Rip Curl Europe’s flagship Pro store in Newquay launched the UK’s first ever national ‘Wetsuit Amnesty’ this past weekend (Saturday 2nd May) during a jam packed in-store event which presented the brands global commitment to protecting the environment. Alongside a busy day of live music, recycling, competitions and Rip Curl pro team signings, a very special Search WCT event announcement was made by 2007 world champion and current world Title challenger, Australian Mick Fanning (27) via a video feed from Bells Beach Australia direct to Newquay.
Signalling the start of summer in the UK with glorious May Bank Holiday sunshine and pumping 8ft surf the Wetsuit Amnesty began early on Saturday morning with people arriving at the Newquay Pro store as soon as it’s doors were opened, eager to exchange their old wetsuits for recycled Project Resurrection flip-flops. Claire Hancox, manager of Newquay’s Rip Curl Pro store, said, “It was incredible to see how many people arrived at the store throughout the day with all types of old suits, when I got to the store at 8:30am to open up I was greeted by a local grom carrying a stack of wetsuits and a large grin on his face". Early comers to the store were given tokens to reclaim their flip-flops later in the day when the main event kicked off at 6pm.
Beginning with live music from local band Albenaza (pictured) who played to a large crowd of event guests, Newquay locals, and Bank Holiday tourists who had gathered outside the Pro store, the Project Resurrection flip-flop exchange soon got underway with Rip Curl UK Marketing Manager James Hendy announcing the start of the exchange by thanking everybody who had joined Rip Curl in this ground-breaking recycling initiative and for contributing to more sustainable products. Commenting on the event Hendy said, “The number of wetsuits that have been collected in-store today has been phenomenal, it’s been fantastic to offer people the chance to walk out with the finished recycled product on their feet. As a company we (Rip Curl) are committed to sustainable products, producing the largest range of ecological products in the surf sports industry and it’s great that everyone can become actively involved with the benefits of recycling waste."
Speaking on the recycling initiative Rip Curl pro team rider and Eco ambassador Tom Lowe (25, St Ives) said “As a surfer I’ve always recycled as much as possible and tried to do what I can for the environment so it’s great to see other people getting on board with this. It’s so important we do all we can to protect the environment in anyway possible so I’m stoked that Rip Curl are so proactive in this area." Lowe continued, “Rip Curl are re-cycling 150 tons of waste neoprene each year through Project Resurrection so it's great to be supported by a company that is so involved with the environment". In-store Hendy went on to talk about Rip Curl’s Planet Foundation which has environmental projects and initiatives running across the world, including their acclaimed ‘Coral Guard’ which, as part of the event day, offered customers free travel journals with in-store purchases and also the chance to win a trip to Tahiti for 2 people where the last Coral Guard action took place.
As the live music and team signings wrapped up, speculation was rising among the event guests as to the whereabouts of the next Rip Curl WCT Search event which had been previously held in Reunion Island, Mexico, Chile and Indonesia. Using the in-store TV screens 2007 world surfing champion, and current world title challenger, Mick Fanning made the global announcement directly to Newquay from Bells Beach Australia saying “The spirit of The Search is about finding the best waves in the world, which in turn is all about discovery and freedom and we’re stoked that Rip Curl has the opportunity to take the world’s best surfers on this journey through the event. I'm stoked to announce its official, for the first time The Search will be coming to Europe!" As with all WCT Search events, held in previous years, the exact dream break will be revealed just days before the event takes place at the end of October (19th-28th October 2009) this year, but speculation began in-store to possible destinations throughout Europe that could handle the arrival of the worlds top surfers. When quizzed whether the World Championship Tour surf event would take place in the UK, specifically Newquay, James Hendy commented “In the spirit of the Search we never release the final destination until just before the event so you will have to keep an eye on the Rip Curl website for the latest updates."
Rip Curl’s celebrations continued onto the after-party held at Newquay’s Koola Bar with a packed audience of surfers and party-goers who enjoyed the UK premier of Rip Curl film Rubber Soul 2 and partied long into the night.
For more information on Project Resurrection, Rip Curl Planet Foundation, and The Search WCT event visit ripcurl.com