Reserving judgement

Phil Jarratt picture
Phil Jarratt (Phil Jarratt)

"National Surfing Reserves, World Surfing Reserves…feel-good stuff, no doubt about it. The plaques, the local histories, the opening ceremonies...They don’t have any real force in law, and as a result, the sceptics among us have often wondered if the real effect of surfing reserves has been on local tourism and real estate businesses, rather than on the well-being of actual surfers."

The words aren’t mine, I hasten to say. They’re from my journalistic colleague Nick Carroll, who has been one of the surfing reserves movement’s most vocal critics since it began to gather steam a decade or so ago. I’m pretty much on the other side of the fence, particularly since becoming founding chair of Noosa National Surfing Reserve five years ago, and more recently president of Noosa World Surfing Reserve. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t pause to consider what surfing reserves are actually for, and whether we’re any good at it.

Two years ago, writing on Coastalwatch, Nick judged the effectiveness of surfing reserves, I think quite unfairly, by their failure to do anything about the proliferation of sharks in some designated reserves and PWC abuse during swell events in others. There are no easy solutions to issues of the balance of marine ecology or the behaviour of wave-hungry surfers, but at the very least surfing reserves are creating a forum for discussion of these any many other issues that are becoming critical for the surfing community.

Nick may have softened his view of the reserve movement since then, but his voice has been but one of many that has openly challenged the function of a surfing reserve, going back to the controversial creation of the very first, Bells Beach, in 1973. Here in Noosa, when the points are pumping and you can’t get anywhere near them through the gridlock, I too sometimes wonder about the wisdom of constantly telling the world that you are among the great surf breaks of the world.

Of course, there is so much more to the concept than that, but I still need reassurance, as we work our way through the creation of a stewardship plan prior to Noosa’s dedication as the 10th World Surfing Reserve next February, so I took advantage of a recent trip to California to visit the global headquarters of World Surfing Reserves and the Save The Waves Coalition in picturesque Davenport, California (population 408), about 20 kilometres north of the 4th World Surfing Reserve of Santa Cruz.  

Here I settled into the boardroom of a converted 1940s fruit juice factory clinging to a cliff above a surf-rich coast to talk to Executive Director Nik Strong-Cvetich and conservation programs manager Trent Hodges about the past, present and future of the World Surfing Reserves concept.

Nik Strong-Cvetich, Phil Jarratt, and Trent Hodges in conference, Davenport

Phil: Perhaps we could start with a potted history of how World Surfing Reserves came about and what its role is?
Nik: It started officially in 2009 with the idea that the world’s greatest and most environmentally significant surfing breaks could be destroyed unless communities got behind protecting them. In fact, we identified quite a few that had already been destroyed. Our mission more or less came from a quote from (Patagonia founder) Yvon Chouinard, which was along the lines of, we have all these parks like Yosemite protecting great rock-climbing areas, but we don’t have the same thing around surf breaks, which are just as important as the great granite walls of Yosemite. That statement alone jump-started a lot of ideas among organizations like Save The Waves, National Surfing Reserves Australia and the International Surfing Association, but as time went on it was Save The Waves that took on the major role in creating and managing these reserves, with of course a lot of input from the greater surfing world. Now WSR is administered by Save The Waves but it is in some ways much bigger.

Phil: So the primary objective of World Surfing Reserves is the protection of the great surf breaks of the world?
Nik: Correct, but we’ve been thinking a lot about, what are you actually protecting when you’re protecting a surf break? There are a lot of elements, from the geophysical – the bathymetry of the ocean floor that makes the wave break – to the biological – the plants and animals that live in that environment and depend on it – and there’s the socio-economic component – the people whose wellbeing, culture and economy all depend on these places. When we talk about protecting a surf break, we’re actually talking about protecting all of these things. And in most of the places we think of as great surf breaks, a unique culture has sprung up around it, and in many ways that is the most important thing to protect.

Phil: Since we in Noosa began to campaign to become a World Surfing Reserve, I’ve been asked countless times whether a World Surfing Reserve is so designated because it is under threat or needs fixing, or can it also be an exemplar of best practice?
Nik: I think it’s both really, and one of the ways that our network can flourish is through the lessons that can be learnt from one place and used in another. We don’t want any of our WSRs to feel that they are working in a vacuum when it comes to protecting their breaks. When a place becomes a World Surfing Reserve, the collective experience behind us should help make each WSR better, otherwise we’re just handing out plaques.
Trent: No matter how protected you think a surf area may be, there are always new threats popping up, whether it’s climate change or a local pollution issue. This is where the stewardship component is so important, in continually monitoring ongoing situations so that they can be addressed before it’s too late.

Phil: Another area I get asked about a lot is what power a World Surfing Reserve will have to protect or change things. The answer in Noosa is that our power comes from our ability to create awareness of the surfing assets we have and to influence people and governments to protect them. But on a global scale, does WSR have the power to change things?
Nik: Here in Davenport what you see is a small group of people working hard to protect surf breaks, but everything we do is in coalition with another group or groups on the ground in the various locations. In almost every instance, it’s the same routine. Get the right people around the table, organize them and then focus on what are the real issues and objectives. In that way we punch way above our weight because we have the organizational skills and the network of people and organizations that can help us get things done. Basically, the model is that we will bring skills, resources and tools to a situation that has been identified by the people who are on the ground. So in Punta de Lobos, Chile, for example, where the situation was that the land surrounding the break had been sold for intensive development, we didn’t go in and buy the land back ourselves, but we worked with all of the stakeholders on the ground to come up with a plan and then we identified the source of outside money that could make it happen.

Punta de Lobos (Photo: Nicolas Recordon/WSR)

Phil: Can you run me through your key performance indicators?
Nik: Well, we’ve been working a lot lately on measuring outcomes. We want to know stuff like how many surf breaks are we actually protecting, either through branding them WSRs or through helping reduce threats, and we want to know how many people we’ve engaged in that process around the world, how many partnerships we’ve created. In short, how much WSR is helping to create change.

Phil: What would you rate as your greatest successes?
Nik: Punta de Lobos would have to be right up there. And in the early days we were involved in stopping some bad things from happening. We try to do that the least amount because it’s expensive and challenging and you usually lose, but we had a couple of wins in the early days, like stopping a gnarly project in Madeira that would have completely destroyed a surf spot. In Santa Cruz we’ve been instrumental in improving the water quality significantly, in Australia we worked successfully with the Gold Coast WSR to help stop a cruise ship terminal destroying the wave at Kirra. When the Gold Coast mayor came out and said there would be no cruise ship on the southern Gold Coast, that was kind of a moment you live for, along with all the people on the ground who had fought against it. We’ve also had successes in Baja California, getting the first state park approved through the WSR process, and reducing the pollution threat from trash heaps in that area.

Going back to your question about power to change things, in Peru the creation of the Huanchaco World Surfing Reserve got coupled with national protective legislation known as the Law of the Breakers. This had the immediate effect of stopping a proposal to build sixteen jetties to counter beach erosion, a proposal that would have destroyed 1500 years of beach culture and severely damaged the local economy.

Phil: But what about the erosion? It seems that protection of surf breaks and protection of the bigger environmental picture is not always on the same side of the fence.
Nik: In that case the erosion had been caused by a major port development to the south, so there wasn’t a lot that could be done, although because it was now part of the WSR we were able to stop the port dumping trash in the surf breaks.

Phil: Trent, as in the case we’ve just discussed, often when it comes to solving problems, whether they’re environmental or economic, many people seem to regard surf breaks as dispensable in that process. How do you change that perception?
Trent: A few different ways, but perhaps the most important is recognition of the economic value of the surf break as a tourism driver, as we proved to local businesses at Punta de Lobos, that this is not just about the protection of some one’s selfish enjoyment. And along with that is the understanding that this is not extractive revenue. Beyond the intrinsic values that we as surfers see, you have to demonstrate the economic benefit of protecting the break, but we also try to make people see the human values, the benefits to the community of retaining something of beauty.

Phil: We’ve talked about the successes, now what about the epic fails? Have there been any?
Nik: To be honest, yes there have. Before my day, with the first World Surfing Reserve in Malibu, it was a new concept and there was perhaps a lack of understanding about what was required, in terms of the environment and the surfing community, and WSR at that point didn’t have the tools or the maturity to sort those out. It didn’t have the ability to act on the very divisive issue of the Malibu Lagoon restoration of water quality. So our brand suffered as a result and we are still atoning for that. I think also in Manly in Australia we’ve failed to go back and help in the ongoing issues that it faces, rather than just having it listed on our website. Those are two WSRs where we could have done better, but it’s an evolutionary process.

Phil: Finally, how much is too much of a good thing? In other words, what is the optimum number of World Surfing Reserves before you suffer brand dilution?
Nik: I think the brand is very important, and keeping it an exclusive club is important to the integrity of each WSR. But how many that is, I’m not sure. Our current goal is 15 by 2025, in keeping with one approval a year, but that is not in keeping with demand. We have nine letters of intent for next year, and only one will be selected. And there are also several issues with areas that are politically difficult. For example, the North Shore of Oahu, the reef system of Tavarua Island, Fiji, and others. There’s kind of a rule of thumb, the better the surf, the more political it gets. We try not to go where we haven’t been invited, even when we’ve been invited by one section of the community but not another. Uluwatu, Bali is a good example of that, as is Jeffreys Bay in South Africa.
Trent: As a result of issues like that, we’re now paying special attention to the questions of who are the local groups who have a vested interest and how involved are they? We need to know that everyone is after the same outcomes before we get involved.

Phil:Okay, so you won’t put a ceiling on it?
Nik: 15 by 2025, but our bigger meta-goal is to protect 1000 waves by 2025 through a combination of WSRs, surf-protective networks and local stewardship programs. Right now, we’re protecting about 130, so it scares the shit out of me! But it’s a matter of scale. We won’t change the dynamic of World Surfing Reserves but we can work on a smaller scale with many other places to put in place protective mechanisms. No one knows for sure, but we think there are around 5000 known surf breaks in the world. If we can protect 20% of them by 2025, we will have done well.



sharkman's picture
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sharkman Wednesday, 5 Jun 2019 at 11:50am

Phil , Bells is a great example of being , " the World's first Surfing Reserve." but actually with no protection , as in reality it is a recreational reserve like a football field.....

We have fought Council and the State Government from developing it at as an open Tourist Hub , which would mean 40% less carparks for surfers, and a 12 Apostles type development where all the $'s go to everyone but the local economy.
There is only one way to secure real protection , and that's legislation both federally and State.....we are in the process of getting this done , as the Liberal party promised to protect Bells as part of their election promises .....
WSR 's are just Reserves in name , no real protection which means when an economic development comes to your WSR beach ....make sure you understand that there is NO legal protection!

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tango Saturday, 8 Jun 2019 at 9:23pm

Hang on, Sharkman. The Liberals proposed to "protect" Bells and the Great Ocean Road primarily through environmental protection through what appear to be rehabilitation projects. The federal govt has no substantial role in the planning laws which dictate impacts on Bells through development - that is all done through the State government. Here's the Libs press release:

It would appear to be a misleading headline, to be diplomatic.

I agree that WSRs are effectively name-only in Victoria. Bells is a coastal reserve created under the Crown Land (Reserves) Act, and while the gazettal included wording about surfing, there doesn't appear to be any legal force behind it which can prevent negative impacts from whatever kind of proposal comes up. The only real "protection" exists through the local planning scheme which recognises the significance of Bells and its landscape values, which is a different to recognising its broader significance as per the WSR moniker.

brutus's picture
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brutus Wednesday, 12 Jun 2019 at 7:06pm

just so you know , there is a lot of negotiation going on to declare Bells as a federally legislated protected Reserve , labor has refused to protect Bells as the local state and our council have been trying to develop Bells into a Tourist hub and continue to do so...there is absolutely NO protection from heritage Victoria or the local planning scheme...amazing we have to rely on the Libs....

crg's picture
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crg Wednesday, 5 Jun 2019 at 12:55pm

Having another voice in a community to join in any fights and lobby to protect sensitive areas has to be an advantage even though the WSR has no legal power or legislated protections.
More power to them.
It's just an ironic pity that the very nature of a world class surf break will draw to it the exact circumstances you will end up fighting.

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sharkman Wednesday, 5 Jun 2019 at 2:16pm

crg , the problem is WSR have achieved very little , not sure about the port at Kirra , as it will always come up , as a fantasy project , nothing more.....when we were fighting for Bells WSR tried to sign up Bells , but there were no advantages at all in having them onboard , we will hopefully get Federal protection , which will become the template for other beaches under threat..and the WSR can continue on making people feel good!

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Thursday, 6 Jun 2019 at 8:26am

Surf Reserves for... Navigational,Aviation,Recreation,Surf Bathing,Boardriding
Surf Reserves are not new for Beachgoers or Surfers.
tbb agrees that "World"/ Surf Reserves run by NGO's as such are recent.

Note (1992) K'gari is listed as World Heritage mega ancient Surf Reserve.
Interested to know how many WSR's measure up to K'gari's 150km WSR ?
WH islands & shores would canvas a megalithic Surfing Empire for who knows who.

1825 All Qld /south "Navigational Foreshores were Reserved" from land sale.
1872 Then all popular GC Surfing Beaches were "Reserved for Public Purposes"
This included Spit - Main Beach / Burleigh Heads
1873 Broadbeach, Tallebudgera Southshore added to BHds + Currumbin Northshore.
These Surfing Reserves remain as such today
1925 Surf Bathing Reserve (Southport)
1933 Surf Aviation Reserves required Surf Bathers to exit the surf during operation.
Spit/Main Aviation Reserve dictates planning in & around the Broadwater Beaches.

tbb reminds that Marine/Shipwreck/Diving/Fishing reserves also share Wave Zones.

1947 Burleigh Headland became a 'National Park' (Ocean-shore Reserve)
1975 'National Estate' Register protects BH NP Native Fish Traps,Middens,Trails...
Example...No interference,defacing,damage,destruction of Cultural Heritage.
As such Talle Ck/BHds Surf Reserve/NP/Heritage Landscape/Waves are protected.

2016 World Surf Reserve declares BH Global Heritage Sanctuary...(Nothing Less)

However surfers aren't renowned for practising conservation that they preach...

#1 Surf God Jabreen Creator of East Coast WSR Point breaks is ridiculed by surfers.
Surf Gods Fingers Reach for freedom only to be finger fucked by Bikini Babes.
'Surf crew' tag 'Cock Rock' & continue Graffiti onslaught on ancient WSR Idol.

tbb is reminding there is no WSR protection even at this highest level.

Surf Drones fly in the face of Kombumerri Surf Creator...
Drones Drop White Trash funeral ashes over Saltwater Surf God.
Surfers muddy paths even eroding them...endangering other NP users.

Pavilion blocks Rockpath from Burleigh Beach to WSR/ Rock Pools
Pavilion refuses Stormwater hookup so pumps it over near shore Fish Trap.
Pavilion dumps filthy (Pizza,Chicken.Coasters,Serviettes)overdeck into WSR
Pavilion make out they Sponsor WSL Gold Coast Open (I highly doubt they do!)

Noosa WSR is exampled here...
Noosa Main Beach > Noosa NP prohibits Dogs.
Mostly as Dogs endanger WildLife and trample weeds thru National Park.
Noosa Surf Festival WSR Dog Comp seems to shit over environmental laws.

This directly influences visiting surfers to hit GC WSR's in same selfish manner.
Dogs can surf 20kms of coastline while humans are herded into 2kms of beach total.
Do surfers dislike NP / WSR so much that they carelessly abuse it ?

WSR Part 2 (Authorities)

Council choke WSR Points & Reefs with Sand Dumps.
A line Rockwall & Groynes destroy WSR wave shape.
GC Airport is currently contaminating WSR with PFAS.
GCCC time-out WSR sessions with Pay Parking & remove parking.
Prohibiting entry during increased beach events.

tbb recently discovered that age old ultra restrictive Bathing Reserves [SOLD OUT]
Anything you can imagine! Just name it...can Whizz bang & crash in the Flags.
2 boats/6 jetskis/4 Surf boards/2 king size Drones/Dogs in the flags for days on end.
GCCC said 'Movies/Festivals/Events/Comps' cancel out any complaints or breaches.
Basically WSR just brings a higher bargaining price before selling it's arse.

Just so you know! If Jet Skis can hoon the Red & Yellow flags for a carton of Beer.
Drop off your carton for WSR Jump off vid & dob in whinging WSR paddle crew.

All wish for surfers to respect WSR...just how to turn the clowns around?

Surfer's are renowned for rescues,honouring fallen mates,clean ups & protests.
Perhaps WSR could partner N.P to resource committed surfer based assist.
Surfers view the NP from a rare offshore position...
Weed Infestation outbreak
Mating Sea birds on Outcrops "General Counts"
Airlines / Drone Flight Path breaches.
Storm Build up & Direction
Unusual Creek Flow / Outfalls
Rescues / Fishing / Divers / Jet Ski / Boating Activity
Graffiti / Marine Debris
tbb is not suggesting surfers be nailed as dobbers but to show they care for reserve.
Surfers may provide 1st response that detects a fire.

tbb knows surfers respect National Parks & Reserves but a wake up call is needed.
Consider Council's won't register complaint of public Surf reserve misuse.
I wish to thank swellnet & Phil for reviewing WSR' shows surfers do care.

tango's picture
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tango Saturday, 8 Jun 2019 at 9:36pm

This is a very important issue that needs some serious investigation into the pros and cons.
There are a range of pitfalls associated with trying to convince decision-makers of the need for protection of any kind. If the default position is to monetise the benefits of retaining surfing assets, the logical corollary is that the opportunity costs also have to be considered ie what other uses deliver equivalent protection and greater economic value? It's a slippery slope, and one worth thinking about very clearly before heading down.

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Thursday, 13 Jun 2019 at 12:40am

brutus, we have the same deal with Qld Labor & GCCC selling off our foreshores.
Qld Labor heralds The GC Spit Master Plan as 'Oz Biggest ocean Park'.
*Spit riverfront Parks are Sold off to the Yacht Club for Super Yacht Berths
*'Q.E. Park weds < >slsa patron Prince Philip Park' that ALP & Mayor poach for CST
*ALP/Mayor are hiving adjacent Ocean Park for Star Casino Beach-Rise-as it sounds!
*ALP are pushing West Broadwater Parklands (rezone) for Casino Resort!
tbb was cold called during election..."Do I want a Casino in Broadwater Park?" Fark!

+ A Light rail for no one that lives on The Spit

This is Qld ALP's idea of SMP Central steal our Parks then flog them off?
They have the hide to say that the people wanted this! (Who in 10 years said so?)
Everything our Whiteshoe Lib Mayor wants he gets supersized.(How & Why?)
Yeah! I too wish that sounded weird...not here on the Gold Coast...

Even today, the runner-up Mayor copped 18 mths Jail for a Bus Photo.(Not graffiti)
Mayor is only Oz pollie who brags AEC returns are shit! & AEC apologize.(wtf)...No!
Chick duds one receipt & goes to Jail. Mayor never returns one in 10 years & walks.
GC Mayor has everything on the nose never a 2nd look! That's some Photo Album?

Can you see the us vs them...One big happy Liberal Party no matter what!

Qld/Fed LNP wouldn't be seen dead with a Liberal Badge...(ALP dusted it off ! Wow!)
tbb is guessin' Victoria also has 2 Liberal Parties? Well fancy that!
Qld feels your pain brothers...feel free to subscribe for your upcoming bad newsletter!
As you can read! It comes weekly,it's oppressive in Joh censored format.(Brutal it is!)
Good Luck with Vicco coastline, ours is going going ....

hipsterless's picture
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hipsterless Friday, 14 Jun 2019 at 8:39am

Just some comments from further north, NSR/WSRs, if these were developed without tenure and I'm hearing that this is most of them, then they are doomed to failure. An exception may be Noosa, as it adjoins a seriously valuable NP and if it can be organised to co-exisit with said NP then could be in with a chance. Goldies NSR is a lost cause with the current model. The people who developed this system of Reserve??? development need to seriously review their handiwork, as well consider the variety of tenure and political landscapes to navigate globally.
At least in Aus we have a well developed but very rigid reserve system at a state level which is generally controlled by the state and often managed by the local councils, I have no comments regarding federally managed reserves, but am uncertain that they,ll be any safer. Bells reserve should obviously have not been set aside for Recreation purposes and a Higher use should be determined ( Coastal Protection) ,plus a trustee arrangement which takes all the decision making away from one party (local govt) is a good idea if this can be negotiated.
In general you guys are in a difficult situation due to location/s which are highly sort after by a whole lot of money hungry shitheads. The more remote reserves have a better survival chance unless of course rinehardt or palmer want to built a mine.

However in the north a small group of SR Foundation members developed with very little support an actual Reserve known locally as "Big Dune surfing reserve" and yes it does get good waves at times, this 10ha site is surrounded by abt 6000has owned by a large Japanese Corp, not really a friendly landscape, however this reserve was gazetted in 2003 and has been running since then under a formal dual trustee arrangement between the Local authority and the SR chapter, this has certainly had plenty of challenges up to now and will into the future. Previous attempts with the then SR executive to use or recognise this model into the future were made, but alas this isn't noosa/ goldie so what would we know.
You need to review the entire structure regarding NSR/WSR development and work to clean up our own backyard first

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Monday, 17 Jun 2019 at 7:52pm

20 years back tbb did an audit on his city Gold Coast.
Qld #2 City & Oz #1 Regional City GC couldn't get on any Map.(1000 towns not GC)
My unconstitutional GC City was born post Federation...
Fair dinkum Oz Cities have Royal Charters/Lord Mayors/Cathedral/Customs House....
GC Civic branding was rusted & worn on Tourist drives,Signs,Gardens..the whole city.
Half boundary sizing & 2 city botanical Gardens ect.... {Front Page News & Spreads}
No local made postcards was the biggest sin for our Tourist City.
Comm Games audit revealed similar major opposite truths.

Sample: Tourist Town promos record Mall re-do's ignoring out of frame rusted pride.
Cartographer's united the world...www divides the globe with sickly selfie Map keys.
2019 Major Events need 20,000 security to lose themselves in psychedelic mazes.
Just as people have I.T. I.D. transplants so to do Towns...(Fake re-dos prove costly)

WSR is both new & unconstitutional earning a free tbb audit...(Not criticism)
Note WSR lives in a stasis...winning Govt favour but never constitutional power.
tbb guides Oz/WSR thru online haze revealing more Govt favour than surf buddies.

Swellnet link...(Surfers: The New Clubbies) 'Also gives Govt-Surf insight'.

National Surf Reserves.
Site is out of date,with no new input, giving false hope & stripping NSR's of respect.
If this represents the best of Oz Surfing to the world then where to from here?
Brad Farmer: "An idea whose time has come"...(been & gone is what site shows?)
Mike Baird(Resigned Jan/17):"Govt highly values the vital role of NSR"(2 govt's on?)
Peter Garrett AM (Resigned June/13): I commend NSR to Parliament (4 govt's on?)

NSR site exhibits a few Google flat Ocean shots (No Waves)= Dive or Fishing site?
There are no Maps / Travel / Accom / Transit / Surf Cam links to any Oz NSR.
NSR do not link to Surf Museums/Surf Festivals/NSR Local comps -WSL

tbb will assist rather than criticise by updating missing NSR's.
Declared.....Dedication ("NSR Listing)
July 2014 / March 2015 ~Noosa~("Proposed NSR?)
March 2015 / "May 2016 ~Mid Coast SA~
Sept 2016 / Dec 2017 ~Bondi~
Feb 2018 / (T.B.A) ~Cabarita~ re: A local Steering Committee-Dedication?
March 2017 (NSR~Last update on Cabarita Boardriders/insta/fb websites)
(Proposed Black Rock NSR?)
Does this spell the end for NSR ? "Where the Bloody Hell are you?"

{National Surfing Reserves} ~ Heavyweight Champions will come to the rescue!
WSL info on comps in NSR's amounts to (zero)
Surfing Australia /Surfing States have 30 partners { NSR is oddly not an SA partner}

Here are a few great examples of NSR companion...(Tourism sites)
****Surfing in NSW
****Phillip Island NSR has several dedicated sites + brochure (No nsr link).

***Tourism Australia (Australia's most popular beaches)

Sites with rare NSR links
****Oz Beaches
**Australian Coastal Society

Findings: NSR need respect from Surf Industry before seeking more political clout.
Swellnet can best finish National Surf Reserve review with fresh 'pollie push'

NSR site does link to WSR site.
World Surfing Reserves (See above review)
tbb will apply same blowtorch as NSR.

WSR site Map doesn't recognise Noosa WSR? No Name/Logo
WSR doesn't link to Oz WSR sites re: following.
Nov 2017 / March 2018 T Shirts? now 2020 (TBA) (tbb hints at Cabarita NSR stasis)

Noosa WSR site:

[Pause] Historical reboot
tbb applauds Saltwater History but not talk of crude canoes?
Canoes are regarded as engineered weight-ratio marvels(Resin/Stitched/Tied....)
Mountain legends example childrens ocean play around mothers. Men as swimmers!
WSR Pioneers
1865 Archer's Party were first of the new surf bathers to region.
1876 Shepherd's cruises introduced riotous surf bathers to Noosa Point.|||sortby=dateAsc
tbb is saying historical research will empower WSR more richly than stickers.

Noosa Code of Conduct -Avoid Swimming near Surfers? [Craft avoids Swimmers!]
Should then WSR Surfers be banned from NP with Chem Slabs & Hunting Dogs ..
Bodysurfers been riding Noosa twice as long as boardriders & get bulldozed out?
Starting to think Noosa Toffs are wiping all pre Sticker Surf History from WSR.
Note: tbb attended GC Bodysurf Comp (Hand Planes only?) End is nigh for #1 surfers!

Noosa WSR site fails to recognize humble beginnings (No NSR link)
WSR/Tourism Noosa (main partners?) links fade to grey & go nowhere fast.
No links to Noosa Festival /Boarding Office Museum /Surf Cams/Surf Qld/WSL

This applies likewise to all Oz WSR site links

Gold Coast site does awkwardly link to 'WSR' but not 'Oz WSR Noosa site' or NSR's.
However one oddity came to light that luckily grants GC WSR iconic status.
[M1] GC WSR (Exits Signs) are on par with W.H./ Theme Park signage...(M1-#1)
tbb informs this is a major upgrade as Qld Govt long prohibited {GC welcome signs}.

How does Oz WSR compare to Signage on Global Stage.
Portugal Ericeira WSR - Info Surf Shack
(WSR Lookout Maps)
(The Radical Sabbatical with WSR numbered Surf Spots) Donna +Brandon {Epic}

Findings: Clearly show Oz WSR's appear lacklustre in need of Surfing peer respect.
WSR could steer Govt Tourism towards NP Signage then similar protection.
This needs grass roots coordination from ground up to NP Reserve status.

WSR hosts Govt $10m/yr WSL Safari. Shot Gun Wedding entitles WSR to half.
WSR feeds Museums empowering festival stalls & comps to WSL<(Respect)>WSR
This format can best be presented to Govt as a seasonal Coastal Tourism Surf Safari.

tbb civic audit is presented to inform & assist WSR...I wish WSR all the best...

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Saturday, 7 Dec 2019 at 11:08pm

Global Wave Conference
10th Feb 2020 - 14th Feb 2020 Gold Coast. SCU.
Hosted by Gold Coast Surfing Reserve. / re: Andrew McKinnon

Goldie tbb is fully supportive of conference...prefer it free & on the beach.

One thing!
Recommend a progressive eco twist to planned paddle-out.
Firstly the price already excludes many.
Add a Paddle out of 100-200 to intentionally coagulate surfer's pollution.
Beach lovers only see: 'Privileged Pacific Garbage Patch rear ending the World'.

WR line in the sand would turn more heads with zero harm to environment.
Add nothing, harm nothing wade-swim circle harmonises whole beach to sea better.
Share WR giant beach flowered Pandanus Garland to draw attention.(Zero Harm!)
Even more so with denying 100% commitment to the cause turns heads.

Circling & Facing outwards surfers can then befriend the whole wide world !
Hugely symbolic outpouring of love to the world vs A List circle of Toxic navel gazers.
A twist on tradition shows that Surfers are engaging the world & making sacrifices.

World respects a surfer's send off just don't abuse or politicise sacred surf culture.
Be honest crew...line in the sand has been crossed & it paints surfers as bad guys.
tbb dislikes toxic craft but respects boardriders because we all love the ocean.

Global Wave Conference 'no pollution ring' shows unity & commands attention
100% compliments Wave Conference theme & sets surfing free to be.
World would applaud such sacrifice...tbb would salute the sincerity to our ocean.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher Saturday, 23 Apr 2022 at 6:39am

swellnet crew congratulate North Devon.
1st UK Surf Reserve & 12th World Surfing Reserve.

Gold / Sunshine Coasts WSR are a good model for Devon / Cornwall WSR.