Director, Surfers Against Sewage

The Inertia

The Global Wave Conference has just been held in Cornwall and London, at the Houses of Parliament no less. It was a world-first as enviro-surf campaign groups discussed SSSI’s – Sites of Special Surfing Interest – with Members of Parliament and pro surfers alike. The last thirty years have seen the rise of environmental activism within the surfing community and surfing should be proud to have some of the most established and impactful groups representing it today – from the Surfrider Foundation International to Surfers Against Sewage. Very few other sports have such a forceful response in protecting the natural spaces they love most.

This Global Wave Conference was an encapsulation of just how far the enviro-surf movement has come in the last 30 years. An inspirational gathering of many of the world’s most respected surfers, environmentalists, sustainable business leaders, grassroots activists, campaigners and marine experts focused on the protection of waves, oceans, beaches, wildlife and surf habitats worldwide. The event was also supported by some of the world’s most iconic and respected surfers including Easkey Britton and Ramon Navarro.

Pro surfer Greg Long delivered an inspirational and moving keynote speech that received a standing ovation. He shared the story of why he’s driven to challenge himself in big waves, his journey to becoming the most decorated big wave surfer, and how it nearly ended his life.


The event provided a unique platform to promote the efforts of the enviro-surf community to share strategies to better protect priceless marine environments and natural surf heritage. Surfers Against Sewage was honored that so many luminaries of the surf and environmental world participated in the Global Wave Conference and have shown their true commitment to protecting waves, oceans and beaches. The need to act has never been more acute, with our oceans under more pressure than ever.  From plastic pollution to raw sewage discharges, in places we’re witnessing the wholesale destruction of unique and irreplaceable surf habitats and coastal spaces so vital for healthy and happy communities.

Three of the best there ever will be.

Three of the best there ever will be.

On the last day of the conference, Tom Curren was presented with the inaugural Global Wave Champion Award for his services to protecting the environment. As a surfer, Tom has a life-long passion for the ocean environment and in 1990 he set up the Surfrider Foundation Europe.   The award was presented in the Churchill Dining Room at the Houses of Parliament by Steve Double, the Member of Parliament for Newquay and St Austell, and Geraint Davies, the Member of Parliament for Swansea West.

The final night of the conference also included music from the Ivor Novello & BAFTA award-winning musician Emily Barker who was joined on stage by Tom Curren and pro surf Brad Gerlach for a magical impromptu set. This unique gig was the first time Tom and Brad have played together in the UK and proved one of the unexpected highlights of the three days, something that those attending will remember for a very long time.


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