To ordinary people, surfing may seem like any other water sport that people engage in during their free time. However, surfing means so much more to millions of people from across the world who view it as a way of LIFE.
The surfing industry has come a long way since the invention of modern surfboards. Although history tells us that humans have been surfing for thousands of years, modern surfing is actually very young. Indeed, the surfing industry still has a long way to go. However, there are certain challenges that may impede this progress and evolution when it comes to the next age of surfing.
The big question through all of these challenges and changes remains – is the surfing industry really under threat of extinction in the coming decades? Well, the truth is that surfers already face many challenges and obstacles that originate from nature, human interference and self-inflicted injuries. However, there are bigger threats like climate change that are slowly killing the surfing industry.
Surfing And Rising Sea Levels
One of the biggest threats to surfing as we know it is the alarming rate at which ocean and sea levels are rising. Big waves are good for surfing, but when water levels reach unprecedented levels, this can be an indicator of other issues.
Rising sea levels can be attributed to global warming which contributes to the melting of ice glaciers and sheets in the North and South Pole. If we don’t stop global warming, we may not have a surfing industry in the coming decades.
Another major problem that the surfing industry has to face is water pollution. This problem is evident in many beaches and surf spots all over the country and the world at large. Increased manufacturing of plastic, offshore drilling and release of untreated sewage and agricultural waste into rivers and water bodies are the main causes of water pollution.
Let’s face it, nobody wants to swim or surf in dirty, polluted and toxic water. If this is not fixed, our oceans and seas will not be conducive to surfing, let alone any kind of water sport.
Coastal erosion is the degradation of beaches that results in the breakdown of dune sediments, coral reefs and other crucial ecosystems. Although coastal erosion may not seem like a big threat to the surfing industry now, experts say that coastal ecosystems are being eroded at an alarming rate.
The rate at which this erosion is occurring could result in many of our favourite beaches and surf spots becoming extinct. This means no more beautiful Hawaiian beaches or magnificent Australian surf spots.
Coastal Construction And Developments
Human activities that are close to beaches and coastal regions also pose a threat to the surfing industry. In many instances, construction companies and corporations have been accused of encroaching on indigenous coastal areas to put up marinas, beach resorts and hotels that hinder access to crucial surf spots.
Nowadays, developers are buying up beach properties like hotcakes. If this continues, there will be limited access to public beaches and surf spots in the future. Most of this could well end up being private beaches and yacht clubs for the wealthy and affluent at the exclusion of surfers and surfboards.
As you can already tell, the surfing industry is truly under threat from numerous challenges. Crowded beaches, rising water levels, increased water pollution and degradation of coastal areas are all a reality today.
These are things that nearly everyone has witnessed or heard of at one point in time. If we do not wake up and take action to mitigate these threats, the surfing industry may not exist in the next 50 to 100 years.
Take some time to educate yourself on how you can help save the surfing industry today. Simple things like not throwing away trash on beaches through to reducing your average carbon emissions can go a long way to saving your favourite water sport – surfing.
Beachin Surf is a surfer’s one-stop local surf shop. We offer a wide range of essentials for your surfing and outdoor needs.
Please feel free to visit us at 262 Maine Road, Toukley, NSW to check out our range. You can also call ahead to make sure we get to assist you properly.
Please call us today on (02) 4396 5159 or feel free to send us an inquiry