Category: Surfing Ecology

What Lies Beneath: Conquering Fear at Banzai Pipeline

PIPELINE. Just the name shoots fear through my heart. Insanely hollow tubes breaking over a shallow coral reef. The steep drop, crazy speed, and all the while the fear of the dark reef gliding below, always reminding you of what happens if you fail. Conquering that fear is the ultimate challenge. And for many years it prevented anyone from riding it. It still does today.

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.

The Surfing Ecologist: A New Synergy for Surfers and Science

Are you as interested in the kelp as the swell in the lineup? Do you ponder what lives underwater as you wait for waves?  Do you watch the jellyfish and stingrays zing by while surfing? If so, you might be a surfing ecologist and are doubly stoked hanging out in the ocean. Read on, this post is…

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…