Hydro Flask are donating $100 000 to Surfrider Foundation globally from proceeds from their limited edition #RefillForGood range.
I can’t remember the precise year; maybe it was 2014, perhaps 2015. I attended a gathering of the professional tribe of wave riders, at the Quiksilver/Roxy Pro France, to take pro surfing’s pulse. The annual tournament not only offered mainland Europe surf fans a chance to bask in the exotic glow of some of the greatest surfers in history, to admire them as they bestride thunderous tubes and execute knife edge redirections; but perhaps even better than that, a chance to peep the latest trends in all things surf. Like a Fashion Week with a Euro capital prefix, the two weeks of World Surf Leagueing are also a live exhibition of all that’s trending. From blue S-Core boards in the early 2000’s (remember them?!?), who could forget the jeggings and Uggs movement of ‘07/‘08, from the deconstructed cap avant garde denouement of 2010 to FCS II’s keyless revolutionary zeal, the big reveals when the Tour comes to town are almost as exciting to witness as the surfing.
Only this time out, it was the water bottle. I still have a note scrawled in a Moleskin somewhere, ‘More insulated drinkware than surfboards’. There really were. No pro surfer, hanger-on, brand apologist, administrator, judge, chancer with media pass, WAG, HAB, or anyone else, was ever seen during that fortnight without the loop of a water bottle top interlocked snugly around his or her index finger, 750 mil of deliciously chill tap elixir/still piping fruity infusion dangling beside the hip.
It was the coming of the age of the insulated drinkware, and surfing was right at the cutting edge of the vanquishing of the dreaded throwaway plastic.
In all seriousness though, surfing can’t claim too much by way of being the first to it. Even our (still largely) PU boards, unique as they seem, are just dirty old rethunk Cold War tech. But given the nature of entering and exiting the littoral zone of the very regular, and given the horrific swelling tide of plastic choking the world’s oceans to toxic death, for once wave riders were at the forefront of a global movement. Among our tribe, perhaps before any other, single use plastic bottles instantly became about as cool as carrying around a dog poo, as socially acceptable as honking one’s crack pipe at a kids’ picnic, as good for social media sauce as a Serengeti smoking rifle selfie, triumphant boot on head of a fresh shot elephant. And thankfully, the message quickly spread out.
When it comes to un-f-ing the planet, we’ve got a mountain to climb. But reducing your plastic bottle waste to zero, starting today, seems like a great place to start. Photos: Nina Caprez
Aside from vital save the planet feels, surfers picked up and ran with the insulated drinkware proposition’s undoubted utility in terms of our own homeostatic needs. After all, there must be precious few other sport requiring the survival of a similarly wild temperature swing as the committed wave rider. The Quik/Roxy Pro itself being a perfect case in point, physically coastal, climatically very continental. Baltic in the pre-dawn, single digit temps meaning the life giving properties lemon and curcurma brew / fresh Java are essential for staving off exposure; a mere few hours later that very day, absolutely sweltering by high noon, cool H20 not only a comfort but an essential for proper, cramp-free tuberiding.
By now the news of dreaded plastic tide is deep within the gen pop. Everybody has heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, most school kids could recite grizzly stats about the oceans having more plastic than fish by 2050. And if we are going to stem the plastic tide, reusable ware is surely key, unless we suddenly find a way to meditate our body out of requiring hydration.
But let’s get to the nub; you might have heard it mentioned once or twice that we can’t consume/recycle our way out of trouble, which is very hard to argue with. Reusable drinkware or not, our work is still very much still ahead of us. But if cutting down on single use plastics, ideally to zero, from our day to day lives is a goal, then well built, high performance, long lasting, recyclable drinkware feels like a no brainer. The fact that Hydro Flask are donating a 100 grand to the Surfrider Foundation from the proceeds of their Refill For Good range further sweetens the proposition.