My blog was originally going to be called the Grumpy Old Surfer but someone got there first. I know I can whinge a bit about some of the baggage that comes with our beautiful and inspiring sport / pastime / way of life. But 2 events happening this weekend in Brighton jolt me out of my grumpiness and make me realise how surfing can be a real power for good.
The Paddle Round the Pier has been going in Brighton since the 1990s, as an event to raise money for good causes. Originally it was Surfers Against Sewage who were the only beneficiaries. Over the years since it grew, shrank and has now mushroomed into the biggest beach festival in the UK, thanks to the indefatigable efforts of Dave Samuel and his crew of volunteer helpers. There are tons of water and land events, music, loads of stuff for children to do. The crucial thing it still does is raise money for worthy surf-related and causes.
As part of this year’s events, on Saturday at 2pm SAS will be attempting a world record beach clean. Each time I surf in Brighton (and there’s been loads recently) or just visit the beach, I bring home a bit of plastic litter. Last time it was a plastic dog toy, the time before that, a big plastic grille off a ship. However big or small they are, they would have been in the sea for centuries and got into the food chain. There’s plenty more plastic on Brighton’s beaches and the beach clean will be a great chance to raise awareness of the challenge to us to be more resourceful and less wasteful while making a dent in the Channel’s pool of plastic.
If you’re in Brighton this weekend, come and celebrate the positive power of surfing.