We think carefully about the projects we support, we are a small business so it's essential. But when Surfers Against Sewage told us they were bringing together the world’s leading enviro-surf NGOs, grassroots activists, environmentalists, surfers, politicians, the surf industry and the mainstream media to discuss the increasing importance of protecting our oceans and wanted us to be a partner - it was one of the easiest decisions we've ever had to make.
The Global Wave Conference took place last week, just up the road from the workshop here on the north coast of Cornwall. The tireless crew at Surfers Against Sewage, guided and inspired by Director Hugo Tagholm, pulled together a four day intimate gathering that felt nothing like a conference. Truthfully - it was the best non-conference we’ve ever been to.
Journalist, broadcaster and film maker Lucy Siegle set the pace opening up the first day. She’s doesn’t surf, and that’s ok, surfers are not going to protect oceans on their own. The big question Lucy asked was “why isn’t everyone talking about protecting waves and oceans? It’s everyone’s fight!”
It was a great start.
Dr Chad Nelson from Surfrider foundation spoke about the battle to save Trestles – one of the world’s best waves. It was David Vs Goliath and David is currently still on top. They are the best defenders of the coast, but they know they need to stop playing defense and start playing offense if they are serious about keeping the 'man' from knocking at the door again.
Finisterre founder Tom Kay shared the Bowmont story, the importance of chasing a dream when others tell you you are crazy. And how every decision we make in the workshop remains true to our original beliefs of building the best product possible, backing relationships we believe in whilst minimising our impact on our environment.
We were privileged to hear Greg Long share his story. It’s hands down the best talk we’ve ever heard. It was a talk about big waves and humanness. His call to action was honest and deep: live with love, respect, gratitude and compassion for everyone & everything. He reminded us that we are here to explore the boundaries of possibility. His words will inspire us long into the future.
There were big wave surfers there, world champions and guys who have excelled in the world of surfing. It’s important they use their platform to execute great change. There were also 120 passionate human beings who have dedicated their lives to protecting the places they love. Activists who think and dream big, who believe to their core that if the front door is closed, you climb in through the damn window to preserve what’s important.
Without energy waves would never break, ideas and action are the same. Our oceans are under incredible pressure, the need to act has never been more urgent. There was enough energy at the Global Wave Conference to give us confidence that we can still repair the damage we’ve done. But it’s going to take a serious effort and collaboration.
5000 plastic bottles are used every 15 seconds in the UK which means by the time you’ve read this there are approximately 25,000 more plastic bottles in circulation.
It’s time to act.
Photos and video courtesy of Surfers Against Sewage. #globalwaveconference