Drug Testing For Surfers Identifies Those In Gnarly Situations

To follow in ranks with many other sports including Olympic testing, The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) has given the go ahead for mandatory drug testing through the year at various events. There has been much debate concerning this issue, and finally a conclusion has been made. This will help surfers identify potential drug or alcohol addiction or abuse and aid them in getting help. This is following a series of pro-surfer deaths, including that of Andy Irons who suffered a drug related death in 2010.

Push For Testing

Active surfer Fred Hemmings who is also a former state legislator has been rallying for drug testing since 1988. He felt that the primary purpose of such testing would be to help surfers identify and address any drug related issues or alcohol abuse. He believed that all responsible sports associations were doing it and that the Association of Surfing Professionals would be doing their surfer a disservice by not joining the ranks of those sports testing for substances.


Some surfers have expressed concern over the testing. They believe that marijuana will be one of the substances tested for. Unfortunately, Surfers do have a certain stereotype for smoking weed.  Other surfers are not as concerned as marijuana is not a performance enhancing drug, and they feel it’s for the overall betterment of their sport and the athletes well being.


Although many surfers express their concern over the drug testing, they also agree with it and feel that it will help surfers in the long run. The testing will help individuals recognize whether or not their marijuana use is purely for recreational purposes or if they truly do have a problem with substance abuse.

Drug testing for professional sports has always been a highly debated topic. Some question why associations even bother as often time’s athletes are only given a slap on the wrist, if we remember the case of Darrel Strawberry. No matter the reason for the testing, surfers will now be better able to recognize potential substance abuse problems and seek the necessary help for them. This is really all the Association for Professional Surfers wants, healthy, happy, surfers.

About Ben P