Famed big wave rider Greg Long will be talking surf story and discussing his beliefs in sustainable and environmentally conscious surfboards and surf products Thursday night in Hermosa Beach, the birthplace of surfboard manufacturing.
Long’s desire to share his experiences as well spread the gospel of Sustainable Surf was stoked after a life changing wipeout two years ago.
“Greg’s direction to share his perspective was fired up after his wipeout at Cortez Bank,” said Kevin Whilden, co-founder of Sustainable Surf and a Manhattan Beach resident.
Surfing Cortez Bank, a mysto bombora 100 miles off the coast of San Diego, a break that wasn’t surfed until about ten years, Long dropped into a set wave the size of a skyscraper. A miscommunication with a fellow surfer caused the San Clemente local to become engulfed by 40 feet of white wash. His wipeout made surf and mainstream media front page news as Long was held under by four consecutive waves and injured. He subsequently was airlifted to a San Diego emergency room.
“Hearing the news and finally seeing the clip of Greg on that wave was one of those stop everything and gasp moments,” burgeoning South Bay big wave rider and LA County lifeguard Scotty Bredesen said. “No one should ever have to take that punishment.”
Sustainable Surf is a non-profit organization aimed at protecting the environment, particularly surf breaks, through education and activism. The organization aligns with Long’s values. Programs include “Waste to Waves”, which recycles byproducts of surf manufacturing as well as broken surfboards; the ECOBOARD Project, a new industry standard that labels eco-friendly surf equipment built with plant-based resins and recycled foam; and Deep Blue Surfing Events, which brings environmental awareness and responsibility to world-wide and local surf contests.
“Greg is an inspiration to anyone who loves surfing and wants to live a healthy, ocean-friendly lifestyle,” said Whilden. “We are very happy that Greg is an ambassador for Sustainable Surf and our Deep Blue Life program.”
Long’s been in the limelight of surfing since the late 1990s. After winning the NSSA National Men’s Open Title in 2001, he put down his 6’2” board and abandoned the traditional route of surf stardom via the World Qualying Series and World Championship Tour to grab a gun and chase big waves. After winning one of the world’s most prestigious big wave events, the Red Bull Big Wave Africa at “Dungeons” in 2003 at age 19, Long was in the elite class of big wave riders. To date, he’s the only surfer to win that event as well as the other two major big wave contests, Quilksilver’s Big Wave Invitational in Memory of Eddie Aikau (known as “The Eddie”) held at Waimea Bay, Hawai’i, and the Maverick’s Invitational in Northern California.
“Greg is one of my all time heroes, “ Bredesen said. “The things he has done, waves he has ridden, it’s all amazing. I look forward to hearing his tales as well as his perspective.”
Greg Long speaks from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Hermosa Playhouse Thursday September 25th. Tickets are $10 and are available on sustainablesurf.org/greg-long-talk/. For more info check out: SustainableSurf.org