Recreational Surfers Association

Blowin's picture
Blowin started the topic in Friday, 10 Nov 2017 at 8:41pm

Blindboy raised this in another thread. But I've thought about it many times and I'm sure that most others will have pondered on the benefits of having a United voice for recreational surfers in Australia to combat any threats to our breaks , the coastal environment and the encroachment of commercialisation and , ironically enough , bureaucracy.

Surfing Australia often acts contrary to the interests of recreational surfers.

We need our own voice.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Friday, 10 Nov 2017 at 8:42pm

Let's hug out a solution.

If you could be fucked, that is.

If there's any common bond between surfers it's our apathy.

crustt's picture
crustt's picture
crustt commented Saturday, 11 Nov 2017 at 6:00am

The problem with that blowin is that it would just turn into another Surfing Australia, an association that tend to be a bit of a jobs for the boys set up.
It starts up as amateur with a lot of enthusiasm and it is at first run by blokes like you with both high morals? and a healthy level of apathy also there will be a few guys that love to be on committees but are aiming for much the same targets as you are, but eventually your apathy will kick in because your a surfer and you can't be fucked. That's okay you'll be replaced by one of the committee lovers mates, most likely from the surf industry. Then down the line they will all be getting paid to do it as their super power is filling in government grant forms and surf industry connections. They could even end up under the umbrella of Surfing Australia. LOL

sypkan's picture
sypkan's picture
sypkan commented Saturday, 11 Nov 2017 at 7:42am

I loathe to suggest it but....crowdfund it.

I'd pay as long as it has no association with two bit boardrider clubs comandeering surf breaks for their monthly ritual in tribalism and territorialism.

Fuck that shit. Go down the beach on the closeouts if you want it to yourselves

In fact, I think the above scenario should be a priority on the 'things to do' list

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Saturday, 11 Nov 2017 at 7:01am

I've thought long and hard about this for quite some time.

Although I'm loathe to the idea of further bureaucratising recreational surfing, the fact is that without a strong voice and point of representation, surfer's interests will continue to be underrepresented.

This is not to undermine the great work done on individual projects by a number of (largely volunteer) people over the years - but the reality is that there's simply no point of contact for surfers, other than websites like Swellnet.

I'm very impressed with what some of the the recreational fisher bodies have managed to do, and that'd be a good model to work on. Want an example? Check out Recfishwest (the "peak body representing the interests of 740,000 recreational fishers in Western Australia.")

April 8, 2016: "The Mandurah Artificial Reef has been deployed. At a total cost of just over $1.1 million, the reef is the first in Western Australia to be solely paid for by the recreational fishing community. The reefs were funded through the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund by recreational fishing licence fees."

http://recfishwest.org.au/news/mandurah-artificial-reef/

But as Blowin mentioned, surfers are apathetic on this kind of thing - how could the funds be raised to cover the operational costs?

For what it's worth, a lot of the touch points that a 'Recreational Surfers Association' would cover (using RecFishWest as a proxy) are already being discussed, debated and researched via Swellnet. However as a small, private company it's difficult for us to allocate time, money and resources to projects that don't generate revenue for the business.

crustt's picture
crustt's picture
crustt commented Saturday, 11 Nov 2017 at 7:08am

Syco's right blowin, crowdfund it! Book a ticket to indo and skip town with the money. :-) Do it myself but I can't be fucked.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Saturday, 11 Nov 2017 at 8:06am

I dont think it would work these days...surfers now are just too diverse and off differing opinions.

Take for example recent swellnet articles on artificial surfing reefs in the past everyone would just go, hell yeah bring it on, but check out the comments etc in recent articles, no one can agree on anything and there is even surfers opposed to artificial reefs.

Look at the park beach proposal in Tassie, instead of working with those who propose it and tinkering where needed and working as one, there is actually a group of surfers against building one there and saying not at our beach we don't want an artificial surfing reef.

It's crazy.

For further reference and common sense.

General Social issues: Rita Panahi & Lauren Southern
Indigenous issues: Jacinta Price and Anthony Dillion
Gender: Debra Soh.
Islam: Armin Navabi & Brigitte Gabriel
Population: Dick Smith

sypkan's picture
sypkan's picture
sypkan commented Saturday, 11 Nov 2017 at 8:28am

"Take for example recent swellnet articles on artificial surfing reefs in the past everyone would just go, hell yeah bring it on, but check out the comments etc in recent articles, no one can agree on anything and there is even surfers opposed to artificial reefs.

Look at the park beach proposal in Tassie, instead of working with those who propose it and tinkering where needed and working as one, there is actually a group of surfers against building one there and saying not at our beach we don't want an artificial surfing reef.

It's crazy."

A direct reflection of the wider political situation

All me me me,
we're all in on it....with no relief in sight

davetherave's picture
davetherave's picture
davetherave commented Saturday, 11 Nov 2017 at 11:25pm

Been down this path. Have to get incorporated. Then have to have people willing to take official positions with proper minutes of meetings and finances accounted for. Next will come the infiltration of people with political affiliations or ambitions or axes to grind or scores to settle. Easy way to do it is to organize gatherings. Invite local media, business groups. and educational institutions etc etc. Propose why an artificial reef could help a community. Then get the council and govts to start something with the media on their cases under pinned with a research project by uni etc etc. This allows better chance of grants being awarded. Once a month, the surfing community has organized concert slash gathering keeping project in public's attention whilst not having to become a slave to institualisation. New word, see, anything is possible.

davetherave

davetherave's picture
davetherave's picture
davetherave commented Saturday, 11 Nov 2017 at 11:38pm

Obviously I used artificial reefs as an example. Trying to get overall support of surf breaks without showing an economic or environmental reason will just be ignored. Unfortunately most do not understand the concept of the connection and inter relationship that we treasure as recreational surfers.

davetherave

campbell's picture
campbell's picture
campbell commented Sunday, 12 Nov 2017 at 12:32am

Actually there is a Margaret River Recreational Surfers Association running and has been for years now. They have some input into the local shire meetings and coercion with the boardriders crowd also. Mostly trying to keep the contest heads honest and have some input to what goes on at Margarets and the other beaches . Worth setting up anywhere there are people who want to surf and take some care of their local without being dictated to by other agendas. Not everyone loves contests or thinks their spot is just a tourist attraction to be exploited.

...

davetherave's picture
davetherave's picture
davetherave commented Sunday, 12 Nov 2017 at 7:13am

Well done. Just being connected to like minded people enjoying the beauty of surfing has to be a good thing. That is why swellnet and the forums are so important. Happy surfing.

davetherave

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Sunday, 12 Nov 2017 at 8:10am

That's great to hear Campbell. 

dandandan's picture
dandandan's picture
dandandan commented Sunday, 12 Nov 2017 at 9:39am

There's a lot of merit in this and something I've thought about too, even if it only pops up during times of crisis such as a building of a break wall etc...

It reminds me of the pulp mill days in Tasmania. Nobody was much interested in the marine effluent that would be pumped out into Bass Strait, with all the focus on the forests and politics. An ad popped up on a now defunct local surf site, Coastalview, with an invite to meet up at a local pub and talk about it. I turned up and shared a jug with the organiser, Peter Whish Wilson. A Surfrider chapter was (re)born, and Whishy and others went about bringing the potential impact on surfer's and the ocean to light. Eventually marine effluent became one of the biggest issues in the campaign, and it really wasn't much on the radar until PWW, Matt Dell and a few others brought it to attention. Ten years later, pretty much off the back of his involvement in the pulp mill campaign as a surfer, Whishy sits in the senate and is one of the strongest voices for surfer/ocean issues we've ever had.

Surfrider down here has simmered down since then, but if something were to come up that was going to affect our ability to catch waves, I am sure it would come back to life.

chin's picture
chin's picture
chin commented Sunday, 12 Nov 2017 at 11:11am

Edit; posted something about a group formed in Sth. oz, then remembered the “Bring back the biff” thread from a few years back.
Have a look, relevant to this thread.

Ash's picture
Ash's picture
Ash commented Sunday, 12 Nov 2017 at 12:04pm

It's a great idea with plenty of merit. As per usual minorities seem to guide the surfing worlds path , ie pro surfing and multinational companies. It'd be good for all surfers to have a united voice regarding development and legislation. Indonesia is an example of how surfing started a gold rush, and unchecked rampant development has followed.

gcuts's picture
gcuts's picture
gcuts commented Monday, 13 Nov 2017 at 12:19pm

If we take that Margs area type body as the blueprint. Set one up in each 'area' / 'region', and then have a 'National Body' to pull it all together.

Few things / idea's:

National body committee comes from regional / area level bodies to stop the political BS and people taking over.

Each 'area' or 'region' can be defined or managed by each as the need arises / or locals see it.

All that's needed is a set of governing rules to use as a template, and filling in some forms to set up an incorporated association under each states laws.

Each region / area could have a nominal 'membership fee' of say $10 to cover admin costs etc.

The National Body than has a 'membership fee' or 'affiliation fee' that each region / area pays so the National Body has some money for admin costs.

National body can use technology like Skype etc. to hold meetings so no need for people to travel to attend meetings.

So, get a few mates together in your area and get it started!