The interview with Ricky from Alive Surf School

Hi Ricky, nice to meet you tell our readers who you are and what you do

I own Alive Surf School I Portrush, Northern Ireland. I very nearly ended up in a suit and tie for my whole life as I spent 8 years working in recruitment (awful!) but luckily my mate Bryan asked me to help out in his surf school one day and the rest is history. Alive is now the biggest school in the country and we pride ourselves on being honest, helpful, friendly and lots of fun!

Thank you Ricky nice to have you here. What was the reason for you to be part in the Green Room Surf Alliance?

From the the day I took over the surf school I wanted to do something special. I was blown away by the joy surfing brought to people of all ages and backgrounds, it sounds cheesy but it really seemed magical. As well as normal day-to-day lessons we began doing lessons specifically for people from poor backgrounds or people who have learning disabilities. When I discovered the #Green Room Surf Alliance it seemed to match perfectly with our ethos - the school manager is an awesome guy called Hanno and he called to say we had to get onboard! There are very few times when an opportunity comes to work and partner with great people from all over Europe so we grabbed the opportunity with both hands.

The surfing industry so often portrays itself as being eco-friendly and sustainable when it is anything but. The Alliance was an opportunity to put our heads together and think of ways we can be more sustainable and how we can set the bar much higher than we thought possible.

You told us about the sustainable part could you tell me which measures have been adopted by the Alive Surf School so far?

We encourage our customers to to travel to their lesson by car-sharing or public transport and have recently introduced a £5 discount for everyone who arrives at a lesson in this way. We buy wetsuits and surfboards that we believe will last longer and therefore not need replacing so often and absolutely minimise our use of plastics and non-recyclable products.

Cool that is a lot of things already but what are your sustainable goals for the future?

We would love to open a surf camp (Hanno and I have been looking for suitable accommodation for some time). If this dream comes true we have huge plans to make it the most sustainable camp we can by using local food suppliers, local farms and vegetable shops. We would offer customers re-usable drinking containers and make sure they could get to and from the beach without using any fuel or transport. We have big plans but the stars need to align a little bit for us!

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