Surfer Jorge Tirado has defended his decision to take his nine-month-old baby into the waves, after posting video of the excursion online and sparking an outpouring of criticism.
The 43-year-old surfer hails from Puerto Rico, and recently took his nine-month-old son out on a bodyboard for the first time, as the New York Post reports. Affixing a GoPro to the front of the board, Tirado was able to film his child’s experience in the sea, editing and uploading the footage online. Tirado’s surfing video quickly spread, eliciting sharp criticism from some, who asserted that the ocean is far too dangerous for a nine-month-old.
In a post entitled I Wish You Wouldn’t Take Your Infant Surfing, Gawker questioned the decision, pointing out that while the child appeared to enjoy the activity, that fact hardly mitigated any possible danger.
“You know what else your baby would ‘love’? If you gave him the knife he was grabbing for, and if you let him touch the hot stove. You think your baby’s not smiling when he sticks marbles in his nose? Surfing is not for babies. At worst, the baby dies. At best, the baby does not die.”
Tirado spoke with Inside Edition, according to the Daily Mail, and claimed that his son was never in any danger. When Les Trent voiced the concerns of those critical of Tirado’s actions, the surfer explained that the baby was held to the bodyboard.
“For me, there is no problem. I’m never going to put the baby beyond any reach. The baby is stuck with me and his legs [are] on my stomach.”
— Parentdish_UK (@parentdish_uk) March 17, 2015
Far from considering the activity dangerous, Tirado insisted that it was an enlightening experience for his nine-month-old son.
“My son first try. Thanks to everyone,” he wrote in the video’s description. “I encourage you to Safely bring your kids to the ocean, after all the ocean is the place where it all began. By far, This is the best sport for you spiritual, mental and physical health [sic].”
Earlier this month, surfer Bethany Hamilton made headlines for continuing to engage in the sport while pregnant. As the Inquisitr previously reported, Hamilton was the victim of a shark attack at age 13, which resulted in the loss of her left arm. Having relearned the careful balance necessary for surfing, Hamilton has now traded down to smaller waves as her pregnancy progresses.
Despite the criticism aimed at Tirado for taking his nine-month-old baby into the ocean, many experienced and professional surfers assert that they were exposed to the sport at a very young age.
[Image: Jorge Tirado via the Daily Mail]