Four years ago, the world tipped 7 billion people. Estimates for the worldwide surfing population in the early 2000s differ greatly, from five million (Surf Industry Manufacturer’s Association), to 17 million (Surfing Australia), to 23 million (International Surfing Association). Today, that number is likely to be much greater. And as you can imagine (and probably have experienced first-hand), lineups are more crowded today than ever, causing a great concern for not only the lack of waves to go around, but for the safety of surfers in the densely populated surf spots around the world. But it’s not just sheer numbers that are causing concern.
Taylor van Essen, a 21-year-old filmmaker based out of Byron Bay, created this short documentary centered around The Pass in Byron Bay, where he spoke to several different people affected by surfers who are putting the lives of others in danger by choosing not to wear leashes.