BOARDSOCK GIVEAWAY

by Derek Dodds March 17, 2019

Wave Tribe

If someone told me decades ago, back when I first started out surfing, that beaches could become endangered sites, I would have scoffed at the idea.

Published by Wave Tribe

I mean, it’s a nice idea for a dystopian surfer novel, sure, but the probability of it coming to reality would be nil. Or so I thought, then.

Back then, nobody heard of carbon threshold, climate change had yet to become a buzzword and people were still gung-ho about using plastic.

These days, though, I’m no longer sure.

That’s because climate change is now our reality and it is affecting all things that surfers hold dear.

Endangered Coastlines

To be sure, it’s not only California that stands to lose its coasts. Around the world, beaches are constantly undergoing erosion as a result of a rise in sea levels and an increase in harbor dredging and river damming activities. The accelerated melting of the ice caps due to global warming has worsened coastal erosion and is seen as a significant driver in changing the natural coastlines all over the globe.

And when the coastlines go, so do our surfing breaks.

Beach Erosion

Here in California, the loss would be painful. Nothing speaks to a Californian more than the image of surf breaks on windy days. And yet we could lose it all in the future.

According to the US Geological Survey, many of Southern California’s famous surfing spots will be overwhelmed by rising sea levels by 2100. That’s because in the next eight decades, sea levels will rise between 3.3 and 6.5 feet, eroding 31 to 67 percent of the coastline’s beaches.

Loss of Surf Spots and Coastal Squeezes

Our surf spots are the first in line to be wiped out when the seas rise. That’s because the rise of water levels can significantly impact the natural surf-tide dynamics; surf spots where waves break at low tide may vanish while spots where waves break at high tide will now only break at low tide.

There’s also the phenomenon of the coastal squeeze.

According to surfer scientist Shawn Kelly, beaches actually can adapt to rising sea levels by rolling back landward so that they can adjust their position relative to the new sea level. But what happens if there is an obstacle along the coastline, like a sea wall or a land development? The beaches can’t migrate inward; they will be squeezed, caught between land and sea. Overwhelmed by the rising level, the beach and the adjacent coastal habitat will wiped out.

That’s bad news. Surf zones will become narrower and breaks will move closer to the shore resulting in smaller waves until they disappear.

We are natural ambassadors for communicating the negative impact of climate change because we are on the frontlines every single day. Our experience gives urgency to our credibility. We need to be leaders by example so that we can create a massive swell of change that will inspire others to look after the sustainability of our oceans and beaches.

— Derek Dodds, Wave Tribe Founder

Erratic Storms

But it’s just not rising sea levels that can cause our beaches to go away. The unpredictable dangerous weather caused by climate change can also doom our favorite surfing spots to a footnote in history.

California’s surfing waves are mostly generated by open-ocean storms that send swells toward the Californian coast. These swells, when combined with local winds and storm fronts, and tossed in just the right direction against offshore shelves, result to perfect waves pushing up from the ocean surface.

Erratic Storms

But with the storms shifting by 2100 due to climate change, the swells could be sent on a course parallel to our coast rather than towards us. When that happens, the massive swells that we happen to fancy are gone and what little remains will further vanish because of rising sea levels.

Threatened Surfing Spots

I tried compiling a list of all our surfing spots which have been identified as at risk from the effects of climate change. According to the reports I read online, these are:

        • the long, scenic rides at Topanga, Southern California
        • the bizarre and brutal break called "The Wedge" at Newport, Southern California
        • the classic and beloved "Lower Trestles" outside of San Clemente, San California
        • Rincon Surfing Spot, Southern California
        • Pleasure Point, in Sta Cruz
        • Supertubes, LA County

This is, by no means, a definitive list. There are other surfing spots around our coasts that are at risk from rising sea levels brought about by global warming. But compiling this list makes me realize how real the threat is. This is no longer some academic abstraction provided by computer modeling. The threat to our beloved surfing beach spots is real, bros.

Economic Impact

The potential loss of our beaches will also have an effect on the local economy. Businesses which rely on beach and surfing tourism will go bankrupt when tourist activity will decline. Homes along the coast will also be at risk from eroding coastlines. In fact, in California alone, some $48bn worth of property is estimated to be swamped if the sea level increases beyond 4ft.

Can Our Beaches Survive Climate Change?

This is a question that begs to be answered. But according to experts, there’s no one magic solution to solve this problem. To mitigate the effects of coastal erosion , the California Coastal Commission recommends an approach combining protection, accommodation and retreat measures. But what this means though is that not every beach will be saved from the effects of sea level rise. And that means that some surfing spots will go, indeed, the way of the dodo.

What Can Surfers Do?

We do what we can. The folks at Save the Wave Coalition, a surf conservation organization, are actually pointing out that surfers can be the canaries in coal mine on climate change. To which I agree.

We are natural ambassadors for communicating the negative impact of climate change because we are on the frontlines every single day. Our experience gives urgency to our credibility. We need to be leaders by example so that we can create a massive swell of change that will inspire others to look after the sustainability of our oceans and beaches.

Inertia lists some specific action points that any surfer - or anyone, really - can do. These are:

  • Reduce your personal environmental footprint by recycling and changing consumption patterns.
  • Support and campaign for environmental laws and elect officials that are pro-environment.
  • Educate decision makers and citizens in coastal communities so that they become aware of potential long-term impacts to their local coastlines because of global warming.
  • Be a voice for rational policy decisions to mitigate the negative effects of climate change.

The bottom line is, we need to get on with the program. Because if we don’t, we just might really be facing a future where there are no beaches and where surfing will largely be done in indoor wave pools.

And that’s not the future where I want my children to be surfing to.

Read Next

Why Beach Clean-ups Are Important




Derek Dodds
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Size Chart

Surfboard Leashes

You Break It We Replace It in First Year. 

Buy a leash closest to your board size—i.e. for 6'4 surfboard you need a 6' leash. 

All leashes are 7mm thick, competition leashes which are lighter/thinner 5.5 mm. 

Pioneer Day Boardbags - Fits One Surfboard

All boardbags have +2 inches. Thus a 6'6 board fit's perfectly in a 6'6 boardbag. All Pioneer bags have expandable fin gussets, so you can keep your fins on your board in the bag—or you can roll with glass-on fins.

Pioneer Sizes:

All bags have interior pockets (fins, leash and wax), bags fit industry standards. 

Our 8'6, 9'6 and 10' bags have fin slots and round noses. 

Pioneer bags also have an exterior pocket and zip all the way to the nose.

Travel Bags - Fits Two Surfboards

All Global boardbags have +2 inches, so if you buy a 6'2 boardbag, the real length is 6'4—thus you have a bit of room to play. 

Global Travel Bag Sizes:

Travel boardbags are 6'-8' inches deep to accommodate two boards—though you can travel with one in these bags without a problem—there are two interior pockets for leash, wax, and fins.

Surfboard Travel Bag Pockets Fin Wax Leash

Travel boardbags have two padded boards separators and two pockets for your gear. 

* Travel boardbags also have 13mm + 13mm of extra padding in the nose and tail.

Travel Bags with Wheels - Fits Two Surfboards

New in 2016 is the double travel bag with wheels. Sometimes you want a smaller bag with wheels, now you can have it. All Global boardbags have +2 inches, so if you buy a 6'2 boardbag, the real length is 6'4—thus you have a bit of room to play. 

Global Travel Bag Sizes:

Travel boardbags are 6'-8' inches deep to accommodate two boards—though you can travel with one in these bags without a problem—there are two interior pockets for leash, wax, and fins.

Wave Tribe Wheelie Surfboard Travel Bags

Travel boardbags have two padded boards separators and two pockets for your gear. 

* Travel boardbags also have 13mm + 13mm of extra padding in the nose and tail.

Boardbag Material & Hardware - All Bags

Side A of the bag is made from a strong density Rugged Eco Hemp exterior which is one tough fiber and naturally built to last with high impact padding protection with Rebound Foam Dynamics including open-to-nose technology.

Side B is the reflective (rental-car-roof-side) made from Reflective Energy Shield for "Cooler Surfboard Safeguard" protecting your surfboard from the sun's harmful rays made from an alloy-steel mesh weave.

All Sides are guarded by our Japanese Never-Rust-or-Break Nickel Platted Zippers streamline zipper trails and our trademarked Easy Flow Zip System.