7 Surfing Eco-Warriors to Follow on Instagram
Shred folk fighting the good fight... one square photo at a time
Bad news folks, Earth is in a spot of bother.
Perhaps you've heard.
Whether through climate change, habitat destruction, overfishing, illegal poaching or all of the above, it seems like we're doing our best to destroy the natural beauty of our planet, and that of course, includes our coasts, our oceans, and everything that lives in or on them.
It also seems that certain folk aren't keen on admitting we're doing anything wrong. President elect Trump has just put a guy in charge of the EPA called Myron Ebell. The EPA stands for Environmental Protection Agency. Myron Ebell is a climate change skeptic.
It's a bit like putting Mr Wolf in charge of the Three Little Piggies Protection Agency. Only worse, because this one, tragically, is non-fiction.
Your next move?
Almost certainly... to check Instagram.
And when you do that, make sure you're following surf folk fighting the good fight - one square photo at a time.
Liz Clark @captainlizclark
Liz Clark left Santa Barbara in 2006 aboard Swell, a 40ft sailboat. After exploring Mexico and Central America, she pushed out to the Galapagos, and then on across the South Pacific to Polynesia, where she and Swell have been ever since. These days, 93k 'grammers follow her tropic, off grid exploits, activism, educational activities and general spreading of good vibeness.
Says Liz, via her website "I plan to continue exploring in the Pacific, not only for waves, but opportunities for personal growth, to work on local environmental projects, make presentations on pollution and conservation issues in schools, and to continue writing and documenting the voyage in hopes of inspiring others to live out their passions, face fears, discover the unlimited benefits of selfawareness, and explore our connection to all of life on Earth."
"Being eco doesn't need to be a shrill anti-capitalist lament that the end is nigh, nor a sanctimonious, greenier than thou humblebrag. It can be fun, too"
Kohl Christensen @deepwatersurf
Kohl's might be one of surfing/the world's least narcissistic Insty accounts, there are pretty much no pics of him, at all. In many regards it's the very antithesis of Rita Ora's Insty, which is exclusively pictures of her, looking hot. Well, almost... more of that in a bit.
It's pretty much just pics of surfing, with little to reveal that he's been off-grid long before it was on trend, that he grows organic veg on his self-sufficient farm on oahu and installs solar panels when he's not rushing The Bay, Mav's, Cloudbreak, etc. Kohl is a rare practitioner of non-evangelistic eco cred, and we need them, too. Badly. Being eco doesn't need to be a shrill anti-capitalist lament that the end is nigh, nor a sanctimonious, greenier than thou humblebrag. It can be fun, too. There can be bums in thongs, boobies (not Rita's) and beer, too.
Lauren L Hill @theseakin
Originally from Florida, now residing in Byron Bay with high priest of surfing environmentalism Dave Rastovich, Lauren's activism is chiefly themed on marine conservation and gender equality and their interaction with surfing, while her Insty is chiefly themed on though-provoking images and captions, and interesting info. Like using UPS instead of Fed Ex (UPS no longer transports shark) and that her (very legendary) neighbour George Greenough recommends afternoon naps, that the first female American presidential candidate, Victoria Woodhull ran for office in 1872, that are 9 distinct different belly button shapes, or that the ancient Greeks used Feverfew flowers as an anti-inflammatory and to treat menstrual cramps. Good arrows indeed.
Matt Smith @honestcaptain
Part of the trio of shredders (along with Fergal Smith and Mitch Corbett) behind Moy Hill Farm in Ireland, Matt Smith sails boats, grows organic veg and gets tubed around County Clare. His Insty thus reveals the latest groovings along the Celtic shred fringe, a legume-centric love letter to life on the mid-latitude littoral. Because, sure, we'd all like to hand pick a mango for brekkie, and yah, maybe forage for an avocado for lunch and mindfully spear an ahi for dinner, but if you live near a largely grey, probably windswept, certainly mango/avo/ahi-less coast, you might dig your eco-warrior inspiration in a more familiar hue.
"Come for the campervans, stay for the better tomorrow"
Cyrus Sutton @cyrus_sutton
Cyrus Sutton rose to prominence in the surf world via Korduroy TV, at the height of its powers probably surfing's very best blog-style website, featuring shredding on everything from logs to asymmetricals, irie veg soup recipes, how to make handplanes from old skate decks, fix shit, and all sorts of other wholesome fare. Today, based in Oregan, Cyrus still enthuses on vanlife and logging but his Insty themes are more about permaculture, homesteading and mindful politics. 104 thousand folk are digging Cyrus's Insty, for a variety of reasons, which can only be a good thing. Come for the campervans, stay for the better tomorrow.
Chris del Moro @chrisdelmorro111
An aesthetically-appealing 'grammer who digs such fine fare as jazz, jems, art, ornithology, wine, reggae, hot sauce, da chronic, design and the lotus position, Chris del Moro is not only a beautiful man, but also one of the very fine folk who took on an epic sail kayak voyage following whales down the east coast of Oz in 2008 with Surfers 4 Cetaceans (along with Rasta, whose own gram is redundant, hence he's not on this list). When Chris isn't painting 'flash activism' eco-themed murals, shunning animal agriculture, dropping vintage vinyl reggae sets, protecting marine mammals, surfing, smiling and generally spreading wholesome grooviness, he's reminding of perhaps the important planet-saving mantra of all; be fucking nice. As revealed in a piece with Surfing magazine,“You know, I was a bit chubby when I was a little kid," says Chris. “I was a nice kid, just a little chubby. And people were pretty mean to me because of it. But that taught me how to deal with that negative energy and not become part of it."
"Reminding of perhaps the important planet-saving mantra of all; be fucking nice"
Easkey Britton @easkeysurf
A 5 x Irish champion, Billabong XXL Big Wave Nominee, with a PhD in Marine Sciences, Easkey has taught women to surf in hijabs in Iran, hosted TED talks and might well have one of the most well-rounded CV's in surfing. Her Insty features the philosophical fruits of her travels around her native west coast of Eire, and much further afield, as well as nicely curated quotes from, among others, Anglo-Irish poets Gerard Manley Hopkins and David Whyte. A recent picture of a beach clean and the accompanying caption pretty much sums it all up, in two sentences, as well as anyone ever has. "The notion that society and culture are somehow separate from nature is one of the greatest untruths of our time. Here lies our cultural identity - markers of our human behaviours and consumption entangled with our ocean and ecosystems."