- 13 June 2014 | Surfing
They're former surf spots. There's no surf in there anymore. Death to dreams of perfect waves. Man destroys what nature makes.
Humans have continuously been destroying some of the best surf spots in the world. From Asia to America, multiple high-quality break have lost the battle against marinas, urban runoff, oil spills, fishing, ports, military bases and industrial development.
Yes, we've lost world-class wave peaks. In some cases, a perfect ride was destroyed in less than 24 hours. Hardly any surf spot wins a battle against progress, or what decision-makers call progress.
For many governors, mayors, presidents and prime-ministers, the economy of surfing is still a vague hippie concept. The loss and destruction of surfing sanctuaries are, for many, a matter of numbers.
Save the Waves Coalition and many organized groups have been keeping the discussion in the spotlight, so that people who don't surf may understand what's at stake.
You can't resurrect a lost wave. Extinct surf spots are just like species. You can't bring back the original surf breaks. Damaging perfect waves is killing them slowly.
Now, take a look at important surfing treasures that were irretrievably lost:
Fukushima, Japan | 11th March, 2011
Fukushima was once one of the best surf spots in Japan. On the 11th March, 2011, a tsunami caused a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi complex. In a matter of days, the local surfing community knew radiation had taken control of the spot. For decades or centuries.
Molle, Sweden | 2011
Surfing in Sweden is as rare as snowing in the Sahara desert. The beautiful surf spot located at Mölle's Harbor mouth, in Skåne, attracted surfers from all over the country and Denmark. A breakwater built to protect the harbor boat put an end to the dream wave.
Harry's, Mexico | August, 2005
Harry's was a famous big wave surf spot located in Baja, Mexico. Sempra Energy and Shell Oil built a jetty to protect their 700 million dollar LNG terminal. Within days, the fabulous wave was buried forever.
Ponta Delgada, Madeira | 2005
Ponta Delgada was a perfect left-hander point break located in Madeira, a Portuguese island lost in the Atlantic Ocean. The local authorities decided to build a jetty to protect the newly constructed salt-water swimming pool. Wave lost, no more surf tourism.
Mundaka, Spain | 2003
Mundaka was one of the best barreling waves in the world. When the local authorities decided to remove 300,000 cubic meters of sand so that ships could transit. The ocean floor is damaged, and Mundaka no longer fires the good old barrels.
Male Point, Maldives
The small island of Male, in the Maldives, has been entirely surrounded by giant concrete tetrapods. Coastal armoring has killed the Male Point.
The Cove, Washington | 23rd March, 1994
The Cove was a consistent A-frame wave peak. After a powerful winter storm, a breach was formed in the adjacent south jetty causing fast erosion in the area. The breach was filled, the wave was condemned.
Stanley's Reef, California | 1970
Stanley's Reef offered perfect left and right-hand barrels breaking over kelp beds, but a new freeway on-ramp destroyed its qualities. Boulders were dropped, waves were gone.
Killer Dana, California | 29th August, 1966
Killer Dana was the ultimate longboarding wave. It was located off Dana Point, and it broke close to the rocks. In 1966, the Army Corp of Engineers closed it to all marine activities to build a recreational harbor for the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce.
Petacalco, Mexico | August, 1975
Petacalco was a perfect A-frame barrel located at the mouth of the Rio Balsas, in Mexico. When Japanese businessmen decided to build the largest steel mill in a third world country, everything happened quickly. Jetties, harbors and a hydroelectric dam were added to destroy the surfers' dream wave.
Flood Control, California | 1940s
Flood Control easily held the biggest of south swells. If you were looking for perfect 20-foot waves faces, this was the place to be. Unfortunately, a swell-blocking harbor was built, and the spot was gone.