • Dogfighting
  • Street Racing
  • BASE Jumping
Cockfighting and Dogfighting were made illegal due to animal abuse and mistreatment of the Cockerels and Dogs in their respective sports, whereas Street Racing is illegal due to the risks of damage to property, other cars, people, and it's general common sense to ban this one (Sorry, motoring fans.) and BASE Jumping, BASE is an acronym for Building, Antenna, Span, and Earth (a cliff) which a BASE Jumper can jump off, this is banned for safety to the individual as well as the prevention of damage to buildings. A short while ago, Idaho resident Miles Daisher was arrested for doing a BASE jump and many of his friends and also fellow BASE jumpers reacted to the situation stating that it was a "victimless crime", which it is a victimless crime.

I don't want to be on the wrong side of the law here and I want to be neutral here but sportsmen and sportswomen don't have any criminal intent or have any willing to break the law in their own sport; think of it like this, if Sandboarding was made illegal by the United States Congress, UK Parliament, Australia's Senate, or any government around the world, it would be an arrestable offence and you will see murderers, thieves, tax dodgers, and Sandboarders in the same room, it's shocking but it's unfortunately a truth we shouldn't just turn our heads at. If you want to see some people be confronted by police for Sandboarding (ultimately rolling) down a sand dune, check out this video by 'Dare Sundays' which is above this paragraph.

So whereas Sandboarding could be seen as a victimless crime, it also poses a safety risk for others casually walking on a sand dune not wanting to get hit, animals, littering, and also risk for the person sandboarding. In my opinion, if Sandboarding were to become a crime, it would be hard to enforce given that in some countries, say Namibia, Chile, Egypt, or Saudi Arabia for example. Sandboarding would be hard to trace given that sand dunes constantly change shape and can be changed by the wind so it would be hard to tell a Sandboard has recently been on the dune. Also, would police officers really want to spend time on Sandboarders breaking a law when there are arsonists, burglars, thieves, and drug dealers on the streets too, I think not.

However; in my research, Sandboarding is prohibited in 3 dune systems of Death Valley in the United States, the 3 systems that Sandboarding is banned on is the Eureka, Panamint, and Ibex sand dunes. There are some hefty punishments for Sandboarding here so don't do it and before sandboarding anywhere, check your local, state, regional, and/or provincial laws; I don't want to see you get arrested!

Courtesy of: Jon Sullivan License: Public Domain
Don't think you're above the law and invincible just because you've done a few flips on a sand dune slightly away from the Eureka, Panamint, and Ibex sand dune complexes, you still shouldn't do them and since it's a National Park, you can kind of see why it's prohibited, it's to preserve the history and heritage of the park and to keep the landscape undisturbed.

Another way to break the law by Sandboarding is if you cross an international border on a sand dune, say from Saudi Arabia to Yemen or Oman in the empty quarter or from Mexico to the United States in Samalayuca and vice versa, if anyone has crossed an international border by Sandboarding, I will happily mention them on here (plus a free shirt). I would even be willing to be the first person to Sandboard across an international border, however I might need a corporate sponsor first and before I go, if you do this and get arrested it's your fault.

Before I end this post, I will be posting a poll on Sandboarding Nation's twitter page, if Sandboarding become a crime, would you be put off by Sandboarding, poll will be up for a week and the results will be announced soon!

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