We don’t need an excuse to celebrate how incredible surfing is! Now more than every surfing has given us so much, the freedom to explore, develop and feel empowered. Empowered through the waves, challenged during the wipeouts and paddle outs and allowed us all to feel a sense of happiness and belonging like never before. For many during this pandemic surfing has saved them, awakened them or opened up a new world of possibilities they didn’t know existed. It’s not just a sport; surfing is a way of life.

When you become a surfer, you are welcomed into this beautiful world of endless possibility, here are the reasons why we love surfing!

1. Freedom
Surfing gives us the most fantastic sense of freedom. When we’re in the water, we feel unshackled from everyday life, worries and it’s an escape from the constant news stories.

2. Explore
Surfing has opens up a whole world of exploration. Exploring new waves in your area can be just as much fun as travelling to remote corners of the world.

3. Beach Days
We love nothing more than spending our days on the beach, surfing from sunrise to sunset. Having been denied this for a few months, we have so welcomed this back. 

4. Social Aspect
Surfing is such great social sport, with excellent people to meet and chat to in the surf. With social distancing in place we can do this once again and we couldn’t be happier. 

5. The Feeling
We love the saying only a surfer knows the feeling and we couldn’t agree with it anymore. Nothing beats the feeling of riding a wave.

6. Lifestyle
The surf lifestyle is very laid back, and we are happy with that.

7. Fitness
Surfing allows us to spend less time doing our home workouts and more time in the water. Surfing keeps us fit and healthy!

8. Mindfulness
Surfing not only keeps our body healthy and happy but it’s also great for our minds. It really helps with mental health issues. Surfing is the way we like to de-stress and unwind.

Above: Patagonia an environmentally-conscious brand. 

We also need to think about the environment on International Surfing Day. As surfers you become more in tune with nature and the world around you which means we develop a greater understanding of the environment we live in and how our everyday lives and choices are impacting on the oceans.

Here are eight simple steps you can help reduce your impact on the sea, beaches and coastlines.

1. Never Litter
Leave only footprints on the beach when you leave. Use bins where ever possible and even better take home your rubbish to recycle. If you see someone leave litter on the beach, ask them to take it with them or pick it up yourself. It’s a small step, but it can make a big difference in what ends up in the ocean.

2. Beach Cleans
Before the pandemic communities were hosting regular meetups, and beach cleans. Once we can meet up again, look out for your local socially distanced beach clean and get involved. They are great community events, and it’s always important to look after your local area.

3. Recycle and Reuse
Where ever possible, recycle and even better if items can be reused or upcycled then give that a do. Reuse your glass jars for lunches or storage at home. If you lack in imagination get on Pinterest, there are ideas on how to upcycle almost anything. We even managed to turn balloons into cute bunting! See more here.

4. Buy Ethically & Locally
When it comes to food, it’s important to source the best food. Ethically sourced fish, organic vegetables that have been grown locally will help you reduce the impact you have on the environment. Most fish products are well labelled so look for the responsibly sourced label if you do wish to buy seafood.

5. Ditch The Single Use Plastic
Single-use plastic is toxic! It fills up our homes, our landfills, streets and oceans and with nearly all single-use products having an eco-friendly alternative, there is no excuse for not ditching them. Try shampoo bars instead of shampoo bottles, take a reusable coffee cup with you, use a bag for life rather than a plastic carrier bag, shop at refill stores or opt for unpacked food! It may be hard at the start but give it a go and watch your weekly recycling half. Check out all these eco friendly products to use at home.

6. Buy Green
When you’re shopping, look for companies with good green credentials like Patagonia. Also most of the main surf brands have an eco collection like Roxy’s Pop Surf supported by Stephanie Gilmore.

7. Support Brands That Give 1% To The Planet
1% for the Planet is a global movement inspiring businesses and individuals to support environmental solutions through annual membership and everyday actions. They advise on giving strategies, they certify donations, and they amplify the impact of our network. There are lots of businesses donating 1% to the planet. You can find out which business give 1% of their profits here.

8. Campaign
Join the movements, be the change and support your local charities, companies, community groups and independent stores who’s goals are to make a positive impact on the environment, like Surfers Against Sewage  and Surfrider Foundation .