Can surfers be the solution to climate change, plastic pollution, and ocean acidification? It’s an ambitious task to try and answer that question but that’s exactly what we’re setting out to do at Sustainable Surf.
We’ve created the Deep Blue Survey, a project aimed at finding if the surf community has untapped potential in protecting the ocean. As an incentive, we’re giving away a free Slater Designs ECOBOARD to one lucky participant.
So without further ado, take the survey.
It will only take five minutes of your time.
So, what do you think about the following statement?:
“Surfers can solve climate change.”
It sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Surfers are too selfish and unimportant to make a difference in solving the most difficult environmental issue humanity has ever faced. That’s the job of politicians. However, we believe there is potential in the surf community to engage with these issues in a way that can provide leadership for the rest of world. Surfing has two things going for it:
1. Most people think surfing is cool, even if they live 1,000 miles away from the ocean.
2. Surf culture started in ancient Hawaii, which had perhaps the most sustainable society in the history of humanity. Who better to bring us back to living sustainably than surfers?
The world needs to write a different narrative about climate change. We need to make finding a solution desirable by connecting it to immediate personal benefits like saving money, improving health and wellness, and feeling connected to nature in a positive way. We’ve written about this on The Inertia before.
First, writing this new narrative requires examples of people living that desirable lifestyle, to which everyone else pays attention. See point #1 above. Second, we think surfers are closer to this than most people realize. Water creates the “Blue Mind.” Furthermore, there is a deep cultural history around sustainability that is still accessible today in Hawaii if you know where to look. See point #2 above.
We got together with Dr. Greg Borne of the Plymouth Surfing and Sustainability Research Group to design a survey that will help us understand how surfers relate to sustainability. This survey is based on established scientific literature around behaviors and attitudes to environmental problems. The data from this survey will be published in academic journals.
More importantly, the data will help the surf community unlock its own potential to protect what we love: the ocean and surfing itself.
So thank you for taking your own time to tell us how you engage with surfing and the natural world. We will be in touch soon. Especially if you’re the lucky winner.