Deep Blue Event

Editor’s Note: A Deep Blue Event is kind of like LEED certification for buildings- but instead of applying to new construction that is rated based on environmental friendliness, it’s a surf event that is held with the least impact on the earth.  According to, ” A Deep Blue Event is a more “Ocean Friendly” event that sets a clear path for reducing environmental and community impacts of a professional surfing contest.” We are not surprise that Starboard is leading the way when it comes to making big sup contests like this sustainable.  The company has a firm commitment to protecting the environment and making its products as sustainable as possible. Oh and, Zane Schweitzer, who won this event, is a Starboard Team Rider and Sustainable Surf Ambassador. 

Here’s the new release:

(January 16th 2017) Sustainable Surf is proud to report that the International Surfing Association (ISA) 2016 Fiji World StandUp Paddle (S the UP) and Paddleboard Championship has been designated as a Deep Blue Event™.

With the backing of Starboard SUP and support from Port Denarau Marina, Tavarua Island Resort and a host of other important local players, the ISA was able to successfully hold a Deep Blue, more “ocean-friendly” event. Meaning that impacts directly related to the contest, including waste, protection of natural resources, and the building of stronger communities were addressed. Steps were also taken to manage broader climate issues, notably minimizing and offsetting the entire carbon footprint of the event.

“We pride ourselves on taking the environmental impact of the event into account and acting to reduce our footprint in Fiji. I would like to give a big thanks to Sustainable Surf and Starboard for partnering with us to create a positive environmental legacy that we hope other surfing events will follow”, said ISA President, Fernando Aguerre.

Sustainable Surf is confident that other events will follow. With surfing becoming an Olympic sport and more brands, communities and financial backers seeing sustainability as a core requirement for any event, the desire to be more ocean friendly is growing. The ISA World Championship was Sustainable Surf’s 22nd Deep Blue Event since 2011 and the organization is expecting to work with even more surf, SUP, wind, arts, music and cultural events to adopt sustainability practices in 2017.

A Deep Blue Event designation requires organizers to reduce environmental and social impacts. An event needs to demonstrate that it has met the goals for at least two of the five categories Sustainable Surf developed with key industry partners.

“We’re stoked to report that the ISA World Championship met and went beyond the goals of all five categories. Showing that strong partnerships and a commitment to sustainability, can deliver great rewards to the environment, the local communities where events are held, and importantly, to the organizations and athletes involved. We look forward to working with the ISA and their partners to make even more events Deep Blue”, said Sustainable Surf Co-Founder, Michael Stewart.

Comprehensive details of the event’s sustainability efforts are included in a report on Sustainable Surf’s website. Some of the great initiatives that occurred include:

  • Starboard SUP offset the event’s emissions by planting over 4,000 mangroves in Myanmar’s Thor Heyerdahl Climate Park.
  • 47% of waste was diverted from landfill. Not an easy task when holding an offshore event.
  • Port Denarau Marina and the event’s HQ at the Rhum-Ba use a 232kW solar array as their primary power source.
  • Tavarua Island Resort supports local villages by providing medical and educational resources, water, sanitation and housing, and support for sporting teams and local businesses.
  • The ISA awarded scholarships to two young Fijian surfers, John Vasea and Kiesha Wakeham in 2016.  
  • The ISA provided a ‘mothership’ vessel to minimize the number of boats used to transport athletes to the event site.

The icing on the cake was the number of athletes riding Verified ECOBOARDS at the event. Like Zane Schweitzer, Starboard Team Rider and Sustainable Surf Ambassador, who rode his ECOBOARD to a Gold Medal finish for Team Hawaii in the Surf SUP division at pumping Cloudbreak.

Deep Blue Event

About Sustainable Surf

Sustainable Surf is a California-based 501(c)(3) non-profit charity organization focused on transforming surf culture into a powerful force for protecting the ocean playground. THey take an integrated “systems thinking” approach with their innovative programs and campaigns, which engage both individuals and businesses together in partnership to solve the most pressing environmental issues facing our oceans.

Specifically, they focus on addressing environmental impacts such as climate change related impacts (ocean acidification, sea level rise and coastal erosion), marine plastic pollution, and water quality issues that threaten our shared “surfing habitat.” – See more at:

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