There are few things we care more about than Huntington Beach, art, surfing, the environment, and giving back. When we caught wind of the first ever Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Surf Off happening this October, it felt as though someone had gotten inside of our heads. That person is longtime HB resident and surfer Seth Matson, and he apparently got inside a lot of heads, as many of us here in town share the same values and interests. Come Saturday, October 4, all of the above with rally together to raise awareness of environmental and coastal issues.
"It's the first of its kind in Huntington Beach," says Matson of the educational, family-friendly, nonprofit event, which will feature an epic amount of fun and doing good, including a surf contest using recycled competition jerseys; opportunities to meet pro surfers; free surf lessons (10 a.m.-noon); a Surfrider Foundation beach cleanup (9 a.m.-noon), eco-art lessons (1-2 p.m.) and Bag Monster; lunch for contestants provided by Whole Foods HB; a recycling program collaboration with HB's Beachside Recycling; a raffle; green presentations by HB's The Pegasus School students; and an after-party (6-10 p.m.) at the new Four Sons Brewing, complete with live music, food trucks, an eco-art show (2-10 p.m.) spotlighting local artists, and an awards ceremony (6-8 p.m.) distributing custom trophies made from trash collected during previous Surfrider beach cleanups.
Rainbow Environmental Services will scoop up the trash from the day's beach cleanup and conduct an environmental report on the findings, the stats of which will later be posted on the event website. Additionally, attendees can drop off CRV aluminum cans, plastic bottles, glass bottles, and electronic waste for the Beachside Recycling Eco Drive, proceeds of which will be divided between the event beneficiaries, Children's Hospital of Orange County, and Drains to Ocean.
Surfers of all ages and levels will get radical at 9th Street and Pacific Coast Highway starting at 7 a.m. and will be roped into six divisions: Groms (11 & Under), Youth (12-16), Guys (17 & Over), Girls (All Ages), Longboarding (All Ages), and Kneeboarding (All Ages). Instead of charging the standard $30 entry fee, contest organizers have arranged for the fee to be waived with a donation to one or more of the following participating local environmental nonprofits: Surfrider, Bolsa Chica Land Trust, and Shipley Nature Center. Interested surfers should sign up at 17th Street Board Shop with Bud by Wednesday, October 1. The entry form can be downloaded here. The competition is limited to 96 participants.
Let's quickly get to know RRR's beneficiaries. Surfrider is dedicated to the protection of the world's oceans and beaches, and the HB chapter has been busy working on an Ocean Friendly Restaurants initiative, which aims to help restaurants implement eco-friendly practices. Bolsa Chica Land Trust's mission is to preserve Bolsa Chica's wetlands and mesas, which constantly fall under the threat of development. Executive Director Kim Kolpin shared some of the trust's current projects with us: "BCLT is busy with our habitat restoration project at Bolsa Chica; planning our next Miracles of the Marsh tour season, which will educate over 2,000 third-grade students; our 2015 Wings Over Bolsa calendar will be available at the Surf Off; and we are actively working to protect the Sacred Cogged Stone site from development." Lastly, Shipley Nature Center manages the 18-acre California native habitat at HB Central Park. If you have yet to stroll along its trails, score at its annual native plant sale, or get schooled at one of its many workshops, it's a must-frequent oasis here in town.
The full-day event, which is open and free to the public, boasts several rad sponsors—including yours truly—which are all listed here.
The man behind Matson Graphics and Orange County Clothing Company, Matson will revive his grassroots surfing events days after a ten-year hiatus from running the Huntington Beach Pro/Am Surf Series. Says Matson, "We're looking to encourage competitors to learn about ongoing issues of litter in our local city streets and beaches, pollution in our oceans and even our drinking water, all while focusing on bringing friends, family, and the community together for a fun filled day at the beach." An avid supporter of HB's plastic bag ban, Matson, who has been "thinking about doing an event like this for some time now," notes that the day "gives us a great opportunity to encourage local surfers and residents to really start thinking about using more sustainable products."
With California poised to become the first U.S. state to enact a statewide single-use plastic bag ban, it only makes sense to help spread the good green word. Volunteers are needed to help with the RRR Surf Off and should contact organizers here.
More event details are on the way, so be sure to keep following us as well as the event itself on Facebook.
This post has been updated to include new event information.