Once upon a time surfing was a group activity where everyone knew each other, everyone was welcome, and every wave was a party wave. After surfing there was a beach fire party and a seafood feast with live music and dancing. Today it is likely that complete strangers sit next to each other and the only words spoken are to tell each other to get off their wave. Also beach fires are often illegal or limited, the fish are often polluted, and few people know how to play music and forgot how to dance.
Foil surfing can change this by allowing us to ride the swells in oceans, bays, lakes, rivers, and more. Open water foil surfing removes the constraints of confining surfing to a small geographic territory. Instead of needing a point, reef, or sandbar to surf we can now surf the entire body of water – anywhere and everywhere. Overcrowding and scarcity of waves disappears and we now have thousands of miles of empty waves to ride. There is nothing to fight over, nothing to compete for, and nothing to keep secret or exclusive. Cooperation happens naturally as it is often a necessity for open water surfing.
While the shortboard “revolution” took a turn down a dark road of endless wave wars, the foil evolution can offer us a path back to the garden of plenty.
I see abundant waves, cooperation, love, peace, harmony, and putting the party back in the waves. Celebration and festivals are good enough reasons for me. At the same time I also see a gofoil as a way to connect more people with the ocean and nature.
The more connected I feel to nature the more aware I am of the health of our water, air, and land. It seems that cooperation and taking care of nature go hand in hand, while competition leads to the unconscious destruction of nature. Our hunter gatherer, tribal, village living ancestors had a cooperative lifestyle and were stewards of nature for hundreds of thousands of years. We modern folks with our highly competitive ways have managed to do an insane amount of destruction to the earth in a few hundred years, even more so since the industrial “revolution”.
Yes foils are currently made of carbon, metal, and toxic chemicals. They are also being made of wood, and hopefully we can continue in the direction of using renewable materials and earth friendly building practices. Where I live on the San Francisco bay, the water and the sea bottom are full of all kinds of toxic stuff, it has been a dumping ground for a century or more. Very few people go into the water on small human craft and foil surfing can change this.
The entire bay can become a giant surf spot with endless waves.
Thousands of Bay Area folks can take up surfing and reconnect with the water. We need thousands of voices standing up for the sea and nurturing and restoring health to our waters. The bay is one of the few local food sources we have left, and it needs to be cleaned up so the fish and game are safe to eat.
That and having a local surf spot with welcoming people sounds rad!