Category Archives: History & Environment

Surfrider Needs Your Help: We Have a Global Water Crisis!

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Dirty water at the beach is a bummer, and stormwater runoff causes a majority of the closures and swimming advisories issued at our beaches.  Congress is now considering a bill that will promote green solutions to stormwater runoff.

Join Surfrider in telling your Congressional leaders to support the Green Infrastructure for Clean Water Act.  Just click here.

This is like a petition, the more people sign up the better.  And if you ain’t a Surfrider member, sign up today.  They have been fighting the cause for 20+ years now and surf wouldn’t be what it is today without ’em.

Check out this amazingly informative video on how our water is being polluted.  The call for action is now!  We have a global water crisis.  Watch and you’ll understand.

 

The Cycle of Insanity: The Real Story of Water from Surfrider Foundation on Vimeo.

How to Recycle a Surfboard & Save the Enviroment

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This is a great video, reminding us of an ugly truth: that surfboards aren’t environmentally friendly at all.  So recycle your boards!  or leave behind 4 tons of toxic waste over your lifetime, according to Burt.

To Pee or Not to Pee: That is the Question

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To pee or not to pee: that is the question;
Whether ’tis warmer in the lineup to suffer
The stink and yellow of our own urine,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To shiver: to freeze;
No more; and by with a quick piss we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation…

…Nothing like a little Hamlet ripoff to preface a nice user poll on peeing in your wetsuits.  Smelly booties anyone?

-P.K.
Keep Leucadia Funky

Buy Some Stuff, Support the Gulf Oil Spill Cleanup

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Our friends over at Envirosurfer are doing something super cool…they are donating 5% of all sales this month to the Nature Conservancy’s Fund for Gulf Coast Restoration to help clean up the oil spill in the Gulf.  Now you know, so go to their site and support the cause www.greensurfshop.com .  

Envirosurfer is a new web-based eco friendly surf shop.  Their overreaching theme as told by Jared at Envirosurfer is “driving our surf shop so that surfers no longer need to sacrifice performance when choosing to care for the environment.”  With the largest oil spill in United States history still spilling into our ocean, Envirosurfer is one of many companies lending support to the clean up efforts.
When purchasing surf gear from Envirosurfer, you are pushing for a more
sustainable industry, and contributing direct proceeds to cleaning up the ocean that
we all love so much.  Check ’em out.

Cigarette Butts and the Ocean

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It’s a little known fact that the biggest pollutant to hit the oceans isn’t those plastic bags from your local supermarket, or oil from the Exxon Valdez or brown trout from your local sewer, it’s CIGARETTE BUTTS. If you’re a surfer who smokes, well, you should quit. But if you’re in town, and you see someone toss a cigarette our their car window, give ’em hell. Those butts get washed into the sewage, and out into the ocean. It’s nasty. Ok, rant over.

Twilight’s Edward Cullen fights new LNG facilities and dirty beaches

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Yes, that’s right!  Twilight’s own Edward Cullen has shown up to fight proposed Liquid Natural Gas facilities in Long Island, New York.  Further, he’s taking his celeb creds on the beach to pick up litter and point out just how big the problem really is.  Click here link for the full photo essay (which is a work in progress).

Local New York photographer, sponger extraordinaire and good friend to DailyStoke, Allison “Box” Blanchette has put her creative talents to amazingly entertaining use.  Allison is an extremely active member of Surfrider and a strong crusader against all evil that touches New York shores.  She’s been making big waves lately in fighting the impossible fight against proposed LNG facilities that will eclipse several of New York’s best breaks, should the facilities be built.  She’s now taken her fight to the interweb, where she’s hopeful of generating more buzz and support behind the proposals.  Check out her new blog, leave comments and lend your support to the cause.

Keep fighting the good fight Box.  We loves ya.

Surfing an eco-friendly wave of green.

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The foam board revolution has been hailed one of the grandest changes in the surfboard’s history since the invention of the fin. But after many decades of buying and using these surfboards, many of our eco-conscious brethren have realized that they have been hypocrites. We needed to change the materials used in shaping and glassing our precious boards.  Firstly, the foam itself is being wasted every time a board is snapped at Pipeline, meaning that more energy is being used to create more blanks – much like wasting paper. And the resin used (polyurethane) to glass the boards is highly toxic and the leftover resin is left to fill the landfills, where the seagulls will feast upon it and probably die.  As much as we love mother nature, our current methods are actually destroying her.  Yeah, I know, seagulls are annoying.

The first thing that comes to mind when creating a “green” surfboard is wood – surfboards made entirely out of wood. If you buzz through youtube really quick, Patagonia videos has a cool video series called “Wood is Good” showcasing Tom Wegener’s discovery of the wooden surfboard.  After you ponder a bit, hollow, wooden surfboards are a blatantly obvious choice for making a greener surfboard, as it made only from natural materials.  As more of an incentive for making them, wooden surfboards supposedly last forever and ride much better than any foam board.  Furthermore, besides the classic log (it’s literally a log), the renaissance of wooden surfboards also branches off to the past, as olo and alaia surfboards are recreated and being exposed to the modern surfboard market. The only major drawback to wooden surfboards is that they are very expensive.

For those who still want to ride on foam and has a limited wallet, the advent of many eco-friendly materials are being integrated into the production of the modern surfboard. Green Foam Blanks is just one of the companies that are dedicated to making foam blanks out of green materials such as soy or reused foam. But foam is not the only focus of the green revolution. Bamboo cloth, bamboo resin, linseed oil-based resin and other similar materials are being used to glass the surfboard.  Ned McMahon of HomeBlown US claims that surfboards made with eco-friendly materials are no more expensive than what we are buying right now (assuming you’re buying a foam/polyurethane surfboard). Firewire surfboards and other epoxy-based boards are also more environmentally friendly than the traditional polyurethane board. But aside from the board itself, fins are also being targeted by the revolution as bamboo fins are being introduced into the market.  They are strong, roughly 50 percent lighter and have a flex memory comparable or exceeding that of a standard fin.  Plus, they float (this actually helps…) and bamboo is totally renewable.

But let’s backtrack here for a sec.  Reusing foam is a practice becoming more and more common nowadays for making a green surfboard.  Recycling boards is one of the ways to get the reused foam.  But with recycling boards, comes more opportunities to to become greener.  A company called Resurf is recycling the whole board, where they would grind it to dust, and put it toward making cement mixes and other uses, further reducing the wasteful production of old-fashioned industrial materials.

As the world becomes more and more threatened by our (people) wasteful practices, these little changes can help build up to change our planet for the better.  Please do your part such as public awareness, picking up trash, buying organic, not wasting water or electricity, and using your car as little as possible.  If we all did these little things, our carbon emissions would immensely reduce.  Now if only we could those frickin’ oil companies to switch to that hydrogen stuff they’ve been talking about…

Lets enjoy this planet, and let others after it enjoy it.

Standup Paddle Magazine launches: surfers everywhere puke a little

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Yep. It’s true. As announced over at SurfersVillage.com, the surfing world has put out another magazine for us self respecting surfers not to buy. Standup Paddle Magazine launched it’s virgin issue this month, ushering in a whole new error of anti-cool. While surfers the world over puke and laugh with disgust, we have an as of yet unconfirmed account of Chris Cote slitting his wrists.

Apparently, the first issue will focus on standup paddle surfing, how to stand prone, how to select a paddle, interior design, floral arrangements and rollerblading with the fellas. It will be a photo spectacular for you to ooh and ah at while waiting for your nails to dry at the salon.

Water Magazine, Drift and Longboard Magazine went under, yet this craptastic magazine get’s launched? Who the hell is advertising in this thing? Are they unaware that they have paid good hard advertising dollars to be showcased alongside a few sea sweepers? What’s next? Webbed Glove Surfing Magazine?

See below for photos from the maiden issue. Enjoy!

Southern California: Paradise Lost

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Perhaps this isn’t a myth, especially if you surf in Southern California, but Southern California isn’t what its all cracked up to be. Although the water is generally pleasant and warm, and the weather is always around 72 degrees, the Southern California beach paradise myth ends there.

Now, I want to say from the very beginning that Southern California will always have a special place in my heart since it is the place that I spent so many of my formative delinquent years, but I feel like I just need to tell it like it is. And to tell it like it is, I am going to just quote directly from The Stormrider Guide North America because I couldn’t say it better myself if I tried:

“…It’s a vastly overpopulated concrete jungle pulsing with rampant development, traffic jams, opulent malldoms, and an ever-thickening swarm of surfers…The beaches of Southern California can be a dry sauna stuffed with millions of people, a carnival set appointed with imported desert sand and tired palm trees, sweaty policemen and self-important volleyball squads, uptight and overworked lifeguards, clueless tourist hordes, ageless surgically-reconstructed women, screaming children, skate punks and muscle people, suffocating smog and a concrete river system, endless parking meters, spotless SUVs, intense signage, homeless bums, homeless moms and homeless kids, fast-food trash blowing through trashed ecosystems, toxic bonfires, cigarette butts, broken glass, shit, urine, and stormdrains heading out to sea, airplanes, traffic helicopters, men with shopping carts collecting aluminum cans in the parking lot, and greasy suntan lotion smeared all over everything.”

That sums it up pretty well.

I like my surfing lifestyle to be smoke free…

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… so I guess I just might buy stuff from this guy from now on. When buying from this guy, I am assured that the gear he  is selling is smoke-free! What more could an underage goody-goody-two-shoes ask for? And yes, I really care what kind of environment my future gear has endured, like if it was tucked in at night, or if it was sexually abused, drunk all the time, and whipped by a leather belt. Now, I wouldn’t buy anything from an environment like that! If I buy something, it’ll have to be a role model and set a good example to those no-doers out there. Maybe, if we all bought “clean” gear, our beaches will become cigarette free! So I give this guy props for making sure that people know his stuff is smoke-free (he’s obviously setting an example).

Although I wonder what brought him to mention it…

British Columbia to San Diego Road Trip Pt. 4: Point Conception

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On the cusp between Central and Southern California, this spot is a little off the beaten path, and most frequently visited by seniors with 50 foot motorhomes, but this serene little slice of California coastline is protected by the state and sticks further into the Pacific than just about anywhere else.  With Vandenburg Air Force base to the north and a sprawling cattle ranch to the south, you can just imagine yourself in a simpler time; a time before mega malls, 20 lane highways, and yes, even before wetsuits.  No, we like wetsuits, not before wetsuits.

You will, however, come across one unfortunate reminder of the progress of modern man as you walk south to the reef.  The beach is constantly littered with blobs of crude oil, a result of the extensive network of offshore oil platforms visible on the horizon. (Thanks, Big Oil.)  Be sure to walk down the beach with a plastic bag or two and do your part to help this state park stay clean; it’s good surf karma.

-P.K.
Keep Leucadia Funky



Met up with Yvon Chouinard at Patagonia

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I met up with Yvon Chouinard and his crew from Patagonia yesterday morning. They rock. Chouinard was really talking it up about One Percent for the Planet, which is a group of companies that are donating 1% of their sales (sales, not profits – that’s a big difference!) to over one thousand environmental organizations. Nicely done. I was stoked to meet Yvon Chouinard, as he is something of a hero to the peeps at DailyStoke.com.

Surfrider condoms come cheap!

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$1.36 for an eight-pack ain’t bad! Then again they’re hand-me-downs, but maybe you’re the one that used them? F#ckin’ litter bug, pick up your trash! The Surfrider Foundation put together an ad campaign called “Catch of the Day” packaging various waste products commonly found on our beaches, which was recently profiled on 5Ones.com. They wanted to package the shit, and then display it neatly next to the normal seafood items at markets. Pretty awesome really, but what grocery store is going to display vacuum sealed used condoms next to the Alaskan King Crab? “Yeah let me get a dozen crab legs, and some of that seafood flavored chewing gum.”

That’s funny, because I once told my Grandma the condom in my wallet was chewing gum. This was back in Jr high when kids did stupid shit like carry around condoms when they know damn well they’ll never use them.

You can see other Surfrider packaged garbage by clicking here.

Stop Titan Cement – Polluting the ocean for surfers in North Carolina

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A lot of people surf – and don’t skate – because they don’t like the feeling of wiping out on concrete. Surfers in North Carolina want to keep it that way – and are fighting a cement plant proposed for near the Cape Fear River in Castle Hayne, North Carolina. The Tita Cement plant, if built, will be one of the biggest-producing cement plant in the country. Just building it will destroy hundreds of acres of wetlands, and when it’s up and running, it’ll be belching 263 pounds of mercury a year into the air that we breathe. Nasty. And the water too. Enter StopTitan.org, who has been stirring it up on behalf of the surfing community.

Here is their release, and info on how to get involved.

The Race Is On To Stop Titan!

Titan (Carolinas Cement Company) has not received a draft air permit from the North Carolina Division of Air Quality (DAQ), thanks in no small part to your 1200+ emails, which inspired similar letters from Representative Carolyn Justice, Senator Julia Boseman, and the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission.

But…Last fall Titan negotiated their way out of a state process that would have required a comprehensive study of its impacts before any permits could be issued. That means they can still receive their draft air permit any day now.

The date is critical! THE U.S. EPA will issue new rules for the cement industry in late March that could force Titan to slash their mercury emissions by 80 percent! BUT if Titan gets their final air permit before the new regs are published in April they will be grandfathered in as an “existing source” with significantly weaker pollution standards! Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that causes birth defects and disabilities in children.

Why This Matters: Some 8,700 students will attend schools within five miles of Titan’s site. Our schools rank among the worst in the U.S for exposure to toxic pollutants according to a recent USA Today report. Destruction of 600 acres of wetlands; nearly 400 more trucks on our roads each day; threats to our aquifer; increased risk of asthma and other respiratory diseases; and increased mercury contamination in our seafood.

It’s Time To Stop Titan Now! 

Head to StopTitan.org to automatically send emails to relevant stakeholders and stir it up on your own.This battle has been going on for a while, and while surfers are finally gaining leverage against them, letting back now is not an option. I know it would suck really bad to see a cloud of smog hanging above me all the time!

Being green is about being human

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The world is greener than ever before and surfers should be on the front lines. I am not talking politics here. This isn’t about red and blue. I am talking about the other additive primary color: green. Green does not define you as a hippie or a liberal or a tree hugger. It doesn’t mean you have to put vegetable oil in your gas tank or eat strictly fiber and hemp products.

Being green is about being human.

Regardless of whether your status is weekend warrior or a dawn patrol local, and regardless of whether you never get in the water and just enjoy a beautiful beach for your romantic interludes, you, my friend, are green.

Do you care? And I am talking very generally here: do you just care about stuff? Do you love beautiful things? If you answered yes, then you, my friend, are green.

Do you hate things that are false and corrosive? Do you despise excess and waste in any form? Guess what? Then you, my friend, are green.

What about evil? Do you hate it? Then you, my friend, are green.

Do you like sunshine and warm baths and sleeping in? Do you like days off and holidays? Then you, my friend, are green.

Am I getting my point across?

Now that you know you aren’t wholly defined by red or blue, it is time to know what you have to do as a wholesome human being. And to find out some guidelines for your new identity, surf over to the Surfrider Foundation for some useful tips.

Warning: Answering “no” to any of the above questions means that you are  very possibly dead inside. Please consult your local parish for help. Or just start surfing.

Surfers Love the Ocean

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Surfers love the ocean — this seems like a fairly reasonable statement to me. No surfer would contest the beautiful simplicity of storms and wind driving ocean waters thousands of miles toward shores where they are pushed to the breaking point by unique configurations of the ocean floor. This is undeniable.

Indeed, aside from merely riding waves, surfers commune with nature in a myriad of ways. Surfers tend to also fish, dive, snorkel, or boat through Neptune’s waters, and as such, a surfer does not have a singular relationship with the ocean. And it is for this reason that surfers should read the article, “The Ocean: A sea of troubles,” in The Economist.

The article elucidates many of the pressures that are threatening the health of our seas. Whether it be overfishing, pollution, destruction of reef habitats, or the threatening of foundational organisms in the ecosystem, it is clear that many of these problems are due to human activity.

And, as President Elect Barack Obama has so aptly stated about our current economic woes, the problems in the ocean are of our own making, and are thus within our power to change. As surfers, it is our responsibility to act.

What is there to do in the face of such massive problems?

A simple letter to your congressional representative can have an impact. Getting involved in your local beaches, pushing for marine sanctuaries, and asking your local markets and restaurants if the fish they sell was caught locally and sustainably — all of this can have minute impacts, which aggregated, would begin to arrest some of the most pressing problems facing our oceans.

And if this is too much to ask, can I ask you to at least pick up that plastic bottle that you always walk by heading back from a session?

Guess Who?

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If anyone has been wondering what CJ Hobgood has been doing since winning the Sunset Beach contest in Hawaii, here’s your answer: tow-in air surfing with Phillip Waters back in Florida. I’ve never actually done this myself, but it looks super fun. This is either an easy way to rip the living hell out of small wave, or possibly break both your ankles.

See what I mean? How rad is this shot though? Did he ring the buoy?! Did he actually land in the sand? The dude is traveling big time.

You can check out more of CJ’s off-season adventures here.

Seal Beach Art Project – well, not quite.

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Well, it’s not quite art. But after a recent storm, here’s what Seal Beach, California looked liked, complete with shopping carts, a couch, dead fish and other horrid crap that was deposited on the shore after a recent storm there. The story, as first reported here by the OC Register, explains that “the San Gabriel River, which flows from south Los Angeles County to Seal Beach, picks up debris along its 75-mile course and dumps it into the ocean.” The next storm picks it all up off the ocean floor, and surfs it on to the beach. It’s totally, absolutely nasty. And a good reminder that people in land just don’t care what ends up in the ocean. The good news is that the folks at the Surfrider Foundation are helping out with the clean up.

TRESTLES SAVED – Department of Commerce rejects appeal by Transportation Corridor Agencies

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Trestles savedBREAKING NEWS: The Trestles Surf break has been saved, at least for now. Today, the Department of Commerce rejected an appeal by the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) to the Secretary of Commerce. The TCA, a private organization, had appealed the California Coastal Commissions decision to reject the project earlier in 2008. In its ruling, the Department of Commerce noted that “there is an available and reasonable alternative to the project [that would be consistent with the policies of the California Coastal Commission.]” That alternative route – the Central Corridor-Avenida La Pata Alternative – is discussed in detail in the decision, and was determined to be consistent with the objectives of the California Coastal Commission. Further, the Secretary of Commerce ruled that the “project is not necessary in the interest of national security,” which was a key argument of the TCA. The reasoning was rejected in statements by both the Marine Corps and the Department of Defense, according to the decision.

A victory for the surfing community, and, in particular, the Surfrider Foundation, this marks the end of the toll road extension through the Trestles surf break, pending further appeal by the TCA. Indeed, the decision noted the “substantial public interest and input” in the case. (The decision regarding Trestles from the Department of Commerce is available here.) Says Surfrider Foundation’s Matt McClain: “This morning we got word that the United States Secretary of Commerce Gutierrez upheld the California Coastal Commission’s February ruling that the proposed extension to the 241 toll road violates California coastal law. This decision makes it near impossible for the TCA to move forward with this project. In short – We won!!!”

Victory indeed. A spokesperson for the TCA expressed “disappointment” in the decision, but declined to comment further pending their review of the decision.

The long-standing campaign against the Trestles toll road extension has energized the Surfrider Foundation and has focused the attention of surfers everywhere on threatened breaks and ocean pollution, at Trestles and around the world.

More reaction to follow later today.

Matix Clothing calls out Spencer Pratt

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MTV douche bag, Spencer Pratt, from “The Hills” was recently photographed wearing a pair of Matix surf trunks, and they’re not happy about that at all! As you probably already know, Spencer Pratt is a soulless fame whore, and any hardcore surfing company would be completely bummed to see him in their product. “We don’t want kooks like him in our gear”, and “we are already in a tough economic time and we don’t need some silver spoon asswipes like Spencer in our shit hurting sales even more!”. Makes perfect sense to me. If word got out on the beach that Matix hooks up Spencer Pratt with surf trunks, nobody would wanna be caught dead in their product. I wouldn’t! Luckily for Matix, not a lot of surfers keep tabs on Spencer Pratt, and this should go by pretty much unnoticed by the surfing world. Until now of course! But it’s clear that Matix isn’t backing this at all, and wants nothing to do with him.

Source.