October Issue 2009 Surfing Magazine


I'm not an environmentalist. In fact, I've always had a hard time with some of the most elementary green initiatives. I spend more than 12 hours a week on the {{{405}}} freeway in a midsized truck, driving a total of 65 miles a day to and from work. My coffee often comes in a Styrofoam cup. I leave lights on a lot, sometimes forget to recycle my cans and often eat take-out food that comes in multiple containers. I ride a surfboard and wear a wetsuit -- both of which are made up of some very toxic materials -- and actually have several of each. I am a wasteful human and surfer. For this I am sorry.

It just seems that no matter how inspired I become by "green"initiatives, something always gets in the way. It's too expensive. I don' t have time. Or I just can't imagine how plastic bottles could make comfortable trunks (turns out they actually can; see page 72). Let's be honest: "Being green" has long been something of a trend. It got "so hot right now" for a while --and we all have the organic cotton tees to prove it. But at the end of the day, greenness was put on the back burner in an effort to make ends meet. Or so we thought.

As we considered whether or not a green issue was even possible this year, we made a few simple observations. We noticed carpool lanes were flooded with budget-crunching Priuses. Surfers like Andrew Doheny and Dane Reynolds were riding expired crafts in heats. We were using reusable water bottles and coffee mugs because tap water and Mr. Coffee just fit in the budget better. I even bought reusable grocery bags because my trips to the supermarket for cheap lunch meat doubled. But the really big cutback I had to make was skipping ordering a new board right away when my current one was diagnosed with terminal tail cancer. Instead of tossing two boards in the garbage, I uncovered a yellowed old faithful from a shallow grave in the garage and fell in love all over again. And while none of us were doing these things to be green, we were suddenly as green as we'd ever been...and saving money doing it.

This is a good sign. And a great trend. As you'll see in "Three Shades of Green" (page 102), reducing your environmental impact doesn't have to be  about spending money. Scottish wanderer Ian Battrick will show you the key to more surf time and less impact is in learning to love oatmeal. Or perhaps considering the end of it all -- as Nathan Myers does in his essay,"Apocalypse" (page 94), -- will teach us to rely on ourselves rather than the3G network. Either way, I'm right there with you, struggling financially and looking for ways to stretch my dollars, but I'm pretty sure I'm as green as I've ever been and surfing just as well on a sunburned surfboard. -- Travis Ferré