Plane, car, bus – is it actually possible to travel in a sustainable way to your surf destination?  

Honestly, the short answer to this question would be a “No.”; because, if you really don´t want to pollute the environment you better stay at home. However we are not going for the short answer this time.

Staying at home is not an option

Nowadays everyone knows that traffic, especially air traffic, is heavily polluting the environment and a main cause for climate change. And although we know, that we are not doing any good to the environment to travel (far distances), it is still for most of us not an option not to go on a surf trip. At first sight that seems a bit egoistic, however we can still do something to reduce the environmental impact and ecological footprint of our surf trip. Depending on our time and money, as well as personal demands/preferences, there are some (more) environmentally friendly ways of transportation and travelling in a sustainable way.

So what can we do? Let´s ask ourselves some questions before going on a surftrip:

What should be considered before going on a surf trip

  • Where do I want to travel to? Is it possible to avoid flights, could we also travel to a closer destination?
  • What about the ratio of the length of the stay and the distance to the destination? Do these two parameters match? The further we fly, the longer we should stay at the destination.
  • How can I reduce the total number of miles? Are there any stop-overs or is the flight-combination actually a long way around/ detour that is offered to me (cheaply)?
  • Does the airline offer a carbon offset on the purchase of the airline ticket so I can support climate protection through a compensation project? Or would I like to compensate for the emissions myself with the help of projects like
  • Which alternative ways of transportation are there, that affect the environment less? Train, bus, boat, car?
  • How many people drive in the same car? Could we give someone else a lift or share a car? And what kind of car do we actually drive? Does it need a lot of gas, does it have good emission-reviews, or is it even using renewable electricity? Furthermore the speed of the car makes a significant difference: does it always have to be the maximum speed, or can we drive at the optimal rate of consumption?

This list of questions could be continued extensively. And the resulting answers are showing, that it does not always have to be the common, cheapest and easiest way to get to our surf spots. Furthermore a slower and more sustainable way of traveling is often even inspiring and can make our surf trip more adventurous. In future blog posts we also want to share some stories of surfers who travel by bike and similar exiting examples of sustainable travelling.

What do you think about this topic?

Do you have recommendations or know about other positive examples of ways how a surf trip can be more sustainable? If so, please let us know about them in our blog comments. We will be happy to read about your input to this so important topic. And as said before, we will dedicate some more time to focus on different solutions for travelling in a (more) sustainable way.

Fotocredit: Armin Zechmeister