If you surf, you’re probably all-too-familiar with the effects of a growing human population.
The lineup always seems a little more crowded each year.
And there are few idyllic waves left undiscovered in the world (except maybe in Iceland).
Equally dispiriting is the quality of the water we surf in. When it rains, we need to worry about what’s getting washed into the water: things like farmland runoff and sewage. Think about it, this water gets in our mouth, nose, eyes, and ears. We know where it’s coming from, but will it only get worse as the world grows?
So, with dirtier water and ever-crowded surf breaks, why not head inland and pay for picture-perfect waves that run like clockwork?
While the future seems to include land-based dream waves (which I personally must admit, look super fun to ride), our waters will have nowhere to run from overpopulation.
Surfers have a responsibility to protect what they love, the ocean. And we cannot let the exciting prospect of man-made wave pools let us forget the fight to keep our waters clean. Because the future needs to include clean water and good, natural waves too.
While we can gaze in awe at the exciting prospect of riding a well-groomed man-made wave, we can never let this become a fail-safe option for clean seas. Or a Plan B just in case the ocean becomes a toxic waste dump.
This might sound a bit futuristic: The idea of there being wave-parks in towns around the world, each producing a flawless peak for surfers to enjoy all day.
But who says this isn’t the future of surfing? With support from the Kelly Slater, the World Surf League, and a flood of attention from the international surfing community, the direction of surfing very well could move inland.
No matter what road this sport takes, one thing needs to remain true: we can’t let machine-made waves disconnect us from the ocean.
We already live in a world where people struggle more and more everyday to connect with nature, and we don’t need artificial waves to make surfers apathetic to the health of the sea.
Surfers are, and always should be, some of the ocean’s greatest champions.
Featured Image: Jeremy Bishop/Unsplash