Surfing and its related disciplines belong to the so-called natural sports. Through its gliding movement over the water’s surface, the surfer becomes one with the environment. There is hardly any other sport where you are so close to nature. This is why surfing also attaches great importance to “experiencing nature”.
According to the ISA, up to 35 million surfers are on the water all over the world, 4.5 million of them in Europe. However, the regularity with which the respondents pursue their sport is not clarified. 81% are male and 60% of all surfers are over 25 years old.
Demands on the natural environment
Even if surfing is mostly associated with warm water and endless sandy beaches like in Hawaii, California, and Australia, the sport is also popular in comparatively cold places like Denmark, Iceland, or Canada. The Baltic Sea and the North Sea also occasionally offer the chance for a surf session. Water sports enthusiasts with a wide variety of boards also enjoy artificial waves worldwide, which can be found in rivers, on lakes, or indoors. Accordingly, surfers are no longer necessarily tied to the sea. Thanks to technical solutions, surfing is possible in principle wherever there is enough space and money to build such waves.
Effects of surfing on the natural space
Surfing is in itself a fairly environmentally friendly sport. In their sport, surfers are directly exposed to the effects of environmental pollution, for example, plastic waste on the beaches or the oceans. This could be one of the reasons why they often have a higher environmental awareness.
Nevertheless, the mere presence of the surfers counts as a direct disruptive factor. The minimum required infrastructure and the natural noises and smells can disturb wild and marine animals.
The indirect disruptive factors in the form of CO2 emissions have a much more negative impact on the environment. These factors arise both from the journey to the selected surf spot and from the production of surfing materials and surfing accessories. This is why surfing manufacturers are trying their best to create gears that are sustainable. You will enjoy their premium surfing gear while doing something good for the environment.
The community idea with regard to environmental protection is not so widespread in any other sport. However, the surfing of the so-called social surfers causes relatively few negative effects on the environment. By using alternatives that are produced in an environmentally friendly way, CO2 emissions are reduced.