At Moss Research we have developed an approach to obtaining our goals by including the broader community of like-minded surfers, artists and eco-friendly activist from around the world. Our core group of advocates constitutes a broad ranging array of talent, creativity and passion. This diverse and eclectic collection of individuals serves as not only our test pilots for our final products, but also as spokespersons for our broader and shared vision and values for the future of sustainable surfing and sustainable business models. Comprised of well-experienced surfers, explorers, craftsmen, artists, writers and environmental activists, we represent the full spectrum of individuals interested in engaging the global surfing community in the topic of environmental solutions.
LIZ CLARK | Explorer and Field Sustainability
The following is taken from Liz Clark’s website:
“I learned to sail at seven years old in San Diego, California on a little red sailing dinghy. At ten, I completed a 5,000-mile, 6-month cruise in Mexico with my family on our sailboat, The Endless Summer, experiencing a different culture, the freedom and beauty of sea travel, and opening my mind to horizons beyond my hometown reality. I credit the origin of my environmental concern to my exposure to the contrasting landscapes of grave pollution and radical natural beauty in Mexico.
Albeit very young, this trip profoundly impacted me. Two things were clear when we returned to San Diego in 1990: I wanted to protect the natural world from human destruction and, one day, I wanted to be the captain of my own sailboat.
At fifteen, my love of the ocean and natural athletic inclination led me to try surfing. Soon after, it was all I wanted to do. Determined to excel in the sport, I spent all my free time in the water and eventually started competing. I surfed in private contests and for the UCSB surf team while studying at UC Santa Barbara. My competitive career culminated in a win at the NSSA Nationals, making me the 2002 College Women’s National Champion. Although I enjoyed pushing my level of surfing through competition, I was more inclined to chasing nature saturated, exploratory surf experiences. I enjoyed surfing most for the adventures leading to remote breaks, the connection with the elements, and the opportunities for self-discovery. I was full of bigger questions that needed answers.
I began taking surf trips during summers and school breaks to Barbados, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Hawaii, Mexico, Nicaragua, and a ‘study abroad’ trip Australia. As I finished up my degree in Environmental Studies, I remember feeling frustrated by the direction the world seemed headed. Our distance and apathy for the natural world and failure as a country to seek and promote environmentally sustainable living left me disappointed and frustrated. I clung to my dream as a ‘way out’.
My surfing obsession further fueled this fire. The pressures of increasing crowds and urban pollution made the idea of a freeranging life on the sea seem even more appealing. After graduation, I crewed on different boats to gain experience for about a year, and then spontaneously came upon the chance to become the captain of my own sailboat. Thanks to the generosity of my friend and mentor, Barry Schuyler, along with support from my family, Swell and I were united.”
Read the rest of her story at swellvoyage.com
Liz was nominated for National Geographic’s Adventurer of the Year 2015!
We are thrilled to be able to call Liz Clark an Eco-flex Moss Research Advocate! Thanks for all you do Liz!
CYRUS SUTTON | Traveller / Flimmaker
The following is sourced from http://encyclopediaofsurfing.com/entries/sutton-cyrus
Surfer-filmmaker, Cyrus Sutton is best known for his blog Korduroy, a sort of digital general store of surf videos, DIY how-to segments, and surfer interviews. Sutton was born (1984) and raised in Southern California, the son of divorced college professors, and bounced between their Fullerton and Long Beach homes. At age 8, Sutton started riding waves with a friend on a bodyboard, and three years later began standup surfing with his father. He took to longboarding quickly and had a brief run of amateur success, winning the juniors division of the Rabbit Kekai Longboard Classic in 1999, and the 2001 Longboard East Coast Surfing Championships. Shortly after, Sutton contracted a staph infection, quit surfing for seven months to recover, and while doing so picked up a camera to film his surfer friends.
By 2003 Sutton had compiled enough footage to release his first film, Riding Waves, which netted him a Best Cinematography Award at the X-Dance festival. Two years later, Sutton earned an Emmy for his work as cinematographer for the documentary Next Wave: A Tsunami Relief Story. In 2010, Stoked and Broke, a charming surf film featuring Sutton and experimental surfboard shaper-rider Ryan Burch tramping around San Diego living on the largess of strangers and riding weird boards, was released to instant acclaim.
In 2009 Sutton launched Korduroy.tv, a lo-fi and much-loved surf website. Popular segments include a sort of “This Old House” for surfing called “D-I-Why-Not?”; a cooking feature entitled “Health Nuts,” and “Surf Sufficient,” a surf equipment repair tutorial. As of 2013, Korduroy had three employees on staff and was pulling in about 90,000 visitors monthly.
Sutton’s extended filmography includes dozens of short webclips as well as the full-length features, Freedom to Foam (2011), Under the Sun (2011), and Compassing(2013).
JENSEN HASSETT | Big Wave Surfer / Waterman
Jensen Hassett was born in La Jolla, California. At age five he learned to surf at Three Palms in Del Mar. He grew up in north San Diego County and began surfing Cardiff-by-the-Sea and Encinitas in later years. Competing as an amateur at a young age, Jensen quickly realized contest surfing was merely a distraction from the facet of surfing that he was truly passionate about – hunting larger, quality surf. At age 15, Jensen moved to the North Shore of Oahu with his family where he grew up challenging himself in heavy surf. “My favorite spots on Oahu are Pipeline, Rockpiles, Log Cabins, and the North Shore outer reefs. My approach to surfing big waves is cautious and calculated. I try to choose waves I’m almost certain I can make and position myself in the lineup wisely in order to avoid getting caught by clean up sets while I keep my wave count up.”
Jensen lives on the North Shore most of the year, and then chases waves to the southern hemisphere when the North Pacific gets quiet. Places like Puerto Escondido and Pascuales in Mainland Mexico and South Pacific destinations such as Tahiti and Fiji are among his favorite surfing locations around the Pacific. “My dream is to keep hunting big, perfect waves while enjoying the cultures and uniqueness each place offers.”
As far as equipment, Jensen has been experimenting by increasing volume and is now testing eco-friendly materials that are stronger and more buoyant. “These days it seems as though boards for barrels, and especially big waves are going back to the designs of the past; more volume and width in the front 1/3 of the board, traditional V bottoms, and beaked noses are not uncommon to see in the lineup today. Boards like this greatly resemble the big guns builders were making decades ago, but they have contemporary modifications throughout keeping their performance current. These boards have allowed surfers to catch some of the biggest, most monumental waves in recent years. I believe it all comes down to control when catching and riding the biggest waves; the more you are able to control larger boards with increased paddling power, the more potential you have to catch and successfully ride the biggest, most critical waves.”
KITT DOUCETTE | Journalist/Activist/Traveler
Kitt is a life long skier and kayaker, enthusiastic surfer and award-winning journalist whose work has been published in Rolling Stone, Men’s Journal and Dossier, among others. A passionate environmentalist, Kitt uses his media savvy to create powerful messages with hopes of igniting change. His recent work on plastic pollution was nominated for the prestigious Grantham Prize for environmental journalism and syndicated internationally in Rolling Stone magazine. When not sifting through plastic trash in the middle of the ocean, tracking polar bears in Norway, surfing empty waves in Alaska or sipping coffee in Hawaii, Kitt can be found busting out signature dance moves at wedding receptions throughout the American west.
See his portfolio at kittdoucette.com. Kitt, we’re happy to have you as a Moss Research Advocate!
EVAN LUTH | Writer/Waterman/Medic
As a child of water birth, Evan Kai Luth entered this world with an aquatic orientation and some might say a pair of gills. Being born and raised in Solana Beach, CA and the surrounding communities of North County San Diego allowed him to grow up as a coastal dweller who would later become a well developed waterman and lifeguard. Starting surfing at the relatively late age of 13, Evan’s life drastically changed for the better. Falling in love with the art of wave riding and the direct experience with mother nature, his path forward evolved into one long ride and life became the swell that fueled his heart’s pursuit.
In high school, Evan began entering individual and team surf competitions, wielding strong results in both and picking up mainstream sponsors to support his competitive aspirations. He went on to become the two time elected captain of the prestigious San Dieguito Academy surf team and first ever “underclassmen” to be elected before his senior year. In the role of leadership, he thrived, implementing changes and strategies to unify and strengthen the talent rich pool and increase their overall performance. This experience, combined with his active involvement in community service, opened his eyes to the importance of caring for your local environment and inspired him to maintain a path of leadership, community involvement and civil service.
After high school, Evan traveled solo on a very important adventure throughout Europe for a couple months, which would serve as a kind of catalyst for his dreams. Upon return stateside, he went on to complete a concentrated study in sociology, writing and fine art at Cal State Channel Islands. As he became more immersed in his studies and got further away from his local environment and surrounding influences, surfing took on a more refined and deeper meaning in his life. Disheartened and disillusioned by his experiences within the mainstream surfing industry and competitive scene, he began to distance himself from the competition and sponsors. With surfing serving as a source of personal identity in many ways, he felt his surfing identity and passion had become hijacked by the industry, leaving him feeling like another soulless billboard or advertising puppet. So he began down a path of soul searching and exploration in order to reestablish his identity and passions.
Finding a much greater sense of purpose and service, Evan became an ocean lifeguard for the city of Solana Beach. Taking great pride and honor in this service he continued to pursue emergency response and disaster relief certifications and trainings. Eventually becoming a seasoned veteran of lifeguarding, an EMT and a travelling volunteer medic around the world, he had again found a sense of place in this world. Maintaining a consistent travel schedule to exotic and diverse locations in the world, surfing, volunteering, observing culture and documenting the adventures all helped to further develop his world view, values and dreams.
One of the more significant themes that remained a constant throughout his surfing adventures and travels, was the necessity for and inherent compassionate nature of caring for the people, animals and world that we hold so dear. It became clear to him, that as conscious beings and members of the greater human family, it is our duty and purpose to serve and protect the world in which we live along with the living creatures that inhabit it. By observing the correlations between surfers and our dependence on the natural environment for our personal pleasure, stoke and subsistence; Evan felt it becoming more important than ever before, that we as a global community of surfers and ocean lovers serve as the leaders and protectors of our natural world. For him, the feeling can be summarized in a quote, “When the world wearies and society fails to satisfy, there is always the garden.” Today at 27 years of age, he continues to pursue travel, art, writing, community leadership, emergency services environmental awareness, and of course, all things aquatic!
We are proud to call Evan Luth our Advocate!
Niko Traubman | Artist/Waterman
Niko Traubman caught his first waves at Seaside Reef in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA at age 5. Shortly after, his family relocated to Oahu where he grew up surfing and living in a pristine and natural environment. Without the influence of television culture, he spent his time kayak fishing, diving, hiking, playing music, creating art, surfing, and exploring. These profound life experiences fueled his passion for the environment and helped develop his skills as a waterman. After gaining a new perspective from his time in Hawaii, Niko returned to Cardiff to reconnect with his extended family, friends and California roots.
In both Hawaii and California, Niko has surrounded himself with mentors who have taken it upon themselves to make a difference. “Some inspiring individuals have taken me under their wings and expanded my whole mindset in life. I am grateful that I can mesh what they’ve shown me and combine it with what I’ve learned personally to push for a brighter future. By thinking and acting with the big picture in mind within our local community, we can make positive effects globally.”
In 2011, Niko was featured in Manufacturing Stoke – a documentary exposing the “dirty secrets” of the surfboard industry. In the film, he was interviewed as an up-and-coming grom refusing to buy into corporate surf culture. “It is such a let-down when I see how toxic surf-related materials can be and how big of an impact the chemicals used have on the environment and the people involved.”
As Niko pushes for a sustainable future, he makes his intentions clear, stating, “Surf corporations will do what they can to sell, but the key is to not sell out. There are people, animals and the environment to consider. As long as I am alive, I will be involved, and I will make a difference.”
While Niko surfs on the competitive team for San Dieguito Academy, he has put all other contest surfing on the back burner to free surf, experiment with new board designs, travel, and most importantly, to spread the word about new alternatives and possibilitiies in creating a more sustainable surfing environment.