Today, June 20, marks International Surfing Day. And while your Instagram or Facebook feed is probably blowing up with wave eye candy and pleas to ditch work and take advantage of the “holiday”, you may be left wondering what it’s all about.
It’s no coincidence ISD coincides with the summer solstice, the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. Spearheaded in 2005 by the Surfrider Foundation, ISD is all about reflecting on the importance of the beach, coast, and ocean–namely through going surfing. Being that Surfrider is based in San Clemente, choosing the longest day of the year for the northern hemisphere makes sense. We have more hours in the day to get after it! And it’s the official start to the summer season. Ironically for our friends in the south–Brazil, Australia, South Africa–it’s the shortest day of the year. Sorry guys!
According to Surfrider’s website, ISD was created, “to reflect on the impact [the organization] has made, the campaigns [they’ve] won, and the beaches [they’ve] protected,” and to, “salute your favorite beach.”
“Saluting your favorite beach,” though, is open to interpretation. For some, it simply means going surfing. For others it could be picking up trash, organizing or attending an ISD event, or spreading awareness about coastal conservation initiatives.
“But I surf every day,” you might say. “I don’t need an ‘International Surfing Day’ to promote others crowding my beach.” Even if you get in the water 7 days a week, though, ISD is more about reflecting on what we take for granted each time we paddle out, and why we should protect it. Not to mention, spreading the stoke through conversation and/or social media channels may encourage others to give surfing a try. Every person who discovers a newfound love for the ocean becomes a potential advocate for the coast, someone that has stake in preserving the coastline from harmful development.
Bottom line: International Surfing Day isn’t just about surfing, even though it is. And there’s still time. Get in the water if you haven’t yet. Attend an event. Spread the word, and spread the stoke.