Tickets for Blue Earth Summit, Bristol 13-14th October 2021 are going fast.
With an incredible list of speakers including the likes of Sir Tim Smit, Lucy Seigle, Rosie Stancer, Keme Nzeren, Bella Collins, and many, many more, former pro surfer and current Patagonia Surf Manager Gabe Davies will also be taking to the stage to share his thoughts on a cleaner, greener future for our seas, waterways… and selves.
We caught up with North Sea GOAT Gabe in his former home of Seignosse SW France, after a sweet run of waves he lucked into with his family before returning home to the UK, where he was good enough to share some of his thoughts on his building better surf gear and his own journey in ocean activism.
You’ve been with Patagonia for 7 years now, tell us about your role.
It’s a dream job, for a dream company, a phenomenal company. My role is Ocean Marketing Manager for Europe. But we want it to be so much more than selling t-shirts to surf shops. It’s more about how can there surf community, the ocean lovers, the ocean users, come together to make change? On a business level, it’s asking how can we bring the surf industry forward, into the future? With all the amazing work that Patagonia has done as a company, how do we inspire the rest of the surf industry to come along with us? At a more roots level, it’s about how we inspire surfers to come together and stand up for what they believe in.
And presumably, that’s got to be beyond telling people what they can’t do?
Yeah the most important thing is advocating for something, not just being against. As surfers, that obviously is about the ocean, protecting waves, improving water quality… supporting the NGO’s, standing up for your rights as an individual, and come together to make change. From the roots up, but also from the top down. System change is what we need; we can all pick up plastic off the beach every day from here to eternity, but what we really need to do is stop from entering, and for that, only system change will do it.
In terms of surf gear, wetsuits, and traditional neoprene construction is big issue, that not many of us know too much about…
As surfers, we haven’t really got an end of life for wetsuits, we want to make to wetsuits that last, with longevity and repair ability built in to the design, and then there’re the issues with neoprene, being such a toxic material… [Listen to the podcast for the full interview, and join us at Blue Earth Summit, Bristol, 13/14 Oct 2021 for much, more]
Cover photo: Owen Tozer