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Papua New Guinea’s surfing scene is indeed blossoming with the hosting of the current Men’s & Women’s Longboard World Championships Tour at Tupira Surf Resort, Madang!
Sam Bleakley, writing for the World Surf League website had nothing but admiration for the organisers and locals for welcoming competitors and guests for this world class event.
Here are some of the excerpts from the article. You can read the full article here.
Andrew Abel the co-founder of Surfing Association PNG (SAPNG):
“Thirty years ago I had a vision, I started out on a mission to introduce surfing to PNG,”
“[Surfing] is as valuable a resource as all the timber, gold, and copper that is now being exported out of our nation. As long as we maintain this resource properly in a transparent and honest manner, future generations will prosper — and that is paramount.”
Abel has devised a revolutionary bottom-up, community-centered approach to develop surf tourism in PNG, where locals are central players in decisions regarding the use of their surfing resources. Essentially, income intends to be generated with a low impact on traditional culture and the natural environment, so health, education and employment can flower. Here a hallmark of sustainability is keeping the locals stoked.
SAPNG will consult with the local community to form a surf club, inspire village led surfing and review the capacity of the area for number of surfers, which will be limited per day in accordance with waves, infrastructure and local needs.
Dr. Jess Ponting, founder and director of the Centre for Surf Research at San Diego State University, and SAPNG advisor.
“Surf tourists often travel to remote destinations, but a lot of research suggests the mismanagement of surf tourism has resulted in significant negative impacts on host communities. In PNG they are reversing this.”
Surfing addressing gender equality – Dr. Easkey Britton, an Irish surfer and SAPNG advisor, who’s led a number of all-women surf days in Tupira, it’s become just that — a revolution.
“By painting the noses of half of all surfboards donated to PNG pink, female surfers are given exclusive ownership of boards and their equal status is made visible,”
“This is a simple tool to promote women’s participation in surfing and to give women greater ownership and recognition in the surf. The development of surfing for social good in PNG is a powerful example of how constraints can inspire creativity and how a lack of resources can foster a breeding ground for innovation. Here, women are making waves of change on the edge of surfing’s known frontiers.”
Supreme Court Judge Justice Nicholas Kirrwom – passionate about the power of waveriding
“The idea of bringing in surf tourism was to try to prevent further logging operations in the Bay,”
“So that’s why we worked for so many years to stop this, and then this idea of surfing came along and we thought this was a better way to use our marine resources to better ends all around. Surfing is clean and healthy, and promotes a healthy environment.”
Read the full article here