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Surfing and Environmental Conservation: Protecting Our Oceans

Surfing is not just a sport. It is a way of life that revolves around our love and connection with the ocean. It embodies the thrill of the ocean and the harmony between humans and nature. Surfing and Environmental Conservation go hand in hand, allowing us to preserve the ocean for future generations.

The popularity of surfing grows year after year. With this growth, it is vital that surfers and the broader surfing community recognize their role as custodians of the ocean. We need to take steps to protect the environment that grants us such joy. Protecting our oceans, which face an assortment of environmental challenges, becomes the primary focus. By embracing environmental conservation, we as surfers can ensure that future generations can experience the same sense of wonder and freedom that the ocean provides.

Surfing and Coastal Conservation

The ocean, covering over 70% of our planet’s surface, is not only a source of beauty but also a critical life-support system. It acts as a climate regulator, absorbs carbon dioxide, produces oxygen, and provides sustenance for countless marine species.

Unfortunately, human activities have greatly impacted the health of our oceans. Pollution, overfishing, climate change, and habitat destruction have all contributed to the degradation of marine ecosystems. As surfers, our profound connection to the ocean compels us to witness firsthand its vulnerability during our countless hours immersed in its waters. In recognizing this unique relationship, it becomes our duty to stand as advocates for the protection of our precious oceanic ecosystems.

In Central America, countries such as Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and El Salvador are home to world-class surfing destinations and have made significant efforts towards surfing and environmental conservation. These regions serve as inspiring examples of how surfers and local communities can work together to safeguard the health of our oceans while enjoying the waves.

Costa Rica: An Eco Hotspot

Costa Rica, the “pura vida” country, is renowned for its stunning coastlines and consistent surf breaks. In recent years, Costa Rica has emerged as a global leader in environmental conservation. Surfing areas such as Tamarindo, Santa Teresa, and Pavones have become hotspots for eco-friendly practices and sustainability initiatives. Local businesses emphasize the importance of responsible tourism, educating surfers about minimizing their environmental impact and respecting the delicate coastal ecosystems.

If you want to experience the Costa Rican stunning beauty you should stay at Nantipa, eco-friendly surf resort located on the beautiful beach of Santa Teresa. Organizations like the Costa Rican Surf Federation and local environmental groups collaborate on beach clean-ups, marine research projects, and campaigns to reduce plastic pollution. Costa Rica’s commitment to sustainable surfing has not only helped preserve its natural beauty but has also positioned it as a role model for other surf destinations worldwide.

El Salvador: Looking to a Sustainable Future

In El Salvador, the small yet vibrant surfing community of El Tunco has made remarkable strides in environmental sustainability. Surrounded by pristine beaches and impressive coastal landscapes, El Tunco has become a symbol of eco-friendly surfing. The local community and organizations like the El Salvador Surf Travel Association and the La Libertad Surf Association are committed to protecting the marine environment.

Efforts are focused on beach clean-ups, waste management, and raising awareness about the importance of conserving the coastline. If you’d like to stay in the area and enjoy eco-friendly surfing we recommend Casa Sunzal, located a few steps to El Tunco town and to El Sunzal beach.

Eco-Conscious Resorts in Peru

In Peru, South America, the coastal city of Chicama is renowned for having one of the world’s longest left-hand waves. Surfing in Chicama is not just about the wave, but also about the commitment to environmental stewardship. Chicama Boutique Hotel & Spa has implemented sustainable practices, including water conservation, solar energy, and waste reduction.

They educate surfers about the importance of protecting marine ecosystems and work with local communities to develop initiatives that benefit both the environment and the local economy. By integrating sustainable practices into the surfing experience, Chicama sets an example for other surfing areas to follow.

Plastic Pollution

One of the most pressing environmental challenges facing our oceans is pollution. Plastics, in particular, pose a severe threat to marine life. Every year, millions of tons of plastic waste end up in the ocean, choking marine animals such as turtles, polluting habitats, and disrupting ecosystems.

We as surfers can play an active role in combating this crisis by adopting eco-friendly practices and encouraging others to do the same. By reducing the use of single-use plastics, recycling waste responsibly, and participating in beach clean-up initiatives, surfers can help prevent further pollution and preserve the pristine beauty of our surf breaks. Protecting our oceans is our responsibility.

In addition to pollution, overfishing has decimated marine populations and upset the delicate balance of ocean ecosystems. Many species, including sharks, turtles, and dolphins, are caught unintentionally in fishing nets, leading to their decline. Surfers can support sustainable fishing practices by consuming responsibly sourced seafood and advocating for stricter regulations on commercial fishing. By promoting sustainable fisheries, we can ensure that marine life thrives and that future generations can experience the wonders of the ocean.

Eco Friendly Luxury in The Maldives

Moving across the globe to the Maldives, this island nation in the Indian Ocean offers world-class surf breaks amidst stunning coral reefs and abundant marine life. Many resorts and surf charters in the Maldives have embraced sustainable practices and prioritized marine conservation.

One standout example is the ultimate luxury resort Soneva Fushi, which actively works to minimize its environmental impact through initiatives such as waste management, coral reef restoration, and renewable energy projects. The resort educates visitors about the importance of protecting the marine ecosystem and offers opportunities to engage in conservation efforts, such as turtle rehabilitation programs and coral transplantation. The Maldives also hosts the annual Maldives Surfing Association Environmental Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness about sustainable practices and the importance of protecting our oceans.

Climate Change and our Oceans

Climate change is another major threat facing our oceans. Rising sea levels, ocean acidification, and coral bleaching are just some of the consequences of global warming. As surfers, we witness these changes firsthand. Our favourite breaks may become eroded or disappear entirely, and the delicate coral reefs we rely on may perish.

To address this issue, we can champion renewable energy sources, reduce our carbon footprint, and support organizations dedicated to combating climate change. By transitioning to eco-friendly surfboard materials and participating in tree-planting initiatives, surfers can actively contribute to mitigating the impacts of climate change and preserving the ocean’s health.

Furthermore, the destruction of coastal habitats, such as mangroves and dunes, has a direct impact on the quality of waves and the overall health of the marine ecosystem. We can advocate for the protection and restoration of these crucial habitats, recognizing our role in maintaining healthy coastlines and abundant marine life. By supporting local conservation organizations and engaging in habitat restoration projects, we can ensure the long-term sustainability of our favourite surf spots.

Sustainability and Siargao

The surf destination of Siargao Island in the Philippines has emerged as a leader in sustainable surfing and environmental conservation. Siargao is home to the famous Cloud 9 break and boasts pristine beaches and rich biodiversity. The local community and organizations, such as the Save Philippine Seas Foundation and the Siargao Environmental Awareness Movement, have been instrumental in beach clean-ups, mangrove reforestation, and education programs focused on marine conservation.

Siargao has become a model for sustainable tourism, where surfers and visitors -who can stay at Nay Palad Hideaway, a stunning barefoot resort- are encouraged to support local businesses that prioritize eco-friendly practices and respect for the natural environment.

Education and awareness are key components of effective environmental conservation efforts. We as surfers can utilize our unique position as ambassadors of the ocean to inspire others to take action. By sharing our experiences, advocating for sustainable practices, and engaging with local communities, surfers can foster a sense of stewardship among both surfers and non-surfers alike. Surfing events can be used as platforms to raise awareness about environmental issues and promote eco-friendly initiatives. Additionally, supporting and collaborating with organizations dedicated to ocean conservation can amplify the impact of individual efforts.

Surfing and environmental conservation are not mutually exclusive; in fact, they are deeply interconnected. We as surfers have a vested interest in protecting the oceans that provide us with endless joy and fulfilment. By adopting sustainable practices, supporting conservation initiatives, and raising awareness about environmental issues, we can be at the forefront of safeguarding our oceans.

Let us embrace our roles as guardians of the sea, working collectively to ensure that future generations can experience the thrill of riding waves and revel in the awe-inspiring beauty of our oceans. Together, we can create a world where surfing and environmental conservation go hand in hand, fostering a harmonious relationship between surfers and the natural world we so deeply cherish.

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Customer Reviews

AWAVE Travel

Customer Reviews

Omar AlJammaz 03/07/23

Great travel options, great customer support, simplifying planing process.
Looking forward for my next trip.

Nina Ross 03/08/23

Awesome holiday to Hudhuranfushi. Giulia was very helpful and quick to respond and overall we were very impressed with Awave Travel.
Lohi's is a private, on site, awesome left hander that just kept giving. Also had options of 2 daily surf boat trips that went to other local breaks such as Sultans, Ninja's, Cokes, Jails. The surf team are amazing and we scored great waves the whole time we were there.
Stayed in a Sunset family beach villa which was perfect for a family of 4, then upgraded for the last 3 nights to Ocean Villas, both great for different reasons!
Island staff are so helpful and welcoming, and there's a good variety of food options available. Lots of other things to do such as paddleboarding, jet ski-ing, spa treatments, yoga and amazing snorkelling - with sharks, turtles and rays! We also hired bikes to get around and do morning surf checks!
An amazing trip, thank you Awave and Hudhuranfushi!

Seb Speck 25/06/23

We had an amazing time on the Mentawai islands booked through Awave Travel.
Giulia was very helpful and available at all times during the booking process. And we had the best time on the Mentawais on the Maki Boat. The staff were amazing. Raul the surf guide was very helpful, friendly and coached us on the waves. Kaique the photographer produced top quality pictures and videos from the water, boat and drone.
Overall very happy and would highly recommend it.

Tom Ward 18/06/23

We charted Seafarer for a 10 day trip in the Maldives. We booked with AWAVE about 12 months before. James was super helpful, really responsive and just easy to deal with. We even made a very last minute change to go to the central atolls which he arranged pretty much straight away. The trip itself was unreal, great surf, amazing wildlife and scenery. If you’re thinking about a surf charter, do it and book through these guys!

Natasha Gronski 06/08/23

Awave Travel is the best surf travel agency I have ever booked! They are very professional and responsive to my inquiries and are able to match me with a surf trip appropriate to my interests and skill level. They have an outstanding relationship and reputation with the resorts that they work with, which makes a difference in the consumer experience. Above all, the Awave staff is very friendly and knowledgeable about the areas they recommend, as they have actually surfed the spots and stayed at the resorts. For anyone who wants a hassle-free, no worries, relaxing and fun surf adventure, Awave Travel is the way to go!

David 05/29/23

8 of us stayed at Hudhuranfushi for my 50th birthday celebration. The resort and services were amazing. James and the team at AWAVE stayed in contact from the beginning to end to ensure we had everything we needed. Great experience. Definitely looking forward to booking our next trip with AWAVE in the near future.

Alexandra Franz 05/31/23

We spent amazing days in Morocco in Amouage. Was an amazing stay and the full surf package offered by AWAVE was great.
All the people were very nice and coaches were amazing. Booking was very smooth, answered all my questions and they took care of everything.
I took the coaching package and had a great time and learning. The teacher was great, very patient and explained everything very nice and calm. Felt safe all the time and had a lot of fun as well.
My boyfriend had the guiding package and he also had a great time. He was always taken to the spots that fitted his level and enjoyed the full when conditions were nice.

Alex Reuter 05/22/23

We stayed at Ayada in Maldives and I can't be more complimentary of AWAVE! Awesome and patient advise over whatsapp on which resort to go to with extremely details local knowledge on surf conditions, wave spots, resort quality, which atolls to go to, etc. I followed their recommendation and it was spot on. Easy booking on short notice before the trip, can't thank James enough!

Stewart Cropp 05/19/23

Our remarkable trip was 12 months in the was awkward to organize because there was so many people coming and going over our two week chartered cruise.
I can’t speak highly enough of AWAVE and more to the point ,the wonderful Giulia Manfrini. She is so caring and sweet and far above and beyond any travel consultant that I have ever worked with
Thankyou Giulia for all your prompt answers to my gazillion questions
You are “Simply the best”.
Now onto the Carpe Diem
The trip of a lifetime was had by all 20 of us
The Captain and crew worked tirelessly to pander to our every whim
They would not allow us to lift a finger
Our Barmen Shawn and Cook ( still can’t pronounce his name ) were superb, the food was first class and varied and the alcohol flowed like a river
Our Surf guide “Seppe” found waves for us every day except for two while we travelled deep into the central Attols
We were greatful for the rest
We snorkeled with the sharks and visited uninhabited Islands spent an afternoon being spoiled at a high class resort .
All in all an Awsome trip

Diane 05/11/23

James helped us organize our trip in April for my partner and I in the Mentawai.
First, lets discuss the service : James was super clear and reactive. We received a list of resorts with different price ranges and he provided all the elements for us to decide based on our needs and budget. We felt very supported for the organization and we even received so advices few days before leaving for packing.
I was a bit afraid as i'm not a good surfer so i reach out many times to understand how I could still try and learn and James always replied very quick and with all the info i need.
Then when we arrive : it was super well organized, everything went smooth and we fell in love with the place and people. We can tell they really worked on their resort selection and travel organization and we trust our next adventure will be as qualitative.
Already recommended their service ;).