The Quicksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau Contest waiting period begins on December 1 and extends through February 28, 2009. Already, the North Pacific is active with a huge Northwest Swell due to hit Hawaii this weekend, a few days before the start of the Eddie.
The Contest is held in memory of revered North Shore lifeguard Eddie Aikau, who disappeared in 1978 in a daring rescue attempt.
Waves must measure at least 20 feet from the backs — that’s 40-foot faces — before “The Eddie” is given a green light, and surfers must be able to arrive within a 24-hour call.
EXPN’s Jon Coen interviews Kelly Slater asking him some pretty ordinary questions and gets some pretty ordinary responses. I’m personally not dying to hear Kelly’s opinion on Obama and Ralph Nader or the economy which seem to be the focus of the interview. Kelly does talk about his Kelly Slater foundation that raise money for good causes such as cancer. However, Kelly also calls terrorism a “played out, over-rated threat” suggesting because it only kills a small number compared to cancer and cardiovascular disease its deserving too much attention and money. That’s a hard argument to swallow. While he’s right that a large number of people die from cancer and cardiovascular disease every year, it doesn’t simply negate any other physical threat to our people. Secondly, the threat of terrorism is an ideological threat as well, an attack on humanity and on freedom.
Brazilian Rico de Souza has broken his own record from 2006 for surfing on the longest surfboard after riding on the 30ft (9.16m) board for over 10 seconds (Transworld Surf). It’s surprisingly difficult to surf a 30 ft. board.
Surfer/Skater Val Valter (huh?) attempts launching on Bob Burnquist’s mega-ramp and fails miserably and hysterically. I’ve never heard of Val Valter and neither has Google (I searched), but the video is worth a watch.
The surfboard industry produces over 750,000 surfboards a year (link), the vast majority of which are discarded into landfills at the end of their short life. Surfboards are made with toxic petro chemicals (yes, made from the same source of other environmental and energy problems–crude oil) and release VOC (volatile organic compounds) throughout production and their lifetime. Obviously, there is a high hidden environmental cost for your retro twin fin or Kelly Slater Merrick Model.
San Diego, one of the best surf cities in the country and home of a large population of surfers, is now offering free surfboard recycling to keep old boards out of landfills.
Boards are now accepted at the Miramar Recycling Center and the Solana Beach Lifeguard Station. Those in usable condition will be donated to Los Angeles nonprofit organizations, while broken boards will be ground up and used in mixing concrete.
So consider alternatives to standard polystyrene boards (like epoxy or balsa) and recycle your old boards.
Ghost Trees, one of the biggest waves in the world and situated in Pebble Beach in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, is now off limits to personal watercraft (PWC). The ruling by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) was expected as the protected sanctuary has become increasingly crowded with personal watercraft over the past few years. In an effort to protect the environment and the surrounding marine life, the decision was made to close off the entire sanctuary to personal watercraft, meaning there will be no more tow-in surfing at Ghost Trees or Moss Landing (Story DailyStoke). Ghost Trees, a relative new comer in the big wave world, put on a display of big wave might as well as a couple of XXL contenders last year on January 4th (Video surfline).
Our seas have been dying, for a long time. 90% of the world’s fisheries are imperiled, and things are only going to get worse. Though seemingly innocuous, farm-raised fish are often one of the worst environmental offenders (story in NYT). Wild-caught tuna fisheries are one of the most imperiled, but the ubiquitous sushi delight harbors consumer dangers with often toxic mercury levels (article). The picture is bleak, but there are relatively simple steps consumers can take to influence the market. This article outlines some of the scary facts about fisheries as well as the simple steps consumers can take.
Here are some quotes from the article:
“One study, in 2006, concluded that if current fishing practices continue, the world’s major commercial stocks will collapse by 2048.”
“Nearly one-third of the world’s wild-caught fish are reduced to fish meal and fed to farmed fish and cattle and pigs.”
“Why bother with farm-raised salmon and its relatives? If the world’s wealthier fish-eaters began to appreciate wild sardines, anchovies, herring and the like, we would be less inclined to feed them to salmon raised in fish farms. And we’d be helping restock the seas with larger species.”
“The message is optimism,” said David Festa, who directs the oceans program at the Environmental Defense Fund. “The latest data shows that well-managed fisheries are doing incredibly well. When we get the rules right the fisheries can recover, and if they’re not recovering, it means we have the rules wrong.”
OK, this is not surfing related, but definitely post worthy. A crew of Kayakers took on Britian’s highest dam, 300ft tall and almost 1,150ft long, the Llyn Brianne Dam near Llandovery, Midwales. They raced down the 1,150 ft. spillway at speeds up to 40 MPH. Check out the photos and video below (Daily Mail UK).