A Look Back at 2017
We want to thank all of our loyal customers and of course our local surf community for the continued support this year. 2017 was one hell of a trip! It was a busy year for most of the surf industry and the sport of surfing in general with Kelly Slater’s wave pool getting attention from the world’s best surfers (see the video), the “dock session” with Volcom team riders in Bali, and Mick Fanning finding a perfect hidden wave in the desert. For now, we decided to focus on things that went down in our neck of the woods:
We started off the year 2017 in Rhode Island with plenty of great winter surf. Right out of the gate we had some fun surf in mid to late January, and that pattern continued into February and March. Namely, Winter Storm Stella in mid March was a swell we can’t get out of our heads. See our Stella recap here.
Warm Winds paired up with O’Neill and Surfline for the premier of the 2017 Wave of the Winter video early May, showcasing the best waves ridden in Hawaii’s ultimate proving grounds – the North Shore. We (along with the guys at O’Neill) threw a one hell of a party at Whalers Brewery with special guest, pro surfer Brett Barley. With tons of free gear given out and free tacos for the 1st 50 in the door – the event was a hit with over 200 guests in attendance!
Warm Winds celebrated International Surfing Day (ISD) with the Surfrider Foundation this past year by giving out free surfboard and wetsuit rentals for the day! The goal of International Surfing Day is to celebrate the sport of surfing and the sustainability of our oceans resources, and to give folks who wouldn’t normally paddle out the opportunity to take a board at no cost to them and experience the joy of surfing.
The crew from Catch Surf (@catchsurf) came down in July to catch some waves with the local groms as part of tehir “Get Wet Tour 2017” – a full east coast tour with custom board stamping, expression sessions, poster signings, and giveways. Catch Surf came down with pro surfers Kalani Robb and Johnny Redmond, along with a quiver of Catch Surf boards. Stoke levels were at an all time high!! See event photos here.
Warm Winds co-sponsors the 2017 Charlestown Skim Bash along with Eastern Seaboard, Catch Surf, Vans, O’Neill, Gorilla, JF Shapes, and Zap Skimboards. The event featured some of the best skimboarders in the North East on a perfect day down on Charlestown beach. This contest gets bigger and better every year – and we are stoked to see what they bring in 2018! (bottom right photo= @skim_rhodeisland)
Booty Bash 2017 with O’Neill, Smith, Whalers brewery, DJ Face at the world famous Ocean Mist Bar was definitely a night to remember! Thanks to everyone that came out!!
Another successful summer of Warm Winds Surf camp in the books with the help of our sponsors – Catch Surf, Rip Curl, Vans, Raw Elements, and the Surfrider Foundation. We strive to be more than a “baby sitting” service, offering in-depth education sessions that teach lifeguard water safety, surf etiquette, beach and ocean awareness, and environmental impact through fun, hands-on games and activities as well as presentations from no profit organizations such as the Surfrider Foundation.
Warm Winds ended the summer off with a bang at the second annual end of summer BBQ Bash. There was plenty of food and free gear thanks to Warm Winds surf camp sponsors Vans, Catch Surf, Rip Curl, and Raw Elements. Oh, and can’t forget that everyone was getting absolutely shacked in the parking lot with tarp surfing!!
Ocean pollution is a major problem around the globe – especially along busy coastal communities. With over 8 million tons of plastic dumped in the oceans every year, scientists estimate that by the year 2050 plastic will outnumber the fish in our world’s oceans. Warm Winds has partnered up with the Rhode Island Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation to help educate the surf community about plastic pollution and inspire folks to seek alternatives to single use plastics. This year alone, we have helped out the Surfrider Foundation – RI chapter with 8 successful beach cleanups across the southern coast of Rhode Island, preventing thousands of pounds of plastic from entering the ocean! (btm left photo: Emily Conley)
Hurricane season in 2017 was very active and very destructive in the Atlantic – with a total of 17 named storms forming, 10 of which became hurricanes, and 6 of which were major hurricanes (category 3 or higher). It all started with Gert back in late August, which was a great system for swell generation for the east coast and a great way to start the hurricane season (having a great track off of the coast). The big storm after Gert, Harvey, was another story – causing devastation to Texas and other areas around the Gulf. Following Harvey’s destruction was Hurricane Irma that devastated the Caribbean islands with 200 mph+ winds directly over Tortola and other Virgin Islands. Jose and Maria followed closely after adding to the destruction in the Caribbean (namely Puerto Rico during Maria) and Florida. All of these storms produced surf for the East Coast US, which many people say was the best run of surf that Rhode Island has ever seen. Unfortunately, many lives were lost during the 2017 hurricane season, and billions of dollars worth of property damage. This will certainly be a hurricane season that will never be forgotten.
Halloween brought some insane surf to Rhode Island, as a massive storm moved off the coast and gale force winds brought surf to the area. The system produced surf in the overhead to 1′ overhead range – and spots along Narragansett were lighting up!
Warm Winds, with the help of the generous donations from the community, fought hunger during the Thanksgiving holiday by holding a food drive in late October thru mid November. All proceeds from the food drive were donated to the Johnny Cake Center of Peacedale.
Warm Winds partnered up with the crew at O’Neill to put together a contest like no other for the Northeast US. Unlike the usual surf contest, there is no waiting period and no getting skunked on the day of competition. You have four months to surf or capture (on your own time) what you consider the wave of the winter and submit for the chance to win big. Here’s the catch – the wave MUST be ridden in New England. We’re talking cold water and heavy waves – the conditions that define who we are as surfers in the Northeast. Click here for more details about the competition.
As we mentioned before – we are very thankful for the continued support from the Rhode Island surfing community! We love nothing more than getting our customers and community psyched on the sport of surfing, just look at some of these stoked folks!!
During the year of 2017, Warm Winds has supported and donated to the following organizations:
Amp Surf: Surf program aimed to serve injured active-duty military, disabled veterans, police, firefighters, and local adults and children living with disabilities.
Grandchamp Gold Tournament: A tournament to benefit the Grandchamp family as they work through the death of Sue Grandchamp, and the health problems suffered by Wayne “Gator” Grandchamp.
Hasbro Children’s Hospital (TALC): The Adolescent Leadership Council (TALC) is a program that provides support to adolescents who live with chronic medical illness, their families, and the community.
The Johnny Cake Center of Peace Dale: a non-profit dedicated to improving the quality of life for individuals and families by providing assistance to those in need of food, clothing, and household items.
The Narragansett Lions Club: a local organization supporting community projects, sports teams, senior associations, and youth clubs as well as providing assistance to social service organizations in South County.
Narragansett Prevention Partnership: a non-profit substance abuse prevention coalition serving the community of Narragansett RI.
The World Skin Project: a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the occurrence of skin cancer and deadly melanoma via education, awareness, and early detection.
The Narrow River Preservation Association: a non-profit organization working to preserve, protect, and restore the natural environment and the quality of life for all communities within the Narrow River Estuary and Watershed.
The Surfrider Foundation: a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of Rhode Islands ocean, waves, and beaches.
Pan-Mass Challenge: a bike rice that is the largest athletic fundraising event in the country – with all of the proceeds benefiting the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.