20 June is International Day of Surfing (IDS) and if ever a sport is worthy of such a day, it is surfing.
The Sport of Kings originated in Hawaii and the fate of entire villages sometimes depended upon a surfing duel between the Royalty of the warring villages in the big powerful waves on the Hawaiian Islands.
How scores were even given in these high stake surf off’s or whether the story is a just a legend, surfing has become a global sport with people dedicating their entire lives to riding the next swell.
Surfers are a multinational tribe nowadays with global reach and a powerful retail industry that has forged advances in wetsuit technology making surfing accessible to just about anybody living in the coastlands of the world.
Surfing has far transcended the notion that is a young man’s sport and the line ups are dominated by the older surfers who are in their prime. Laird Hamilton from Hawaii led the big wave charge at almost 40 years old as is still a machine.
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(Above: Laird Hamilton on the paddle board)
International Day of Surfing (IDS) is a day where surfers can do what they do anyway…….go surf some waves with their mates and with the first big cold fronts of the winter hitting battering South Africa, there will be plenty.
A simple time of reflection about waves ridden, appreciation of the beaches and oceans that brings so much pleasure. The reefs that cause waves like Supertubes to stack up and provide freight train barrels or just taking a deep breath of fresh air would also be fine on ISD. Because all the above are under threat in one way or another.
That is why surfers from all over the world will be getting involved on ISD and doing something that can ensure the survival of the Sport of Kings as well as helping to make a planet a better place to live.
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(Above: The BP oil spill is now regarded as the biggest environmental disaster in American history).
Oil spills on the west coast of America, global warming with the ice caps melting, spoil being pumped into oceans and the oceans being used as a dumping ground for mankind’s waste are some of the threats facing the watermen and women of the world.
Some surfers have decided to clean their local beach from debris usually left by others; some are having a mass paddle out in celebration of surfing. Some, like the surfers from Jeffreys Bay will be gathering to say they do not want a nuclear power station built right on their doorstep.
One thing is for sure though. No matter what the surfers of the world will be doing on ISD…….the tribe will be having a jol……..