The connection between the ocean and our pursuit of developing sustainable energy sources is strong. From protecting the environment to utilizing the ocean as a key element in developing sustainable energy, surfing will continue to be impacted by its evolution. There are efforts to capture renewable energy by using the power of waves on Maui, for example, with some hoping to make the island operate entirely on clean energy.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, we sometimes see surfing fall victim to environmental mishaps. In 2019, the South African city of Durban was faced with a huge sewage spill leading to a ban of basically any water sports. This didn’t come as a surprise, given the fact that as many as 190,000 gallons of raw sewage were pouring into the Port of Durban per hour. Due to safety concerns, the WSL was left with no other option than to cancel the planned Zigzag Durban Surf Pro. A similar event — where a ship loaded with both diesel and oil ran aground on a coral reef — happened just off the coast of Mauritius last year and surfers from all over the world were asked to sign an open letter addressed to the company responsible for the spill.