Ph: Hannah Bailey/Wandering Workshops

About Climate & Board Sports

Hello and welcome,

Climate & Board Sports is a newsletter which seeks to explore how the environmental crisis is shaping our experience of snowboarding, surfing & being in the outdoors.

I’ve been thinking about these themes for over 20 years and frequently return to them in my career as a journalist. My first ever byline in Adrenalin (RIP) opened with the line: “Imagine a world with no snow…” before going on to discuss the stark warnings of the latest IPCC report, which then, as today, went largely ignored.

That was back in 2001. But even as I was writing the piece, with its clunky lines about rusted chairlifts clanging in the wind, I don’t think I got what it would mean for me as a snowboarder. I’m not even sure I do now. Or what the right response should be, even when faced with the reality of what the climate scientists predicted playing out before our very eyes. 

Yet I do know it still feels amazing to snowboard, as good as it ever did, if not better, despite the crazy temperature fluctuations and rain falling at far higher altitudes than we’d like. And I’m more into surfing than I’ve ever been, even though practising that involves constantly checking whether the water company has dumped sewage at our local break and often tasting petrol from the road drains.

It seems important not to lose sight of that, while also sharing our experiences of this changing world, what Alex Steffen calls the “Transapocalyptic Now”, “not the end of the world but the end of the world as we know it”, and what we might do about it.

The environmental crisis is affecting everyone of course, not just those of us who are lucky enough to surf, snowboard and spend time in the outdoors, but that regular, direct contact with nature does perhaps give us a unique perspective on it all. And that’s what I want to draw out through chatting to people who have lived and breathed these sports their whole lives.

I’m planning to post new interviews every month. Thanks for reading.

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How the environmental crisis is shaping our experience of the sports we love


// freelance writer @guardian @raconteur @1843mag @mpora & more // action sports (esp snow & surf), the environment & the outdoors //