SURFBOARD SOCK GIVEAWAY

by Derek Dodds November 04, 2018 1 Comment

Wave Tribe

As surfers, we are always out on the ocean, riding the waves, sea and sky. We love getting stoked on the interplay between water and wind as it creates massive swells for us to surf on.

Published by Wave Tribe

To feel the roar of that elemental energy beneath our surfboards is to reach for the sublime.

It’s what made us fall in love with surfing.

But if you’ve been out in the water lately, you might have noticed that something is off. A surfer can’t help but become attuned to the rhythms of wind, swell and tide. And when something is not in synch, we feel it.

We’re not the only ones feeling the crunch. In fact, we’re probably the last to know. Long before we felt and knew that something was wrong, these fellow ocean lovers have already known that the ocean was changing.

Who am I referring to? The indicator species in our marine ecosystem.

What are Indicator Species?

Indicator species are basically organisms which are very sensitive to environmental changes that they are often used as a gauge by scientists and researchers to determine if the ecosystem is healthy or not. Their absence or presence in a habitat usually indicates whether the environment is toxic or healthy enough to support life.

It’s similar to what coal miners used to do during the old days. Back then, they would bring a canary along with them as they descended into a newly dug tunnel. That’s because the canary was very sensitive to toxic fumes like carbon monoxide. If the bird died when they were in the tunnels, then that alerted them to evacuate the tunnels.

Not every organism can be a good indicator species though. Scientists select them on the basis of how sensitive they are to foreign substances compared to others and how resilient they are in the presence of the contaminant.

Out there in the ocean, we’re already acquainted with a few of them. Ever wondered why we feel uneasy in a deserted beach that has no seabirds flying over it? Because subliminally, we know that a healthy beach ecosystem always has birds on it. Without the sound of the gulls or the shore birds mixing it up with the crash of swell and wave, we know instinctively that something is wrong.

They are Living Monitors

And it’s just not birds. On land, insects are reliable indicators of the health of the environment. That’s because they interact closely with the environment so they’re the first to be affected when something is wrong with the quality of the soil, air or water. It also helps that they’re very resilient, having been around since even before dinosaurs. Mayflies, for instance, are used to determine the oxygen content present in rivers. A flourishing population of mayflies means that there is enough oxygen in the river to support life.

Amphibians are also important indicators for the over-all state of the environment. Their moist and permeable skin is susceptible to absorbing environmental pollutants so they’re usually the first victims on the chopping block. Massive frog die-offs in the past have often been linked to the negative aspects of urban development, like the contamination of local water resources.

Back to the sea, certain fishes are also considered as indicator species because of how their population reacts to the condition of their habitats. Salmon, for instance, have long been studied by scientists because it is sensitive to water pollution and to other negative effects that urban growth and deforestation have on water quality.

Some mammals are also used as barometers to measure the health and species diversity in ecosystems. Examples like the grizzly bear and prairie dog are often observed by wildlife scientists to determine if the ecosystem is functioning healthily.

This impact on the marine ecosystem underlines the urgency of getting our act together to stop global warming. Doing what we can to lessen our carbon footprint is a good start.

— Derek Dodds, Wave Tribe Founder

California’s Coastal Indicator Species

Surfing in California’s waters, we often encounter a variety of marine creatures sharing the same ocean with us. But how many of us actually know which are the ones who are most sensitive to the environment? Here are some species worth looking out for:

Grunion Fish (Leuresthes tenuis)

Found only along the Pacific Coast of California and the Baja Peninsula, these critters are landlubbers. During their spawning season at full moon, they take to the sand to mate and then lay their eggs at high tide level. They are particularly sensitive to human impact on the beach since the beach serves as a nursery for grunion eggs and larvae. So when grunion population levels are high, it means that the sandy beaches are healthy enough for them to use as breeding grounds.

Spiny Brittlestar Starfish (Ophiothrix spiculata)

Found in British Columbia to California, the brittle star feeds on detritus on the sand floor. While it thrives densely in the kelp forests near La Jolla, it can also be found on the shoreline. Since it requires an oxygen-rich environment to survive, it is a reliable indicator species for water quality. A decline in the population of brittle stars mean that the habitat is polluted and unhealthy.

California Mussels (Mytilus californianus)

Mussels as a species are excellent indicators for the contamination and over-all water body health. Here in California, water quality researchers are using the California mussel as an indicator of how ocean acidification is affecting the local marine ecosystem. They found out that exposure to acidic waters often caused poor larval growth among mussels, leading to a decline in the local population. So if you’re noticing how mussel shells are smaller and thinner than usual these days, that’s one sign that the waters you’re in might be getting more acidic.

Southern Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris nereis)

As a keystone species, sea otters strongly influence the abundance and biodiversity within a kelp forest ecosystem by eating sea urchins and other herbivores that would otherwise turn the kelp forests into barren underwater wastelands. In cases of oil contamination, they’re also the frontline victims because of their feeding habits which take them to near shore marine environments. A sea otter caught in an oil spill is a dreadful and pitiful sight. I pray that you never see one in your lifetime.

California Sea Lion ( Zalophus californianus)

A sea lion is very sensitive to changes in ocean circulation patterns. That’s why they are often the first to react to increases in the surface temperature of the ocean. In fact, scientists are attributing the frequent die-offs and strandings of sea lions to rapid ocean warming. The heat is driving away fish and other marine organisms to other cool areas leaving sea lions with little to eat and feed their young.

Spiny Dogfish (Squalus acanthias)

It’s one of the abundant shark species in the world. As such, it has been extensively studied as it is extremely sensitive to heavy metal pollution. Long lived, with some specimens reaching 100 years, it has now become a keystone species in New England waters by keeping the fish food chain stable. Mercury contamination continues to be a concern for this species; a decline in its population will result to a drastic change in the marine food web, disrupting fishery stocks.

Conclusion

When it comes to climate change, we surfers like to think that we are the first ones to see its impact out in the water. But in reality, it is the creatures living in the ocean that are affected first, some more than others.

This impact on the marine ecosystem underlines the urgency of getting our act together to stop global warming. Doing what we can to lessen our carbon footprint is a good start. Supporting conservation efforts for these creatures, some of which have become endangered, is another.

The world may have gone further over the carbon threshold today but it’s never too late to take action. If we don’t, it won’t only be these species that will be lost. It also will be what we love foremost: the ocean and surfing itself.

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Derek Dodds
Derek Dodds

Author


1 Response

John Morris
John Morris

November 09, 2018

Thanks, Tribe, for helping to give this vital information the attention it deserves.

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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.