Huge swells have sent Northern California XXL, Mavericks has been off the scale. Points began to fire all up and down the coast, a group junior sailors were in the middle of a sailing lesson when a clean up set took them all out while trying to enter a Santa Cruz harbour. Surfer’s in the line-up came to the rescue, good work all involved.
MEO, Turismo de Portugal and WSL have come together to raise awareness about a new environmental threat to our oceans. “The Unwanted Shapes – Covid19 Waste Edition,” is an open call to shapers to create a surfboard made from Covid-19 waste.
An expert panel of the world’s best shapers will pick a winner with the board being ridden by elite Championship Tour (CT) surfers at the MEO Pro Portugal in Peniche in February.
2020 was marked by the brutal impact of Covid-19 on the health, well being and economy of the world. Just one of the many side effects of the measures taken to stop the spread of the pandemic was the consumption and disposal of hundreds of millions of single use masks, gloves and alcohol gel packs worldwide. Much of this newly created Covid-19 waste has ended up in our oceans.
“The Unwanted Shapes – Covid19 Waste Edition” aims to create awareness and find solutions to this new threat to our oceans. An Open Call is asking shapers from all round the world to make a surfboard from materials that create the waste caused by Covid-19. Shapers can submit their entries at unwantedshapes.com.
“It’s a unique challenge for shapers, but one that is so important to help raise awareness about a new global issue that affects all surfers and ocean lovers,” said Peter Mel, former Big Wave Tour World Champion.
“We are inviting any shaper, of any background or location, to come up with a surfboard that uses Covid-19 waste as a key component. Not only will they help highlight this massive issue, but they can gain huge exposure when the best surfers on the planet ride the boards in Peniche at the MEO Pro Portugal in February.”
Mel will be the ambassador for the project and head the judges’ panel that includes world leading shapers Jon Pyzel, Timmy Patterson, Marcio Zouvi, Christiaan Bradley and James “Chilli” Cheal.
This year’s project follows on from MEO’s 2019 successful ‘Unwanted Shapes’ edition, where five surfboards made entirely of plastic were ridden at the CT event in Peniche in 2019. International stars Conner Coffin and Brisa Hennessy as well as Portuguese legend Frederico Morais rode the boards in a special “Beat the Plastic” heat.
MEO is a leading telecommunications brand in Portugal that aims to humanise society by actively intervening in issues that put the wellbeing of the planet and society at risk. Its ongoing support has consolidated Portugal as a world power in surfing and allowed projects such as Unwanted Shapes to find global solutions to global problems.
Turismo de Portugal, as a promoter of a destination whose entire border faces the Atlantic Ocean, has a long partnership with surfing. It recognised the sport has a key role in forging Portugal’s reputation as a sustainable destination and has always strived to protect Portugal’s most important asset; its incredible coastline and ocean environment.
In case you needed any further proof that we are playing in someone elses back yard, check out the drone footage above. The ocean is a shared playground for many, and a home and hunting ground for many more. The introduction of ‘the drone’ into the line-up has opened up the interaction between humans and ocean dwellers and captured it in a way we would never dream of, what lies beneath, mother natures beauty and beasts.
Portugal December sessions with Stan Norman, Will Masterman, Barnaby Cox, Max Hudson, Jo Morris and Max Michalewski.
Shot by Lewis Arnold, Seth Hughes and Joel Gary, (water cam from Seth) cut by Lewis