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The Sport of Surfing and The Environment

Part of the WSL’s Pure Campaign

Part of the WSL’s Pure Campaign

So in this segment we’ll talk briefly about the sport of surfing, the competitive structure and how surfers take the environment pretty seriously. 

As it stands the World Surfing League (WSL) is the governing body of the sport. For the men’s shortboard tour they have 11 stops scattered around the globe, they’ve selected the most high-performance waves and locales. They’ve also got some of the most challenging waves in the world as stops on the tour, the main one being Teahupo’o in Tahiti. This reef break has the ability to produce waves of over three-stories high! (Definitely, not for the fainthearted!).

Teahupo‘o showing us what it can do 2019

Teahupo‘o showing us what it can do 2019

The women's shortboard tour usually runs in conjunction with the men’s however, they do have a couple of events that are separate from the men's tour. 

There is also the big wave world tour (for the mad dogs - they monitor the biggest swells and fly out on short notice to literally ride monsters), the junior world tour, the qualifying tour and the longboarding tour that consists of four stops around the world.  

What’s the difference between shortboarding and longboarding? Well to start with there’s the board size. Shortboards usually range in length from 5ft - 7ft. Whereas, longboards are usually around 7ft - 10ft with much more volume and buoyancy. The entire style of surfing differs when on different sized boards. Shortboarding is much quicker, dynamic and critical. Whilst, longboarding allows for (arguably) more beauty, flow and is described by many as dancing on the water. 

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You’ll always start your surfing journey on a longboard as the extra size makes it much easier to catch waves and learn the fundamentals. 

As we’ve previously discussed, the evolution of surfing is plain to see. It has come along way from its roots and will be featured in the Olympics, for the first time, in Japan 2020! We can’t wait to see its debut.

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Surfers spend the majority of their time in the ocean and without the ocean the sport would be non-existent as such, there are several initiatives that take place to protect our oceans. The WSL has pledged to be completely carbon neutral by the end of 2020. They run regular campaigns to protect the ocean such as the, ‘Committed Above, Committed Below,’ where they’ve been planting healthy coral to coral reefs that are in need. There’s also the #StopTrashingWaves campaign, where they’ve already managed to collect over 20 Tonnes of rubbish from beaches around the world. Most notably, in our eyes, is their pledge to leave each location on the tour in a better place than they found it (Tourists take note!).

Check out some more information here: https://www.worldsurfleague.com/pure

As most of you know, we take the environment pretty seriously at Vaayu and have regular beach clean-ups to protect our home. Last season alone our team and volunteers did 10 beach cleanups resulting in over 115 bags of trash being collected. Stay tuned for the beach cleanups this season, we hope you can join us so we can make a difference together!

Our surf sessions always end up with us picking up any foreign objects in the ocean or on the beach - the little things matter! 

Stay tuned for the next article where we'll be sharing a list of our favourite surf documentaries!