Does the surfing community have a responsibility to their social and natural environment? : An examination of the social and environmental issues for surfers and how many individuals, and some companies from the surfing community are making a difference to create a better world for all.
Fig.1: Dolphins Surfing
B.A. (Hons.) Performance Sportswear Design University College Falmouth 2012
-Chapter 1: What Is Surfing?
-Chapter 2: The Surf Industry Today And Its’ Social Impacts
-Chapter 3: Environmental Issues And Surfers As Polluters
-Conclusion: Surfing Now And In The Future. Who Can We Take Inspiration From?
-List Of Images
Introduction Does The Surfing Community Have A Responsibility To Its Social And Natural Environment? In order to explore this complex question we need to first address the following: What is surfing and why has surfing gained mass appeal becoming a brand many nonsurfers want to buy into? By analysing its ancient roots in Hawaiian culture as a royal activity, through its expansion in the 1900’s to become a worldwide phenomenon, we can gain a fuller understanding of what surfing is. Through the invention of the wetsuit, the hollow surfboard and modern travel, surfing has moved from being an activity performed
by a small tribe of people on a distant island to becoming accessible to people worldwide. Surfing’s progress has been driven by the 60s counterculture and an expansion in popularity caused by surfing’s early industry entrepreneurs. Increasingly, everyone wants to be associated with surfing. The commercialism of the surfing dream means that surf brand’s products can be sold to almost anyone. This makes surf brands competitive on the global market and makes it lucrative for non-surf brands to utilise the Surf Image. By looking at the noble godfathers of surfing like Tom Blake and Duke Kahanamoku one can chart how the surf image has developed into a profit making tool. Nowadays many surfers are rejecting the dated image of a surfer wearing branded garments. Surfers are now appearing more understated. The reader is given an insight into the surf industry today and its impact on our social environment. An examination of how these big companies create a sophisticated surf image that aims at the youth market to maximize profits begs the question: Do these companies have a responsibility to social and environmental issues that arise in relation to this business? What is the surf community’s impact on the world’s social issues? In order to understand this we need to take into account the effects on the poor traditional communities from the influx of surfers. These effects can be positive or negative. In terms of the negative, one needs to only think of what happened in Bali and Hawaii and is now happening in the rural coastal areas of Africa, South America and Indonesia. In terms of the positive, when people surf they experience feelings of health and wellbeing. This appears to be due to the negative ion effect and the production of endorphins and so on. Surfers full of positive feeling have founded charities like Surf Aid. The health and social benefits of surfing have also been embraced by certain religious and educational groups. What is the impact of surfing on the environment? What are the risks to both surfers and all sea life and how can the work of individuals, environmental organisations (and of course the surf industry) improve life’s chances for the Future? The modern day manufacture of surfboards and wetsuits is based in Asia using by products of the oil industry. This process will be explored in this dissertation. Equipment manufacture involves the use of highly toxic materials that affect both surfers and wildlife. By looking at the current alternatives of more safe and traditional naturally derived materials, the impact on the natural environment can be reduced.
Chapter One: What Is Surfing? The Oxford English Dictionary states: ‘surfing- the sport or pastime of being carried to the shore on the crest of large waves while standing or lying on a surfboard.’ According to the International Surfing Association there are over 25 million surfers worldwide. (Aguerre, 2006) In order to understand the surfing community and its place in society we must look at its long and exciting history. Surfing has proud Hawaiian origins and is a tradition of the Polynesian people who settled on Hawaii’s isolated islands. Surfing was high ranking and practised by the community’s chiefs and warriors. Considered an art, in the Hawaiian language it is called he’enalu ‘wave sliding’. Gods were called on for good waves while prayers / ceremonies were held when creating new boards. The Hawaiians used wooden surfboards ranging from 3ft (used by children) to the 16ft boards of kings and warriors. These boards were coated in black soot / coconut oil and wrapped in leaves to protect and preserve. Care was taken with these surfboards and they were passed down as heirlooms. Surfing represented status in Hawaiian society. Riding heavy wooden boards of up to 16ft required great strength and bravery. The explorer Captain Cook came across these islands and observed the natives surfing. Lieutenant James King, commander of the ship ‘Discovery’ in 1779, wrote some of Captain Cook’s journals and recorded in the ships log the first description of a Hawaiian surfer by a European: it (the wave) sends them in with a most astonishing Velocity, and great art is to guide the plan (the board) (…) he is much prais’d (…) they seem to feel a great pleasure in the motion (Marcus, no date given, Surfing for Life) While the voyagers seemed to have awe and admiration for these curious feats of the native islanders surfing was soon dismissed as hedonistic when the western Christian Calvinists came to Hawaii in the early 1800’s. They labeled surfing as a devious and unproductive activity. This shunning by the powerful Christian settlers/missionaries was almost a death knell for surfing. By the end of the 1800s when the Calvinist’s influence had diminished, surfing and the native Hawaiian culture had nearly died out. (see Fig. 2)
Fig. 2: Lone Surfer At Waikiki Beach. Surfboard rider. Diamond Head, Oahu. This young man is carrying a basic traditional wooden board possibly what is called an Alaia and is sometimes ridden lying down, kneeling or standing. This style of wooden board has recently enjoyed a revival. He is also wearing a traditional loin cloth. ‘Hawaii 1890: Is this the first ever picture of a surfer about to ride the waves in the 19th century?’
In the early 1900s there was a revival of surfing. Tourism came to Hawaii sprouting new hotels where a young surfer named George Freeth gave surf lessons. The contacts the Hawaiian-Irish surfer made there gave him the opportunity to travel to the mainland of America where he was paid for exhibitions of surfing at the railroad stop at Huntington Beach, California. In 1909 he surfed in front of over a thousand people at one of these exhibitions introducing surfing to the average mainland American all the way from his native Hawaii. (see Fig. 3)
Fig. 3: George Freeth Holding His Homemade Board. It appears to be made from a coffin lid in 1915. Marcus. Ben, The Surfboard: Art, Style and Stoke.
Mentored when young by George Freeth, Duke Kahanamoku was one of the first stars of surfing. He promoted surfing tirelessly wherever he went. He was known as ‘Hawaii’s Ambassador of Aloha’ ‘ the Big Kahuna’ and ‘ the Father of Surfing’. (see Fig. 4) Duke Kahanamoku was an Olympic medalist in freestyle swimming from 1912 and a skilled waterman influencing the progression of surf lifesaving techniques. He brought surfing across to the east coast of America and eventually introduced surfing to Australia in 1915.
Fig. 4: Duke Kahanamoku. This stamp first issued August 2002 honors the Hawaiian surfer, swimmer and Olympic Games gold medalist. He was renowned not only for his athletic ability but also for his humility and sportsmanship. The original portrait is an oil painting by Michael J. Deas and based on a 1918 photograph from the Bishop Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii. He was 28 at the time the photo was taken and had just won his Olympics medals. Smithsonian National Postal Museum.
One of Duke Kahanamoku’s friends and fellow member of the influential Hui Nalu (the club of waves) surf club, Hawaii was Tom Blake. Like Duke Kahanamoku he was a champion open water swimmer and set new records in swimming ten-mile open water. In the 1930’s he got a patent for the first hollow surfboard. Tom Blake’s surfboard was lighter making it more accessible to a wider market. He promoted it as a lifesaving tool and the Red Cross took it on board. He also invented the surf fin, which made the riding of even bigger waves possible and advanced the scope of the sport. He was the first to surf the now world famous surf break at Malibu, California (see Fig. 5) and was a leading advocate of physical fitness and vegetarianism. Tom Blake invented the idea of the surf lifestyle through his inventions, lifestyle and influential writing on surfing and philosophy. Tom Blake epitomized the modern surfer and is one of the most influential surfers in surfing’s history.
Fig. 5: Tom Blake (1902-1994) At Malibu Beach, California. He was a friend of Duke Kahanamoku, a writer, an innovator in surfboard design and lifesaving techniques. Tom Blake was an advocate of physical fitness, vegetarianism and also worked as a stunt double for famous Hollywood actors like Clark Gable. Along with Duke Kahanamoku he is considered ‘the father of modern surfing’. California Surf Museum.
Meanwhile, across the pacific in Australia the popularity of surfing was growing. Advances in surfing like Tom Blake’s hollow board had spread and there was major communication of ideas between travelling surfers. By the mid 1950’s/60’s the time was ripe for a rapid growth in surfing. The pioneering surfer, Rusty Miller, who was the US surf champion 1965 introduced surfing to Alan Watts the British philosopher who popularized eastern philosophies in the west, to the beat writer Allen Ginsberg and to Timothy Leary, the influential American psychologist and writer. Timothy Leary who rose to fame in the 1960s was an advocate of the hallucinogenic drug LSD. He popularised the phrase of the 60’s counterculture movement ‘turn on, tune in and drop out’. He said: Surfing is the spiritual aesthetic of the liberated self. I’ve picked out the surfer as my symbol, a surfer right at that point moving along constantly right at the edge of the tube- that position is a metaphor of life to me. (Marcus, 2006: 89originally in Surfer Magazine 1979) This reflected the views of some of the cutting edge thinkers of the time. Surfing represented an ideology of connecting with nature and living in the moment. Surfing held a counterculture mystique and the early outlawing by the Calvinists made surfing highly attractive to rebellious youths who looked for something different from what their parents had aspired towards. In their search for a new life these youths were touching on revolutionary anti capitalist ideas:
If the classical sociological theorists such as Marx, Weber and Durkheim have one commonality, it’s their attempt to theorize the alienated, disconnected life that capitalism, work, and modern life condemn us to. What unites so many of the different moments of the surfer image is precisely its invocation of the transcendence of this social disconnection, in addition to the ecological and psychological disconnection (…) (Lawler, 2011: 3) With the liberalization of society in the 1960’s and the evolution of lighter boards surfing grew in popularity. A major element that led to the spread of surfing worldwide was the neoprene surfing wetsuit. The diving drysuit had been around for years but it did not keep the body very warm while on long dives. Hugh Bradner was a physicist who worked during the World War 2 on the Manhattan Project (design and manufacture of the first Atomic Bomb) and invented the single-hose regulator, decompression meter and underwater contact lenses. He focused his keen intellect on the problem of keeping warm while diving, coming up with the idea of a wetsuit made from a new synthetic rubber, Neoprene that contained gas bubbles for warmth and insulation from cold-water conditions. Unlike the watertight drysuit, it allowed a thin layer of water near the body’s surface to regulate temperature. Hugh Bradner invented the neoprene wetsuit 1951. (see Fig. 6) He came up with the idea after talking to US Navy SEALS divers who had to stay under water for long periods. He constructed the first wetsuit in a lab at Berkeley, California. Mr. Bradner did not see the commercial applications of the wetsuit. He applied for a patent but “It was abandoned when he “foolishly” indicated that he saw no large commercial application. His reasoning was there were only a few hundred divers and surfers in the world at that time.” (Rainey: 1998)
Fig. 6: Hugh Bradner’s Prototype Wetsuit Worn By John S. Foster. Made from an early form of Neoprene made by Rubatex. Photograph taken ca. 1952/53 by Hugh Bradner. Scripps Institution of Oceanography Library Archive, University of California.
Not long after the public release of a paper on the new material Neoprene did others adapt it for their uses. In 1952 surf industry pioneer Jack O’Neill opens one of the first surf shop selling surfboards and his simple Neoprene vests. With these new evolutions in surfing equipment surfing spread from Australia to France and northwards to the colder waters of the UK’s Channel Islands. The island of Jersey is ideally situated in the English Channel close to mainland France. Bellyboarding came to Jersey in 1922 but it wasn’t until the 50’s that stand up surfing took off. South African and Australian Lifeguards were hired by beachfront businesses to stop the frequent deaths of bellyboarders and other water users on the adjacent beaches. These well travelled lifeguards had a great influence on the local community and some were founding members of The Jersey Surfboard Club that was set up in 1959. (see Fig. 7) The club grew quickly and surfing soon spread to the mainland and the popular tourist holiday train stop of Newquay, Cornwall at the south western tip of the UK. The History of Surfing in the UK is one where adventurous individuals braved the
cold waters of the coast. Roger Mansfield writer and surf expert recalls seeing one of these pioneers of British surfing when he was a young boy in Newquay in the early 1960s: I use to go body boarding and one day when I was about nine years old, I walked up and there was a man going along a wave standing up (...) and I watch for a bit and I couldn’t work it out. I didn’t know what to call it ‘cause there was no word for it. There was no pictures and nobody knew what surfing was (…) so I was like any naked kid on a third world island and where someone walks up with a surfboard (…)(interview)
Fig. 7: Jersey Surfboard Club Founding Members In June 1959. Image including a mixture of South African lifeguards and U.K. surfers with wooden boards with no leashes or fins. Some board were inscribed with surfer’s names and logos. Some boards are as large as 14ft. Hollow boards made from plywood and were still very heavy boards. Mansfield, Roger. 2009, The Tribe of Surfing: A History of Surfing in Britain.
Surfers had been making their own boards right from surfing’s introduction to the UK. By 1964 local surfers started making neoprene wetsuits for themselves. Surfer and the trailblazing Gul Wetsuits founder Dennis Cross soon began selling wetsuits commercially. He adapted diving suit designs which eventually evolving into an all in one called the Steamer. This wetsuit that has become the template for the industry standard wetsuit and keeps surfers ‘steaming’ hot all through the cold British winters. The British Surfing Association was formed in 1966 and surfing’s popularity in the UK grew massively throughout the 1970s/80s.
What lead to the quick rise in popularity of surfing worldwide during the 1970s/80s was the evolutions in design of equipment and the availability of this equipment ready made for the customer. The surf shop opened up the world of surfing even to a novice. Back in 1952, Jack O’Neill opened one of the first surf shops in San Francisco and soon relocated near one of the best surf breaks in Santa Cruz. (see Fig. 8) Jack O’Neill became one of the major innovators for this early surf industry. Both Jack O’Neill and the nearby BodyGlove brought innovative surf wetsuits to the market. Even Jack O’Neill’s son Pat had that flair for innovation. Pat O’Neill tested the first surf leash and by 1971 brought the now considered indispensible surf leash to the quickly expanding market.
Fig. 8: Jack O’Neill Simply Called It ‘Surf Shop’. O’Neill opened his first surf shop and arguably the first surf shop ever in 1952 on San Francisco’s Great Highway and in 1959 relocated to the shop (see picture above) in Santa Cruz near the popular surf break. Many of the surf shops of that time ordered skateboards for the surfers to use during flats spell or after surfing. These early skateboards were very basic and highly dangerous. Manky Monkey, O’Neill Wetsuits.
Even on the other side of the world in Australia surfing was becoming so popular that an industry was building up around it. What made the real difference to the accessibility of surfing and a more flamboyant style was the Shortboard Revolution (see Going Vertical). Australian surfers led the way with a new wave of ‘out with the old and in with the new’ attitude. Surfboard experimentation was lead by shapers like Dick Brewer and Bob McTavish’s innovations. These surfers cut the size of surfboards making them lighter and more maneouvrable. This made competitive surfing more exciting to watch making
shortboard riders like the famously flamboyant Gerry Lopez stars in the surf community. Most of the old established labels faded in this new thriving and experimental surfing community. A new style of surf brand with inventive surfboards, wetsuits and surf clothing were formed.
Chapter Two: The Surf Industry Today And Its’ Social Impacts In 2009, despite the significant thrashing handed out by the global financial crisis, three brands, all founded in small Australian beach communities about forty years ago, controlled sixty per cent of the global surf market and commanded huge influence over every aspect of the industry. (Jarratt, 2010: 9, Preface) The brands were Rip Curl, Quiksilver and Billabong. Rip Curl started a surfboard business from a garage around 1969 near Bells Beach, Torquay, Australia. Quiksilver the now California, United States owned company started making boardshorts in Torquay, Australia in the late 1960’s. Quiksilver now own Roxy which was established in 1990. Roxy represents the fast growing women’s surf market. Billabong was started by a board shaper in 1973 in Burleigh, the Gold Coast; again making boardshorts. In the beginning surfing styles and innovations came from the source: surfers. Rip Curl, Billabong and Quiksilver are great example of this homegrown business but not all players in the surfing market are now from a surf background. Many companies are keen to attach themselves to the cool image that is implied by surfing and the rest of the extreme sports market. (Weisberg: 25/11/10) Companies like the U.S. discount retailer Target (Minnesota) and the athletics brand Nike (Oregon, U.S) have spotted the surf market’s potential. Nike has bought up American companies like surf brand Hurley (California) and Converse (Massachusetts) a shoe brand adopted by skaters and rockers. Nike have also launched themselves into the extreme sports market and “expects sales at its action-sports unit (…) specializing in surfing, skateboarding and other "edgy" sports (…) to double to $1.2 billion within five years”. (Sage: 6/8/10) With profitable surf apparel markets increasing worldwide for example fast growing markets like Japan, companies like Nike are set to profit from their newly acquired image. (Twaronit: 10/4/95) The surf image has many almost subconscious associations ranging from sexy tanned bodies to adventure, bravery and even spiritual mystery. Roger Mansfield UK chronicler of surfing’s history states that the surf image is: “the most
brilliant advertising/ marketing campaign ever to be launched upon the world.” (interview) The image of surfing has been used to sell everything from washing powder to alcohol. Many surf companies use the surf image to sell clothing that often has a higher turnover and profit margin than equipment. On the other hand, the surf companies that claim to represent surfer’s views are not taking ideas from the surfing youth. They are, in fact, now forming the opinions and views of the young fans of surfing. Roger Mansfield during an interview in a classroom of Cornwall College’s Surf Science Course, Newquay recalls on lecturing to the surfing youth observing: When this room is full of young people, my students, we have had conversations on these themes and it’s almost like a religion (…) that they really believe in the clothing companies (…) like the clothing companies are really doing something. That the clothing companies really are an important part of their sense of identity. So I think that’s very sad. (interview) Do the surf brands represent the surf community? Nowadays, many trends and even innovations come from forces outside the surf community that are often fuelled only by the constant need for profit. The surf industry is a profitable business and has an influence and economic sway on communities and even governments. Does it have a responsibility to the people it represents? There has been a trend in our modern alienated society that does not require individuals to takes responsibility for their actions. Companies can be protected from the consequences of their actions. This lack of responsibility does not necessarily represent surfer’s views and ideals and has led many modern surfers to reject brand logos and typical surf style clothing. Many believe the only way for brands to represent the surfing community is for the brands to be active in the sport and to be born of that community. Yvon Chouinard the founder of the Californian outdoor company Patagonia writes about brand authenticity: In fact, because so much of the image relies on authenticity, a formula would destroy it. Ironically, part of Patagonia’s authenticity lies in not being concerned about having an image in the first place. Without a formula, the only way to sustain an image is to live up to it. Our image is a direct reflection of who we are and what we believe. (Chouinard 2006:147) Surf companies have the opportunity to be a leading light to individual customers supporting and encouraging them in a lifestyle that is responsible giving the customers the initiative to make a positive difference. Yvon Chouinard believes that Patagonia as a modern company has the responsibility to inspire and motivate its customers. “We speak to each customer as we want to be treated, as an engaged, intelligent, trusted individual.”
(Chouinard 2006:156) An increasing number of surfers are ‘stepping up to the plate’ and showing that they are taking responsibility for their actions. Surfers, being people who are well-travelled and admired as cool, make raising awareness and support for campaigns possible. Some the best surf breaks in the world are in countries where the political environment is unstable or the people live in poverty. The surf community is in an ideal position to help raise awareness of some of these issues. An individual who has shown clarity of vision and a positive ‘can do’ attitude for humanitarian work is Surf Aid founder Dr. Dave Jenkins. This mission to help local communities in underdeveloped countries started when Dr. Jenkins went on a surf trip to Asia and realized the reality that local people were living in poverty with their most basic needs not being met. When the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami hit 14 countries (devastating the built up tourist and fishing communities on the coastlines of Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka) Surf Aid answered. (see Fig. 9) The satisfaction gained by Dr. Dave Jenkins is perfectly illustrated in his reaction after the rescue mission launched to help people adjacent to some of the world’s most famous surf breaks. “Ok, I’m happy to die now. I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved and if I go down now we’ve done something worthwhile.” (Baker, 2008: 93) The urge to give back to local communities met when on surf trips provides surfers with a humanitarian focus but also benefits the lives of people in these communities. (see Fig. 10)
Fig. 9: Surf Aid Press Release For Mentawai Tsunami Appeal. The Boxing Day Tsunami hit Mentawai Islands, Indonesia in 2010. The islands are a surf holiday destination famous for its epic waves.
Fig. 10: Surf Aid Educational Programme For Developing Global Citizens. It is to be taught in schools worldwide through surfing. Raising awareness of the communities on the Mentawai Islands, Indonesia.
The proactive and positive attitude that Dr. Dave Jenkins demonstrates can be connected in part to the health and motivational benefits of surfing. The health benefits of surfing and swimming in the ocean are well catalogued. Surfing is not only a great cardiovascular exercise but it also holds the interest of the participant who is aiming to catch the next wave. Dorian ‘Doc’ Paskowitz who studied medicine at Stanford University, formed one of the world first surf schools and wrote ‘Surfing and Health’: My life is built around the attempt to take a mass of almost amorphous physiological material and put it in scientific context to the extent that ordinary human beings can go out and, not with pills and potions, but with their own self-motivation, achieve a state of well-being that is not only capable of preventing disease and even curing some diseases, but is capable of making them into superior human beings in all walks of life (Baker, 2008: 126) The chemicals released by the human body while surfing, are more powerful than people often realize. Adrenaline is a chemical released by the body to deal with stress when catching waves. Surfers are often referred too as ‘adrenaline junkies’ because the high received from adrenaline can be addictive. Dorian Paskowitz himself proves the power of surfing to improve health through is own life story. As a child he suffered from chronic asthma but his health greatly improved when he started surfing. As it turns out adrenaline, the naturally occurring chemical released while surfing has been associated with the medical treatment of asthma. Surfing also releases endorphins that are protein molecules released by the body that during times of stress and give a natural high. The endorphins released are definitely an element of why surfing makes you feel good but there is also another all pervading element that causes this effect: ions.
Vezen Wu is an important American scientist, equity trader and computer programmer. He taught software engineering at Columbia University, has designed important medical software and found a new antibiotic for the treatment of the bacterium Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (commonly known as MRSA), but when he discovered surfing he focused his sharp intellect to explaining why he and many other felt a feeling of pure happiness from surfing. Through Mr. Wu’s investigations into his newfound passion he has came across a breakthrough in our understanding of the true effects of surfing on our health and it all starts with the study of ions (see Fig. 11): An ion is an atom with fewer or more electrons than normal as a result of a chemical reaction to its environment. A positive ion is an atom with fewer electrons, and a negative ion is an atom with more electrons. Positive ions attract atmospheric pollutants, dust particles and harmful airbourne matter. Negative ions cancel the effects of positive ions and clean the air, increasing the sense of well-being. (Baker, 2008: 294) It is thought that waves create negative ions through the friction in the movement of water molecules over each other. Vezen Wu believes that the larger the wave the more negative ions are created. (see Fig. 11) Mr. Wu can see the practical uses of this new understanding: “ The treatment of depression could become as easy as a day at the beach”. (Baker, 2008: 294) The physical and mental health benefits from surfing are especially needed in modern societies. The use of positive ion emitting computers and televisions and the extra stress experienced can lead to depression and health problems. Surfing is needed more than ever in the unnatural modern societies we live in. For further reading on 1960’s experiments and research into the effect of the ion. (see Soyka, 1977) World Champion surfer and spiritual free surfer Dave Rastovich is also aware of this ability of the ocean to create energy: (…) waveriding can be a strenuous physical activity that actually generates rather than depletes energy (...). It’s not that muscular physical energy, it’s like an electrical kind of energy. Like, the end of a day of big surf, your body is fucked, you’re so tired, your body can’t handle any more activity, but there’s like this electricity in you. You’re just sparking. (Baker, 2008: 139) Can it be that this electric feeling is not just caused by chemical release within the body but also by the amount of negative ions created by big waves?
Fig.11: Positive And Negative Ions. Diagram of the movement of electrons from one atom to another forming a positive or negative ion.
Fig.12: Negative Ion Barrel. Just imagine how many energizing negative ions this barrel contains. The above extremely deep barreling 20ft wave is ridden by Laird Hamilton, Teahupoo, Tahiti, 2000. Photograph taken by Tim McKenna.
Surfing has been adopted by some of the major religions. It is promoted as a method of creating healthy and productive individuals in society. There are individual surfers who have become representatives for religions who hold a belief in the ability of surfing to improve individual lives and heal damaged communities. Rabbi Nachum Shifren ‘The Surfing Rabbi’ is one of the believers in the power of surfing to help youths. (see Fig. 13) He has started a schools programme called ‘Surf and Soul’ that encourages young people to surf and get in touch with spirituality. In interviews he highlights how the unlikely mix of surfing and Judaism can sit together. He refers to the need to jump in and commit. He goes as far as to say this can be learned through surfing. “Judaism is the surfing of religions. If you want to be a surfer, you can’t surf on the beach.” (Perman: 2007)
Fig. 13: ‘The Surfing Rabbi’. Rabbi Nachum Shifren riding his local surf break at Malibu Beach, Los Angeles, California.
The worldwide organization ‘The Christian Surfers’ represent the Christians who surf and spread the word of a Christian concept of God by promoting surfing and the Bible. Christianity has a long missionary tradition and this mission is succeeding in reaching youths and new converts throughout the world. (see www.christiansurfers.net) A representative of the power of surfing and Christianity as a guiding, encouraging force is Bethany Hamilton, a champion surfer and Christian, who lost her arm in a shark attack. She wrote a best selling book ‘Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family and Fighting to Get Back on the Board.’ (see Fig. 14) This book has now been adapted to become a hit Hollywood film called ‘Soul Surfer.’
Fig. 14: Bethany Hamilton. She was riding the above board during the attack 2003. Taken in Hawaii, this is the image is from the same series as the cover of her book ‘Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board’. Photographed by Noah Hamilton.
Surfing has generally been accepted by society as having a powerful transformative effect. Surfer, Dr John Demartini gives motivational lectures on what he has learnt from surfing for $20,000 a day. The knowledge from surfing is so valuable that his lectures on ‘ maximising human potential’ (see www.drdemartini.com) are attended in over fifty countries. Dr. Demartini claims that: “A surfer can make anything he wants out of life” (Baker, 2008: 206) Surfing is known for spreading ‘ good vibes’ and has such a transformative effect that Mr. Tim Baker who is considered an important and incisive surf writer concludes his book ‘High Surf ‘ with the statement: Throw our demented world leaders into the shorebreak and let the ocean sort them out, I say. Let them ride like giddy children clutching their foam bodyboards, bouncing and buffeted by the breakers until they are washed up wide-eyed and wheezing onto the sand, and see if they still want to send young men and women off to war (…) We might not save the world by surfing, but we may yet help keep it a world worth saving. (Baker, 2008: 355)
Chapter Three: Environmental Issues And Surfers As Polluters. The Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) reported in 2007 that the total surf industry “profits over seven billion dollars annually.” (Power, 2010: 11) In order to keep production costs low and profits high most production is done in Asia. But, the production of surfboards and wetsuits can be a dangerous and wasteful processes using harmful petroleum based raw materials. Because of production in Asia the products often travel half way around the world for sale in the west. This complex distribution process of airmiles, cargo ships and trucks has untold environmental effects. When considering the reach of the surf industry one must include lifestyle clothing. This is one of the most profitable areas of the surf industry. The surf clothing market spreads far beyond the surf community. “Surf culture is accessible to any body who identifies with the values and attitudes of surfers through the products.” (Flint, 1999: Chapter 3) Glenn Henning is an environmental activist, public speaker and surfer who is a founder of the education and research organization Groundswell Society in the early 2000’s and the Surfrider Foundation founded in 1984 at Malibu, California, U.S.A. The Surfrider Foundation’s mission is: “(…) the protection and enjoyment of oceans, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network.” (see www.surfrider.org) They are now based in 15 countries around the world and are a powerful grassroots organisation. Glenn Henning has been an acute observer of the surfing industry from the early days to
the clothing giant it is today. In the 2011 film Manufacturing Stoke that examines the impact of the surf industry Mr. Henning states: “The surf industry isn’t the surf industry. It’s the clothing business with a really good hook.”(Kavanagh, 2011) This clothing industry represents a high percentage of a growing market that sells to surfers and non surfers alike. The surf industry has a cumulative environmental effect when one takes into account the surf clothing production, surf equipment production and an extensive distribution network. The basic equipment needed by the average surfer is some of the most toxic of all the product of the surf industry. The wetsuit has been a major player in the spread of surfing to the colder climates of the earth. Neoprene is the material most commonly used to make a wetsuit. Neoprene is made using a petroleum based rubber as an insulating core and usually nylon or polyester bonded to the outside and inside of the material. The polymer core of Neoprene is probably the most harmful element for the environment. This needs to be thicker depending on the water temperature the wetsuit is used in. For example a 2mm thickness wetsuit would be used in summer conditions and a 5-6mm thick suit would be used in an average European winter water temperatures. Polychloroprenes the basic elements of neoprene can be made from limestone to create Geoprene or petroleum by products to create neoprene. But Limestone is not a renewable resource. Limestone is also excavated from the earth using petroleum-powered machinery like trucks etc. and heated to high temperature in the polymerization process in a very wasteful use of energy. Geoprene is not the green wetsuit material that it has been dubbed but it certainly appears a better option than the alternative. Oil is extracted from deep in the earth in a dangerous and costly process. When this oil released into the natural environment it can cause death and sickness for ocean life and creatures of the seashore like birds. The BP oil rig Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico was one of the worst in many years. (see Fig. 15) “The Deepwater disaster led to more than 200m gallons of oil being released into the Gulf.” (Rushe: 3/1/12) Worldwide there are fears of these excavations for oil destroying the surrounding natural landscape for example oil drilling in the pristine and untouched arctic regions. A polar campaigner for The Greenpeace environmental organization said: "A spill in the Arctic would essentially make dealing with something like Deepwater Horizon look almost straightforward." (McCarthy: 6/9/11) But that is not the only stage of this process that is dangerous. The crude oil is then transported to its processing destination usually in tankers across the seas and oceans of the world. Over
the decades many oil tankers have crashed causing devastation to the marine environment. The New Zealand cargo ship crash of October 2011 released approximately 350 tonnes of crude oil into a nature reserve putting sensitive sea creature like seals, whales and penguins at risk. (see Fig. 16) This is just one of the many examples of environmental disasters caused by the oil industry. (Milman: 10/10/11) These are the same oceans that surfers use for their enjoyment and that many other life forms depend on for survival. Louie Psihoyos co-founder of the Oceanic Preservation Society comments on the state of the planet. We are all the bad guys. We are doing what no wild animal would do and that’s foul it’s own nest. We are all responsible for toxifying the oceans. They’re the primary source for life on the planet and it’s changing rapidly. (Psihoyos, 2011, Bonus Features- Mercury Rising)
Fig. 15: Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig On Fire April 2010. Notice the thick oil slick in the water. Approximately 1,000 barrels a day of oil went into the Gulf of Mexico. Photographed by Gerald Herbert.
Fig. 16: Sea Birds Killed By Oil Spill. Diving Petrels and Fluttering Shearwaters. Rena Oil Spill, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand October 2011. Photographed by Colin Miskelly.
In order to reduce this dependency on oil by products the world and the surfing community can search for alternatives. The use of a limestone based Geoprene and the research into better alternatives is a priority. Consideration
must be put into how the thickness of the neoprene can be reduced. That thickness can be replaced with an insulating liner made from renewable natural fibres. Another alternative in the construction process is the use of non-toxic glues in the laminating and gluing together of panels. Innovative techniques can be used in combination reducing waste material through clever design and pattern cutting. Patagonia has shown the possibilities (see Fig. 17/18) and uses all the methods possible to create eco aware designs both in wetsuits and clothing. (see www.patagonia.com)
Fig. 17: Patagonia Wetsuit. R4 wetsuit’s exterior and interior appearance. This suit is made using limestone Neoprene and a merino wool interior liner for extra warmth.
Fig. 18: Lining Detail. A close up of Patagonia’s patented liner. Made with chlorine-free merino wool this liner adds warmth and comfort.
Like the wetsuit the standard surfboard is made from petroleum by products. These materials are dangerous for surfboard shapers who make the boards and can cause lung problems and cancers. A major event that raised awareness as to the dangers was the shutting down of Clark Foam, California in 2005
after facing civil lawsuits and pressure from the Environmental Protection Agency. Clark Foam was one of the world’s largest suppliers of polyurethane foam surf blanks. Blanks are the boards before shapers cut it into a shape that could be ridden. The whole process of making surfboard blanks uses toxic chemicals. This foam from production and shaping is dangerous if released into the natural environment when the waste is often thrown into landfill. But now there are many alternatives such as recycling the foam from shaping and using old and broken boards. (see Fig. 19) For example Envirofoam (see www.markofoamblanks.com) and Green Foam blanks. (see www.greenfoamblanks.com) There is also the revival of the use of wooden boards. The techniques used in making wooden boards, is always advancing with individuals like Danny Hess who founded Hess Surfboards, California. (see Fig. 20) He builds boards from salvaged and sustainable woods to make boards that are often half the weight but more durable than an average synthetic board. (Kavanagh, 2011) It is becoming increasingly obvious that there is a need for an alternative to the synthetic boards of the past and there has also been a revival in old style wooden boards like the traditional Hawaiian Alaia.
Fig. 19: Green Foam. Founder Joey Santley sweeping up foam dust from Green Foam Blanks at Lost Surfboard factory San Clemente, Los Angeles, California. This foam will be recycled and used in other boards. ‘For eco-friendly surfboard shapers, more kelp in the lineup’ by Mike Anton at Los Angeles Times.
Fig. 20: Danny Hess Of Hess Surfboards In His Workshop. How surfboards became Danny Hess' livelihood, November 11, 2009,Eric Gustafson, Special to The Chronicle.
Another consideration when producing a board that utilises all the eco alternatives is the resin coating. On the average board this is the dangerous polyester resin but now UV curing vegetable based resin alternatives are becoming available. Yet despite the alternatives, overall, the mainstream commercial market of surfboards has not adopted these eco aware options. (Kavanagh, 2011) Another product that is popular in the surf equipment industry is surf wax. It is a gripping wax that provides traction on the top of the surfboard. It is usually made from paraffin, which is another oil by product and yet another pollutant that comes off in the oceans or is disposed of in landfills. But, this does not have to be! Alternatives are available like the natural renewable resource of beeswax. (see Fig. 21/22)
Fig. 21: The Toxicity of Surfing Infographic. Information at Fig. 21.
Fig. 22: The Toxicity of Surfing Infographic. Created 2012 by Envirosurfer: The Eco-Friendly Surf Shop.
Captain Paul Watson, surfer, President of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Cofounder of Greenpeace understands the predicament of the average environmentally concerned human The problem is we’re on this treadmill out of control, we don’t really have control over our own lives. People disagree with things but they carry on living the life they disagree with because they don’t see any way out of it (Baker, 2008: 304) The St. Agnes, Cornwall based environmental organization Surfers Against Sewage’s campaigns highlight the environmental strains that surfers face. In 1990 S.A.S. was formed by surfer Chris Hines and: “a group of surfers who were literally sick of surfing in the sewage polluted waters.” (see www.sas.org.uk) They could see the need for surfers and other water users interests being represented. They initially made their name with the campaigning to local authorities and the water board for proper sewage treatment on British beaches. Much has been achieved with their sewage campaigns but campaigns
have been expanded to many other important issues that affect surfers and the coastal community. Campaigns include coastal development, waves as a sustainable electrical resource, improving safety for oil tankers and cruise ships in coastal waters and safe disposal of sewage, radioactive and other hazardous waste. All of these issues are brought to the community through education in schools, talks and scientific reports. All the above issues are caused by the increase in the human population and the progress of industry. Writing way back in the 1960s, influential ecologist Rachel Carson could see the damage being cause by man’s abuse of nature: Only within the moment of time represented by the present century has one species- man- acquired significant power to alter the nature of his world. During the past quarter century this power has not only increased to one of disturbing magnitude but it has changed in character. The most alarming of all man’s assaults upon the environment is the contamination of air, earth, rivers, and the sea with dangerous and even lethal materials. (Carson, 1962: 23 Chapter 2.The Obligation to Endure) This damage has only increased double fold until we are at a tipping point. Scientists who met to discuss the state of our oceans in ‘the International Programme on the State of the Ocean’ (Dr. Rogers: 2011) have concluded that warming, acidification, overfishing and other factors are combining to detrimental effect. “The worlds oceans are at high risk of entering a phase of mass extinction of marine species unprecedented in human history.” (Black: 20/6/11) This mass extinction affects all the coastal fishing communities of the world who depend on the oceans for life. Coral reefs and swampland accounts for 90% of the oxygen we breath and they are quickly being destroyed by human habitation and the pollution it inflicts on our delicate natural environment. The rights of sea life that are daily jeopardized by human habitation and population increase, causing global warming and devastating pollution. Champion surfer, Dave Rastovich the founder of Surfers for Cetaceans an organization set up to protect mammals like whales and dolphins says: There is a real magic there when you are on a wave together. There is this other species that you can’t consciously communicate with and you’re both experiencing this thing that’s purely for joy beyond the level of survival (Psihoyos, 2009) Inspired by conservationists of the environmental movement of an earlier generation like Paul Watson who believes “all social change comes from the passion of individuals” (Baker, 2008: 304) a new generation of motivated individual conservationist surfers are campaigning for sea life. Dave Rastovich has formed Surfers for Cetaceans to rally the surfing community to protect ocean life. With the surfing industry’s powerful impact on the public’s opinions and funded by his sponsorship by the major surf brand Billabong he is
able to pursue his mission to protect sea life from the destruction caused by human inhabitation. Paul Watson is a great admirer of the work achieved by Dave Rastovich.“ There are people who feel that reverence for the ocean. Dave Rastovich is one of them. They understand that it’s not a commercial commodity” (Baker, 2008: 305) Issues of the world’s oceans reiterate the belief that all nature is connected. “You are something the whole universe is doing, in the same way that a wave is something the whole ocean is doing.’ Alan Watts, Philosopher” (Baker, 2008: 198) The surf community has an opportunity to influence change in the industry. When the natural environment is not nurtured the effect on surfing can be catastrophic. Surfers are one of the first groups of people to be affected by changes in the ocean and coastline. Is there a moral responsibility to protect and nurture the natural environment? Tom Blake expresses eloquently our sense of awe for the power and mystery of the waves. He wrote in his 1968 essay ‘Voice of the Waves’ on the philosophy of surfing describing a “respect for its mysterious hidden energy.” (Baker, 2008: 340) Surfing can be your educator and your spiritual teacher that helps you form a strong bond with nature. The Knowledge you get in schools and colleges is second hand. The wisdom and know-how you get from the sea and waves and water is virgin, new and fleeting. By all means, get some of this kind of education (…) Try to coordinate with nature, or God, by studying the waves, riding them, finally making an almost perfect ride. Tom Blake, Surf Pioneer. (Baker, 2008: 45) Tom Blake believed ‘Nature=God’. In the film 180 Degrees South’ Kris Tompkins conservationist says that: “People only protect those things they love. And you can’t love something unless you inherently identify with that”. (Malloy, 2010) The ecologist and environmental theorist E.O.Wilson theorised that humans have an innate connection with nature. This is the theory of Biophilia: The phenomenon of biophilia explains why it is relatively easy to evoke sympathy for the environment and why we are filled with guilt when we damage or denigrate it. We seem to be endowed by our creator with interest in and a sense of obligation to care for the natural world. (Maple, 2007: 26) This innate connection with nature has been almost rejected by modern society with people valuing man-made objects and possessions over the natural. A belief has arisen that we no longer need nature. “Only in the last moment of human history has the delusion arisen that people can flourish apart from the rest of the living world.” (Wilson, 1992: 349) Water is the ultimate natural element that pervades our lives totally. Pollutants and nutrients are transported in water and it is totally essential for human life. About 70%
of our planet is covered in water and more than 50% of the human body is made up of it. Are we part of water’s big plan? Tom Robbins suggests that all beings “were invented by water as a device for transporting itself from one place to another”(Yogis, 2009: 3) In the popular journal National Geographic an article explains the value to the United States economy of this coastal resource and the many infrastructure problems it is faced with. Here are some of the figures that argue the financial value of the coastal resource: Every week more than 3,300 new residents land in southern California, while another 4,800 hit Florida's shores. Every day 1,500 new homes rise along the U.S. coastline. More than half the nation's population now lives in coastal counties, (…) In 2003 coastal watersheds generated over six trillion dollars, more than half the national economy, making them among our most valuable assets. (Bourne, 2006) The article goes on to explain the pressures of overcrowding and pollution that is occurring all along the coastline of the United States. These same problems are happening worldwide. Our coastlines are being populated without the proper infrastructure, for example waste treatment. Our oceans are being polluted on a global scale, threatening the very resource that provides income, food and homes for most of the world’s population. Surfers can lead the way for sustainable development. In the remote areas of some of the world’s poorest countries locals can benefit from the influx of tourists attracted on sustainably conscious surf holidays. The benefits are not just financial but can produce much needed improvements in basic human needs, for example health care. On the other hand, the development of surf destination tourism (if not properly monitored) can spawn the curse of unchecked overdevelopment. Local people may be denied access to their ancestral beaches by exclusive luxury resorts. The influx of tourists can bring a tide of pollution and western capitalist ideals that can often be to the detriment of indigenous cultures: This sad reality weighs heavily on the hearts of many surf travellers, who have watched the inevitable waves of modernisation wash up on some of their most treasured shores. (Baker, 2008: 95-96) Is access to a clean and freely accessible coastline a basic human right? Are beaches and tidelines something to be protected and preserved for future generations?
Conclusion: Surfing Now And In The Future. Who Can We Take Inspiration From? In the western world growth in popularity of surfing and an increasingly urban surfing community has lead to crowded conditions in the water with surfers jostling for waves, tension and territorial violence. (Beylik: 30/10/09) This ‘localism’ has become the bane of an increasingly urban surfing community. The almost gang like attitudes are perfectly illustrated in the documentary film ‘The Bra Boys: Blood Is Thicker Than Water’. (see Fig. 23) This documentary is about the famous urban surfing gangs along the coastline of Australia. (Abberton, 2007) Local individuals have created an almost exclusive surfing community lubricated by threats and violence. Often these tense situations can be to the detriment of individual’s freedom and enjoyment of the experience of surfing. This violent ‘localism’ is at variance with the typical image of a surfer who is relaxed, accepting and spreading a ‘positive vibe’. Education can change these attitudes in the next generation.
Fig. 23: Bra Boys: Blood Is Thicker Than Water Documentary. Promotional photograph featuring big wave surfers Koby Abberton (centre) and his brother and director Sunny Abberton (right). Note they are looking as tough as possible.
The news that surfing is now being brought onto the school curriculum in Hawaii is a sign of the acceptance of the sport by society as a helpful and healthy activity. (Aguerre: 5/10/11) Acceptance by the establishment spurred on by corporate motivators like Dr John Demartini and some of the major religions, has made it possible for a new era of surfing. This is an era where surfing has the potential to become part of the education system etc. But is this really what the surfing community wants: to be part of the establishment?: This new species of surfer contributes to a booming market for vacation packages, instruction, equipment and real estate near some of the world’s best surf breaks. Like golf, surfing has become an ideal activity around which to discuss business. Surfers find plenty of time for talk while driving in search of good spots, while changing into and out of wetsuits in the parking lot, and especially while waiting between sets of waves: (Higgins: 11/2/07) Surfing’s nearly total acceptance by society is illustrated by its adoption by the highpowered business world as a teaching tool and changes emergent in the education systems show its value to the establishment. Large amounts of money are generated through surfing lifestyle and related business making surfing financially viable. All these development have lead to surfing no longer being seen as an activity exclusively for ‘layabouts’ and teenagers. (see Fig. 24)
Fig. 24: President Obama Bodysurfing. The Hawaiian born American President Barack Obama bodysurfing in Honolulu, Hawaii while on vacation. An American President bodysurfing shows a relative acceptance by society.
The ongoing bid for Surfing in the Olympics that is supported by the International Surfing Association maintains that the way for competitive Surfing’s Olympic dreams to be achieved is by the building of more wave pools. (see Fig.
25) These wave pools would give the opportunity for surfing to happen anywhere even inland. The building of wave machines and the resulting removal of the experience of surfing from the natural environment could lead to a new generation of surfers only knowing surfing as something that happens within the safety of a man made controlled environment. A new generation of surfers could grow up never knowing the unpredictable ocean waves and the adventure experienced while surfing in its natural state. (see Fig. 26) There is a possibility that surfing could simply become a competitive sport and no longer have the opportunity of being a deep and meaningful lifestyle choice.
Fig. 25: The World’s Largest Wave Pool. Sunway Lagoon, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with champion surfer Taj Burrow. Magicseaweed Photo: Billy Morris/WPS, Trent Munro to Retire.
Fig. 26: Homemade Wave Pool. Near Zarautz, Basque Country, Spain. Created by José Manuel Odriozola This wave is not part of a commercial water park. The Surfer’s Path. Wave Garden – the next generation wave pool? There is a wave garden planned for Bristol, UK.
Individual influential surfers are starting to make a difference for the ocean environment. Also, many are attempting to fix the social problems brought on by the popularity of surfing. In this dissertation I have examined these influential individual’s motivation and their capacity to bring wider change for the world community. For example, Dr Dave Jenkins from Surf Aid is helping improve living conditions for the poor in all regions of the world. In this dissertation I have examined groups who are having a positive impact on the environment like the Surfers Against Sewage. Surfer entrepreneurs like Yvon Chouinard of Patagonia are providing solutions to harmful production methods for surf equipment and clothing. Conservation giants Captain Paul Watson and champion surfers like Dave Rastovich are people from the surfing community who are involved in saving whales and protecting sea life out of pure love for nature. These influential surfers and many other brave individuals of the surfing world remind us that if the surfing community seizes responsibility for their social and natural environment they can make a better world for all.
List of Images
Fig.1: Dolphins Surfing. The Telegraph Newspaper. Dolphins surfing off the coast of South Africa. Photographed by Greg Huglin. Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthpicturegalleries/7256595/Dolphins-surfing-off-thecoast-of-South-Africa.-Pictures-by-Greg-Huglin.html?image=7 [Accessed: 29/1/12] Cover Image.
Fig. 2: Lone Surfer At Waikiki Beach. Surfboard rider. Diamond Head, Oahu. This young man is carrying a basic traditional wooden board possibly what is called an Alaia and is sometimes ridden lying down, kneeling or standing. This style of wooden board has recently enjoyed a revival. He is also wearing a traditional loin cloth. ‘Hawaii 1890: Is this the first ever picture of a surfer about to ride the waves in the 19th century?’ Available at: www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1361094 [Accessed 02/06/11]. page 5
Fig. 3: George Freeth Holding His Homemade Board. It appears to be made from a coffin lid in 1915. Marcus. Ben, The Surfboard: Art, Style and Stoke, Minneapolis: Motorbooks International, 2007. page 6
Fig. 4: Duke Kahanamoku. This stamp first issued August 2002 honors the Hawaiian surfer, swimmer and Olympic Games gold medalist. He was renowned not only for his athletic ability but also for his humility and sportsmanship. The original portrait is an oil painting by Michael J. Deas and based on a 1918 photograph from the Bishop Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii. He was 28 at the time the photo was taken and had just won his Olympics medals. Smithsonian National Postal Museum [online] Available at: http://www.postalmuseum.si.edu/museum/2009_PP_5-9.html [Accessed: 19/1/12] page 7
Fig. 5: Tom Blake (1902-1994) At Malibu Beach, California. He was a friend of Duke Kahanamoku, a writer, an innovator in surfboard design and lifesaving techniques. Tom Blake was an advocate of physical fitness, vegetarianism and also worked as a stunt double for famous Hollywood actors like Clark Gable. Along with Duke Kahanamoku he is considered ‘the father of modern surfing’. California Surf Museum. Available at: www.surfmuseum.org/html/tom_blake.html [Accessed: 14/10/11] page 8
Fig. 6: Hugh Bradner’s Prototype Wetsuit Worn By John S. Foster. Made from an early form of Neoprene made by Rubatex. Photograph taken ca.1952/53 by Hugh Bradner. Scripps Institution of Oceanography Library Archive, University of California, San Diego. Available at: https://libraries.ucsd.edu/apps/public/#ark:bb94891403 [Accessed: 18/1/12] page 10
Fig. 7: Jersey Surfboard Club Founding Members In June 1959. Image including a mixture of South African lifeguards and U.K. surfers with wooden boards with no leashes or fins. Some board were inscribed with surfer’s names and
logos. Some boards are as large as 14ft. Hollow boards made from plywood and were still very heavy boards. Mansfield, Roger. 2009, The Tribe of Surfing: A History of Surfing in Britain, page 31, Newquay, Cornwall, U.K.: Orca Publications. page 11
Fig. 8: Jack O’Neill Simply Called It ‘Surf Shop’. O’Neill opened his first surf shop and arguably the first surf shop ever in 1952 on San Francisco’s Great Highway and in 1959 relocated to the shop (see picture above) in Santa Cruz near the popular surf break. Many of the surf shops of that time ordered skateboards for the surfers to use during flats spell or after surfing. These early skateboards were very basic and highly dangerous. Manky Monkey, O’Neill Wetsuits. Available at: http://www.mankymonkey.co.uk/products/oneill-wetsuits [Accessed 8/8/11] page 12
Fig. 9: Surf Aid Press Release For Mentawai Tsunami Appeal. The Boxing Day Tsunami hit Mentawai Islands, Indonesia in 2010. The islands are a surf holiday destination famous for its epic waves. Available at: http://www.surfaidinternational.org/emergencyresponse [Accessed: 21/12/11] page 15
Fig. 10: Surf Aid Educational Programme For Developing Global Citizens. It is to be taught in schools worldwide through surfing. Raising awareness of the communities on the Mentawai Islands, Indonesia. Available at: http://www.surfaidinternational.org/schoolsprogram [Accessed: 20/12/11] page 16
Fig.11: Positive And Negative Ions. Diagram of the movement of electrons from one atom to another forming a positive or negative ion. Available at: http://www.anionfamily.com/ion_what.htm [Accessed: 3/10/11] page 18
Fig.12: Negative Ion Barrel. Just imagine how many energizing negative ions this barrel contains. The above extremely deep barreling 20ft wave is ridden by Laird Hamilton, Teahupoo, Tahiti, 2000. Photograph taken by Tim McKenna. Available at: http://www.lairdhamilton.com/photos.aspx?cat=BIG+WAVE+SURFING++TIM+MCKENNA+IMAGES [Accessed: 3/10/11] page 18
Fig. 13: ‘The Surfing Rabbi’. Rabbi Nachum Shifren riding his local surf break at Malibu Beach, Los Angeles, California. Available at: www.thewanderingjew.net/K-Tours/Shifren/Images/SurfingRabbi5-600.jpg [Accessed 05/06/11] page 19
Fig. 14: Bethany Hamilton. She was riding the above board during the attack 2003. Taken in Hawaii, this is the image is from the same series as the cover of her book ‘Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board’. Photographed by Noah Hamilton. Available at: http://bethanyhamilton.com/galleries/photos/ [Accessed: 12/12/11] page 19
Fig. 15: Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig On Fire April 2010. Notice the thick oil slick in the water. Approximately 1,000 barrels a day of oil went into the Gulf of Mexico. Photographed by Gerald Herbert. Available at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/apr/26/deepwater-horizon-spill-underwaterrobots [Accessed: 20/11/11] page 22
Fig. 16: Sea Birds Killed By Oil Spill. Diving Petrels and Fluttering Shearwaters. Rena Oil Spill, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand October 2011. Photographed by Colin Miskelly. Available at: http://blog.tepapa.govt.nz/category/disasters/bay-of-plenty-oil-spill/ [Accessed: 3/1/12] page 22
Fig. 17: Patagonia Wetsuit. R4 wetsuit’s exterior and interior appearance. This suit is made using limestone neoprene and a merino wool interior liner for extra warmth. Available at: http://www.patagonia.com/us/product/detail/shop_landing.jsp?OPTION=WETSUITS_LA NDING&src=vupa0001 [Accessed: 11/1/12] page 23 Fig. 18: Lining Detail.
A close up of Patagonia’s patented liner. Made with chlorine-free merino wool this liner adds warmth and comfort. Available at: http://www.patagonia.com/us/product/detail/shop_landing.jsp?OPTION=WETSUITS_LA NDING&src=vupa0001 [Accessed: 11/1/12] page 23
Fig. 19: Green Foam. Founder Joey Santley sweeping up foam dust from Green Foam Blanks at Lost Surfboard factory San Clemente, Los Angeles, California. This foam will be recycled and used in other boards. ‘For eco-friendly surfboard shapers, more kelp in the lineup’ by Mike Anton at Los Angeles Times, April 16, 2010. Available at: http://articles.latimes.com/2010/apr/16/local/la-me-surfboard16-2010apr16 [accessed: 15/11/11] page 24
Fig. 20: Danny Hess Of Hess Surfboards In His Workshop. How surfboards became Danny Hess' livelihood, November 11, 2009,Eric Gustafson, Special to The Chronicle. Available at: http://articles.sfgate.com/2009-11-11/entertainment/17178998_1_surfboardspolyurethane-foam-straw-bale-house [Accessed: 20/10/11] page 25
Fig. 21/22: The Toxicity Of Surfing Infographic. Created 2012 by Envirosurfer: The Eco-Friendly Surf Shop, St. Encinitas, California. Researched by Corey Chin. Available at: http://www.greensurfshop.com/surfinginfographic/ [Accessed: 5/1/12] page 26/27
Fig. 23: Bra Boys: Blood Is Thicker Than Water Documentary. Promotional photograph featuring big wave surfers Koby Abberton (centre) and his brother and director Sunny Abberton (right). Note they are looking as tough as possible. Available at: http://business.transworld.net/625/news/bra-boys-best-documentary-at-movie-extraawards/ [Accessed 10/1/12] page 31
Fig. 24: President Obama Bodysurfing. The Hawaiian born American President Barack Obama bodysurfing in Honolulu, Hawaii while on vacation. An American President bodysurfing shows a relative acceptance by society. Available at: www.surferliving.com/forum/topic/surfing-celebrities-us-president-barack-obama [Accessed: 2/1/12] page 32
Fig. 25: The World’s Largest Wave Pool. Sunway Lagoon, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with champion surfer Taj Burrow. Magicseaweed Photo: Billy Morris/WPS, Trent Munro to Retire, Submitted 25/10/07 Available at: http://magicseaweed.com/Trent-Munro-to-Retire-Article/309/ [Accessed 10/11/11] page 33
Fig. 26: Homemade Wave Pool. Near Zarautz, Basque Country, Spain. Created by José Manuel Odriozola This wave is not part of a commercial water park. The Surfer’s Path. Wave Garden – the next generation wave pool? Available at: http://surferspath.mpora.com/news/wave-gardengeneration-wave-pool.html [Accessed: 20/1/12] There is a wave garden planned for Bristol, UK. More info available at: http://www.wavegarden.me.uk/index.html [Accessed: 20/1/12] page 33
Fig. 27: Back Lit Wave Close To High Cliffs. Aileens, County Clare, Ireland. Surfed by Fergal Smith. Photograph taken by Mickey Smith. From an article in National Geographic’s Blog called Adventure Photography: Tips From a Top Surfing Photographer. Posted 21/10/10. Available at: http://ngadventure.typepad.com/blog/2010/10/adventure-photography-tips-from-a-topsurfing-photographer.html [Accessed: 5/1/12] Back Cover.
Bibliography Books -Baker, Tim. 2008, High Surf: The World’s Most Inspiring Surfers, Sydney: Harper Collins Publishers.
-Carson, Rachel. 2002(originally published 1962), Silent Spring (Anniversary Edition), Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company -Chouinard, Yvon. 2006, Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman, New York: Penguin Books. -Jarrett, Phil. April 2010, Salt and Suits: How a bunch of surf bums created a multi-million dollar industry… and almost lost it, Melbourne: Hardie Grant Books. -Lawler, Kristin. 2011,The American Surfer: Radical Culture and Capitalism, New York: Routledge (the Taylor and Francis Group) -Mansfield, Roger. 2009, The Tribe of Surfing: A History of Surfing in Britain, Newquay, Cornwall, UK: Orca Publications. -Maple, Terry L. 2007, A Contract with the Earth, Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press. -Marcus, Ben. 2006, Surfing and the Meaning of Life, St. Paul, Minnesota: Voyageur Press-MBI Publishing Company. -Soyka, Fred. with Edmond, Alan. 1977, The Ion Effect, New York: Bantam Books. -Taylor, Bron Raymond. Dark Green Religion: Nature Spirituality and the Planetary Future, Berkeley/Los Angeles: University of California Press.
-Wilson. E.O., 1992,The Diversity of Life, New York: Allen Lane- The Penguin Press -Yogis, Jaimal. 2009, Saltwater Buddha: A Surfers Quest to Find Zen on the Sea, Marblehead- Massachusetts: Wisdom Publications.
-Abberton, Sunny. with De Souza, Macario. 2007, Bra Boys: Blood is Thicker than Water, Sydney, Bradahood Productions. -Bradbury, David. 2010, Going Vertical: The Shortboard Revolution, Sydney, produced by Leah Wright, a Blue Seas film production. -Eldridge, John. 2008, View from the Green Room, Padstow- Cornwall, in association with Quiksilver Initiative, Ikandi Media Production, produced by Andy Cummins, John Eldridge and Toby Lobb. -Kavanagh, Pierce Michael. May 2011, Manufacturing Stoke, Los Angeles, produced by Petra Kavanagh, Pierce Micheal Kavanagh, Maximilian Schmige, Geoffrey Smart- Misfit Pictures. -Malloy, Chris. 2010, 180 Degrees South: Conquerors of the Useless, Los Angeles, Magnolia Pictures- Woodshed Films. -McNamara, Sean. 2011, Soul Surfer, Los Angeles, Produced by Sean McNamara, David Brookwell, Douglas Schwartz and Dutch Hofstetter, TriStar Pictures. -Peralta. Stacey, 2004, Riding Giants, U.S.A./Paris: Forever Film-Studio Canal- Setsuna Ilc- Aop- Quiksilver Entertainment. -Psihoyos. Louie, 2009, The Cove, Oceanic Preservation Society, Los Angeles, Jim Clark Production, Skyfish Films. -Steele. Taylor, 2009, The Drifter, New York, Sire Records, A Warner Music Group Company and Hurley International.
Newspapers -Black, Richard.-Environment correspondent, 20/6/11, BBC News, World’s ocean in ‘shocking’ decline. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment13796479 [Accessed: 6/7/11]
-Higgins, Matt. 11/2/07, Surf’s Up, and Upscale, as Sport Reverses Its Beach Bum Image, The New York Times, New York. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/11/sports/othersports/11surf.html?pagewanted=all [Accessed: 11/9/11] -McCarthy, Micheal. (Environment Editor) 6/9/11, Oil Exploration under Arctic ice could cause ‘uncontrollable’ natural disaster, The Independent, Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/oil-exploration-under-arctic-ice-could-causeuncontrollable-natural-disaster-2349788.html [Accessed: 21/12/11] -Milman, Oliver. Guardian News and Media Limited, 10/10/11, New Zealand oil spill: conservationists warn of wildlife ‘tragedy’, The Guardian, Available at: www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/oct/10/new-zealand-oil-spill-wildlife-tragedy [Accessed: 20/12/11] -Rushe, Dominic. 3/1/12, BP sues Halliburton for Deepwater Horizon oil spill clean-up costs, Guardian News and Media Limited 22/12/11.The Guardian, Available at: (http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/jan/03/bp-sues-halliburton-over-deepwater) [Accessed: 5/1/12] -Twaronit, Lisa. April 10, 1995, Surfing’s Endless Summer, The New York Times, Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/1995/04/10/news/10iht-surfcon.ttt.html [Accessed: 12/1/12]
Periodicals -Blake, Thomas. Volume 8 No.3 Fall ’1999 (originally published 1968), Voice of the Wave, Surfer’s Journal, San Clemente, California. -Bourne, Joel K. July 2006, Land on the Edge: Loving our Coasts to Death, National Geographic, Washington D.C. Available at: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2006/07/american-coasts/bourne-text [Accessed: 8/9/11]
-Perman, Stacy. Issue 5: The Health Issue, Summer 2007, Hang Ten for ha-Shem, Guilt and Pleasure Magazine, New York. Available at: http://www.guiltandpleasure.com/index.php?site=rebootgp&page=gp_article&id=26 [Accessed: 10/8/11]
Primary Research -Interview with Roger Mansfield, Tolcarne, Newquay, Cornwall, U.K. 26/05/11. (See appendix) -An Evening With Chris Hines MBE- Why All Of Us Should Be M.A.D. (Making A Difference)- from 8pm, 26/10/11 at The Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society, Falmouth. Chris Hines received a MBE in 2008 for ‘Services to the Environment’. A founder of Surfers Against Sewage, Sustainability Director of the Eden Project and now runs the environmental consultancy A Grain Of Sand. (although I have not quoted from this talk it has been invaluable to my understanding of environmental and social issues)
Reports -Butt PhD, Dr Tony (SAS Director). August 2010, The WAR Report: Waves Are Resources, St. Agnes, Cornwall, UK: Surfers Against Sewage. -Flint, John. October 1999, Chapter 3, Popular Culture – Surfing, Studies of Asian Society & Culture in the Secondary School, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. Available at: http://surflibrary.org/popularculture.html [Accessed: 21/12/11] -Power, Nick. June 2010, A Surfer’s Guide to Sustainability, Written by a graduate of Environmental Action and Sustainability, New South Whales, Australia who is originally from Virginia Beach, Virginia, U.S.A. -Rainey, Carolyn. November 1998, Wetsuit Pursuit: Hugh Bradner’s Development of the First Wetsuit. Archives of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography University of California, San Diego La Jolla, CA 92093-0219, SIO Reference Number 98-16
-Rogers, Dr. Alex. 2011, The Global State of the Oceans Report, The International Programme on the State of the Oceans run by Scientists of the World. Available at: http://www.stateoftheocean.org/pdfs/ipso_report_051208web.pdf [Accessed: 5/1/12]
Websites - Aguerre, Fernando. (President of I.S.A.) 2006, Surfing and the Olympics: My point of view, International Surfing Association, La Jolla, California. Available at: www.isasurf.org/OlympicSurfing.php [Accessed: 6/12/11] - BBC News, 5/10/2011, Hawaii makes surfing a secondary school sport. Available at: www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-15189269 [Accessed: 10/10/2011] -Beylik, Bradley. OC Weekly LP, 30/10/2009, Wax on, Wax off: Surfing, Violence and You, OC Weekly, Available at: http://blogs.ocweekly.com/navelgazing/2009/10/wax_on_wax_off_surfing_violenc_1.php) [Accessed: 18/11/11] -Christian Surfers International, 2009, Website Designed by Naylor Design/Sutherland Web Design, Available at: www.christiansurfers.net [Accessed: 13/1/12] -De Martini, 2010, Available at: http://www.drdemartini.com/content/id/606/print [Accessed: 18/8/11] -Green Foam Blanks, Available at: www.greenfoamblanks.com [Accessed: 13/1/12] -Marcus.Ben, From Polynesia, With Love: The History of Surfing From Captain Cook to the Present, Surfing For Life funded by Pacific Islanders in Communications, Available at: www.surfingforlife.com/history.html [Accessed: 01/06/11] - Marko Foam Blanks- Enviro Foam, Available at: www.markofoamblanks.com [Accessed: 13/1/12] -Sage, Alexandria. Fox News Network, 6/8/10, EXCLUSIVE-UPDATE 2- Nike cites ‘ripple effect’ in action sports, Fox Business, Available at:
http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2010/08/06/exclusive-update-nike-cites-rippleeffect-action-sports/ [Accessed: 11/9/11] -Surfers Against Sewage. S.A.S. Background: History of S.A.S.: Beginnings, St. Agnes, Cornwall, UK. Site Editor: Hugo Tagholm. Available at: http://www.sas.org.uk/sasbackground/history-of-sas/ [Accessed: 19 December 2011] -Surfrider Foundation, 2012, Available at: http://www.surfrider.org/ [Accessed: 3/1/12] -Weisberg, Zach. 25/11/10, The Surf Biz is Growing Up, The Inertia, Available at: www.theinertia.com/business-media/surf-business-surf-industry-is-growing-up-targetnike/ [Accessed: 5/11/11]
Appendix Roger Mansfield became British Surf Champion 1970. Writer of ‘The Tribe of Surfing: a History of Surfing in Britain’. Senior Lecturer on Surf Science at Cornwall College. Curator of the ‘Surf’s Up’ exhibition. Excerpts from Interview: “(…) from a moral standpoint I think surfers are just totally hypocritical (…) they are only too happy to get into a car, burn around all day long until they find the right waves. Then, the day you see surfers cycling around the coast and then pulling their sailing yacht out for an extended winter vacation and setting off to find it, you know they have actually made the shift they are actually being consistent to their ideology (…) Poetically there is a theme there which say surfing can lead you towards a higher level of being. Surfers underneath it all are pagan even if they don’t realise it and anybody who will worship a liquid vortex of energy has got to be pagan, surely. Any human being who walks around
with his or her eyes on whether the tide is out or in as much as watching the watch, is tuned to a different thing (…) Anybody who knows where the moon is. Surfers, the more they surf the more they get tapped into this sort of stuff on one level. This is why I say this. It’s an interesting divide because, on the other hand, in order to get what they want, because surfers are hungry for waves, they will pay any cost (…) When I became a member of Surfers Against Sewage, it involved me for a number of years (…) 5 or 6 years (…) in political activism and stuff. It cost me time; it cost me money; it was all part of a team effort too. I was paying off (…) I was actually doing penance. I really felt like I owed something to the ocean. I knew that I put lots of debts on it in many ways and this was my way of doing something and felt I was lucky that I could do it in such a clear way. The day there was no more shit the shit was over. I wish there were more surfers, in a world where there is millions of surfers, who would buy into this in a small way. To make some kind of effort, that in the end actually protects the oceans. So, if you’re a surfer you should be a number one candidate, or quite high up the list, for wanting to protect the ocean. Though, that would be an ethical issue. We got to bring people around to understand why. Maybe I’m implying that if more clothing companies (…) but why should they (…) they are just businesses. While they are selling a lot it is just business. When this room is full of young people, my students, we have had conversations on these themes and it’s almost like a religion that they really believe in the clothing companies. Like the clothing companies are really doing something. That the clothing companies really are an important part of their sense of identity. So I think that’s very sad. But what happened was that it grew. And in fact, out of everything to do with surfing, the development of the clothing market (…) The clothing industry part of surfing took off and left surfboards, leashes wetsuits even way behind. The amount of money that it made (…) was in fact what was beautiful about it was that it has a romanticism about it that was really nice to sell. We are all so used to now seeing images of surfers on waves. When you took a product and stuck a picture of a surfer on a wave on it, most of the world was going ‘my God!’ So already they are connected with the product (…) and the product says ‘But we are that!’ So it’s one of the most brilliant (…) maybe someday someone will say (…) the most brilliant advertising/ marketing campaign ever to be launched upon the world. It started with a simple background (…) I can remember I used to play in the sea. I used to go body boarding and one day, when I was about nine years old, I walked up and there was a man going along a wave standing up! (…) and I watch for a bit and I couldn’t work it out. I didn’t know what to call it, ‘cause there was no word for it. There was no
pictures and nobody knew what surfing was. So I was like any naked kid on a third world island and where someone walks up with a surfboard. (…) that was surf shorts then, and then they changed again and these where all smaller scale changes ‘cause there was no international companies dictating this. It was regional changes (…) they go ‘Oh look what those guys are wearing, let’s get ours made like that!’ It was really on that sort of level. In fact, the people who make the surf shorts have taken over the sport. They have supplied so much money into it that they are in many ways the most influential force defining what surfing is, because so many people believe in them.”
Fig. 27: Back Lit Wave Close To High Cliffs. Aileens, County Clare, Ireland. Surfed by Fergal Smith. Photograph taken by Mickey Smith. From an article in National Geographic’s Blog called Adventure Photography: Tips From a Top Surfing Photographer.