– stripping surfing back down to its most elemental form

Taking Stock

In April of 2006 D. Lawless and I came up with a concept to promote our ideas about sustainability and social responsibility within surfing. For years we’ve talked about consumerism and how it affects each one of us. Lawless, a consummate minimalist taught me the value of taking good care of my things. Together we moved from fancy mountain bikes to striped down single speeds. It seemed that losing gears off the bikes meant adding fun, along with a measure of peace that came from not thinking about ‘stuff’ all the time. Phoresia became a way to hone our ideas and present them to whoever wanted to listen in a grassroots approach.

In a short time we’ve gone from passionate editorials to interviews with respected industry professionals like Tom Wegener, and Ned McMahon. We have reviewed surfboards, clothing companies, bicycles, slippers, skateboards and more. So why, if we want to reduce our consumption, do we spend so much time thinking about gear?

Taking Stock - Phoresia.orgWe realize that most of the things we are passionate about require it, whether it’s bicycles, surfing, skateboarding, etc., they all require that we be consumers at some level. But, we also realize that having stuff does not mean that our purchases have to be irresponsible to the environment or people. We have discovered through a little research that there are a lot of like-minded people out there and together they are beginning to make a great big difference.

In October of 2006 we started monitoring the traffic to our site. Since then an average of 25% of our visitors arrived at the site by searching Google using words like “sustainable, surfing.” This number carries great implications. There are a people out there interested in purchasing surfing products designed to have a longer life cycle, less environmental impact, and little or no negative social impact. There is a market for ‘green’ surf related stuff.

There is another inevitable truth. Surfing’s’ popularity is exploding. Recently the New York Times ran an article describing surfing as a yuppie pursuit, a status sport. The article goes on to discuss the expansion of surf real estate markets, surf schools, and surf trips that cost more than most of us could ever imagine paying. This is a clear example of the consumer machine taking another stab at surfing the way it did in the 60’s. Change is bound to come and many of us may not like it as our lineups become more crowded and people are not introduced to the basic principles of surf etiquette.

How often do you experience a solo surf session? Crowded surf is both an effect of the growth of the sport and one of population growth. In 1965 the United States population was around 194 million. In 2005 it was 296 million. Without federal and local governments making serious commitments to cleaning up the way we live, places like southern California may become too toxic to surf. Already many breaks around the world suffer from high fecal bacteria levels, threatening surfers with a nasty list of diseases. Websites like 70 are trying to address these issues of pollution by tracking when surfers get sick. Other organizations like the Surfrider Foundation and Save the Waves focus their efforts or protecting coastal environments.

We can be confident of one thing for sure. Grass roots movements can make a difference. The fact that gets hundred’s of visitors a month with virtually no advertising on our part proves that there is a niche to be filled. We plan to continue to bring you the latest information we can dig up. But we also encourage you to go out and ask the questions for yourself. Make sure that your money goes a long way and that it works to preserve that which gives us all soo much fulfillment. Get involved, it means something.

Please check some of the websites below for further reading:

UT Campus Environment Center– suggestions for lowering your own environmental impact

World Changing — web resource for positive environmental change

Ode Magazine – Ode is another forward thinking publication from the Netherlands. Not necessarily surf related but informative and has a positive approach to change.

• Category: environment,, skateboarding

2 Responses »

  1. The link between Mind and Social / Environmental-Issues.

    The fast-paced, consumerist lifestyle of Industrial Society is causing exponential rise in psychological problems besides destroying the environment. All issues are interlinked. Our Minds cannot be peaceful when attention-spans are down to nanoseconds, microseconds and milliseconds. Our Minds cannot be peaceful if we destroy Nature.

    Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment.

    Subject : In a fast society slow emotions become extinct.
    Subject : A thinking mind cannot feel.
    Subject : Scientific/ Industrial/ Financial thinking destroys the planet.

    Emotion is what we experience during gaps in our thinking.

    If there are no gaps there is no emotion.

    Today people are thinking all the time and are mistaking thought (words/ language) for emotion.

    When society switches-over from physical work (agriculture) to mental work (scientific/ industrial/ financial/ fast visuals/ fast words ) the speed of thinking keeps on accelerating and the gaps between thinking go on decreasing.

    There comes a time when there are almost no gaps.

    People become incapable of experiencing/ tolerating gaps.

    Emotion ends.

    Man becomes machine.

    A society that speeds up mentally experiences every mental slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.

    A ( travelling )society that speeds up physically experiences every physical slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.

    A society that entertains itself daily experiences every non-entertaining moment as Depression / Anxiety.

    Fast visuals/ words make slow emotions extinct.

    Scientific/ Industrial/ Financial thinking destroys emotional circuits.

    A fast (large) society cannot feel pain / remorse / empathy.

    A fast (large) society will always be cruel to Animals/ Trees/ Air/ Water/ Land and to Itself.

    To read the complete article please follow either of these links :




  2. Brilliant comment Sushil. Gaps in thought are a huge subject and in the world previous to all the distractions we have today, few people were able to get into those gaps. Of course, they were the enlightened ones. To work into the gaps takes practice like anything else. The great things is that although the fast paced consummerism is still very loud, I do feel a rumbling from people thinking like you do that will have an effect on the total.