Category: Surfing Ecology

SmartFin: Environmental Wave of the Future

As the world’s environmental problems expand the challenge is to keep up with the increasingly larger scale of the issues. Decades ago we worried about individual beaches, now we are focused on whole coastlines, and indeed entire oceans are at risk.  To keep pace marine biologists and oceanographers have deployed huge arrays of sensors across the…

Eight Experiences that Honor the Forces of the Ocean

While watching the new version of Point Break I was fascinated with the concept of the Ozaki Eight: eight ordeals that honors the forces of nature. So based on the concept discussed in the film I set out to develop my own eight experiences that would honor the energy and power of the ocean.

Ocean Conservation for Surfers: Why Care about Healthy Oceans?

I recently attended a conference sponsored by the European Association of Surfing Doctors; a group of surfers that are also medical doctors and health practitioners. Held near Biarritz in the beautiful Basque region of southern France I was tasked with telling the group why they should care about a healthy ocean and what they can do about it.…

Shark Attacks and the Surfer’s Dilemma: Cull or Conserve?

Sharks are frequently in the headlines these days as a series of attacks across the globe has turned Shark Week into Shark Year. With an unusual number of publicized attacks on the US eastern seaboard, Reunion Island, Australia and in South Africa, hardly a week goes by where the media or local politicians don’t cry out for action to increase the…

Dr. Abalone’s Field Guide to the Six Species of Surfers

After traveling the world these last four decades searching for interesting creatures and critters, I, Dr Abalone, have discovered a consistent pattern among the creatures that inhabit the waves and beaches of the known planet called surfers. Based on my observations, which are herein described, I propose the identification of six species of surfers, each with distinct behavioral…

What Lies Beneath: the Waves, Reef and Marine Life of Maverick’s

The wave at Maverick’s is unique in many ways: its location, the geology and geomorphology of the reef, and the massive swells that surfers ride. In many ways Maverick’s allure is the story of its reef, which is legendary for creating both a perfect large wave and a reef seemingly designed to punish those attempting to ride it . As if the reef and wave weren’t enough you can add the fact that great white sharks frequent the area and occasionally clear the lineup with their presence. In the early days, before it became popular, surfers knew it would eventually kill people with its strong currents, long period swells, 10-15 wave sets and multi-layered inner reef full of valleys, holes and crevasses leading into a boneyard of exposed, jagged rocks. And it has.