Surfilm Festibal and Donostia Kultura will present a conference on 'Surf Industry and Sustainability'. The conference will take place during the 5th edition of Surfilm Festibal in Donostia. The surf film and culture festival runs from 8- 10 June, with the conference taking place at 5pm on Thursday 7th June at the Aquarium of San Sebastian.

Surfing is closely related to the ocean, the coastal atmosphere and the environment. To surf is to take advantage of the waves and the ocean; to enjoy the sea, the coast and the environment around us. Thanks to an ever-growing number of surfers, the surfing industry has reached unexpected proportions and huge figures. Toxic and polluting materials are still used to manufacture boards and technical equipment.

We surfers, as buyers/consumers and as people who live and enjoy natural elements, we play a decisive role in the protection of our environment. According to our level of individual consciousness we can contribute to reducing our 'environmental trace' and the pressure we put on natural resources.

At the same time, we need more sustainable and innovative alternatives on the surf market, with equivalent or superior quality standards than the current and traditional ones. To line up with this philosophy, some brands are starting to launch product lines whose manufacturing causes lighter environmental impact, thanks to the use of less polluting, more natural materials, and production processes that are more effective regarding energy consumption.

For its second edition, Surfilm Festibal opens its doors with a conference on environmental issues. To celebrate this 5th edition, they're going a little bit further trying to get the people working around the surfing scene involved. Besides being a cultural and entertainment event, they would also like the festival to be a melting pot where eager minds within the industry join efforts to try to take the right track on behalf of the planet.

Two documentary films will open the festival: a film showcasing several environmental problems in Chile, and another one on surf industry in the USA, followed by a round table debate consisting of environment professionals and experts, as well as surf industry representatives, backed with audiovisual images.


Riding the Wave

Director: Christopher Cutri

Executive Producer: Ed Adams

Editors: Tim Irwin and Christopher Cutri

Director of Photography: Cammon Randle and Christopher Cutri

Music by: Tyler Norton

Length: 38 min

Surfing, with its historic and contemporary roots in Hawaii, has become a world wide marketing magnet. How has surfing, an activity traditionally associated with a counter culture ethos, exploded into a multinational billion dollar industry with cultural influence almost beyond measure? Surf clothing and other paraphernalia have blanketed the cultural landscape in this country and around the world. With commentaries from Steve Pezman of the Surfers Journal; Bob Mcknight, CEO of Quiksilver; Paul Naude, President of Billabong; Dave Parmenter, Mickey Munoz and many others, we discover the tensions surrounding this movement and its affect on the sport.

Pulp, Poo and Perfection: A Green Surfing Story

Director: Angel Marin

Script writer and producer: Josh Berry

Executive Producer: Save the Waves Coalition 2007

Length: 15 min

This short documentary investigates two major issues threatening surfing and water quality in Chile: Pichilemu's sewage pipeline and southern Chile's forestry industry pollution. Mythical waves, activists, angry fishermen, environmental problems and sharky corporate executives weave a classic South American tale of environmental action and local solutions. Featuring Ramon Navarro, Shane Dorian, Congrio Colorado and Quechua.


Starting from one connecting thread, the round table debate will tackle the following subjects:

• The nature of surfing, its perception and its evolving heterogeneous ethos

• Surf companies, their social and environmental responsibilities

• Surfers, ocean and coastal protection

Representatives from the surf industry, surf media and surf environmental organizations will discuss different issues relating surf, environment and the industry from a variety of viewpoints and perspectives. Alex Dick-Read and Chris Cutri will analyse the change of the image and role models in surfing proposed by the media and the industry over the past decades, and the parallel changes on general surf perception from surfers and general public’s side.

Frank Laporte will present new products created or proposed by certain surf brands that commit to minimizing environmental impact; he will explain other surf industry initiatives aimed to contribute to ocean and coastal environment protection, and to improve the company’s image.

They will also analyse the current failures, challenges and technical and economic handicaps to achieving both high environmental standards, quality products and competitive prices.

Joshua Berry and a representative of the Surfrider Foundation will present a series of technological tools and related measures that allow to conciliate the practice of surfing and the defence of natural environment, contributing to diminish our pressure on environment in an active way.


Alex Dick Read: The Surfer’s Path’s Editor

Chris Cutri: Director of Riding the Wave. Communication Professor at Brigham Young University, USA.

Frank Laporte: EUROSIMA (Surf Industry Manufacturers Association) The association who gathers the European surf industry manufacturers.

Surfrider Foundation Representative: Surfrider Foundation is the biggest surfers organization for marine and coastal ecosystems protection. It has several headquarters all over the planet, the European one being based in Biarritz.

Tony Butt: British scientist dedicated to surfing with all his heart. He studies the issues resulting from human intervention on sea and coastal environments.

Joshua Berry: Representative of Save the Waves in Chile. He will present us the documentary film he has written and produced, as well as his work in Chile.

Speakers from surf magazines and mass media, with the support of historical pictures and videos, will analyze the relationship between changes in surfing individual perception and its presentation by mass media. They’ll provide a snapshot of the conception itself of surfing and its variety of models of reference for different generations.

Representatives of the surf industry will show a set of recently developed green surf products to be launch to market. They’ll underline current technical and economic barriers enabling those more ecological products to maintain high-quality standards while being price-competitive. A wider range of companies’ initiatives aiming at improving corporate image while contributing to environmental marine protection will be mentioned.

Surfers NGOs and scientists will provide a general framework of anthropogenic impacts on coastal and marine environment. Particularly, they’ll introduce some recent technologies as well as NGOs initiatives to promote coastal preservation and claim it before public institutions.

-The debate will be held in Spanish and English; simultaneous interpreting will be available to translate the talks

-The conference is aimed to providing information and exchanging opinions, comments and critical reflections

-The presentations will be the starting point for the debate, open between public and speakers