10 Things You Can Do to Save the Ocean – By National Geographic.

Last week we  wrote a piece on the National Geographic and their work with The Pristine Sea Mission and Davidoff Cool Water. They are working together to try and help save the Oceans, reduce pollution and create funding and it is really great to see big companies like that doing their bit, but sometimes we want to know what we can do to help?

National Geographic, as ever, are on hand to help with this and have drawn up 10 simple changes we can all make to do our part.


1. Mind Your Carbon Footprint and Reduce Energy Consumption

Reduce the effects of climate change on the ocean by leaving the car at home when you can and being conscious of your energy use at home and work. A few things you can do to get started today: Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs, take the stairs, and bundle up or use a fan to avoid oversetting your thermostat.

2. Make Safe, Sustainable Seafood Choices

Global fish populations are rapidly being depleted due to demand, loss of habitat, and unsustainable fishing practices. When shopping or dining out, help reduce the demand for overexploited species by choosing seafood that is both healthful and sustainable.

3. Use Fewer Plastic Products

Plastics that end up as ocean debris contribute to habitat destruction and entangle and kill tens of thousands of marine animals each year. To limit your impact, carry a reusable water bottle, store food in nondisposable containers, bring your own cloth tote or other reusable bag when shopping, and recycle whenever possible.

4. Help Take Care of the Beach

Whether you enjoy diving, surfing, or relaxing on the beach, always clean up after yourself. Explore and appreciate the ocean without interfering with wildlife or removing rocks and coral. Go even further by encouraging others to respect the marine environment or by participating in local beach cleanups.

5. Don’t Purchase Items That Exploit Marine Life

Certain products contribute to the harming of fragile coral reefs and marine populations. Avoid purchasing items such as coral jewelry, tortoiseshell hair accessories (made from hawksbill turtles), and shark products.

6. Be an Ocean-Friendly Pet Owner

Read pet food labels and consider seafood sustainability when choosing a diet for your pet. Never flush cat litter, which can contain pathogens harmful to marine life. Avoid stocking your aquarium with wild-caught saltwater fish, and never release any aquarium fish into the ocean or other bodies of water, a practice that can introduce non-native species harmful to the existing ecosystem.

7. Support Organizations Working to Protect the Ocean

Many institutes and organizations are fighting to protect ocean habitats and marine wildlife. Find a national organization and consider giving financial support or volunteering for hands-on work or advocacy. If you live near the coast, join up with a local branch or group and get involved in projects close to home.

8. Influence Change in Your Community

Research the ocean policies of public officials before you vote or contact your local representatives to let them know you support marine conservation projects. Consider patronizing restaurants and grocery stores that offer only sustainable seafood, and speak up about your concerns if you spot a threatened species on the menu or at the seafood counter.

9. Travel the Ocean Responsibly

Practice responsible boating, kayaking, and other recreational activities on the water. Never throw anything overboard, and be aware of marine life in the waters around you. If you’re set on taking a cruise for your next vacation, do some research to find the most eco-friendly option.

10. Educate Yourself About Oceans and Marine Life

All life on Earth is connected to the ocean and its inhabitants. The more you learn about the issues facing this vital system, the more you’ll want to help ensure its health—then share that knowledge to educate and inspire others.


GVS Co. xx

Portuguese Surf Film Festival – Ericeira

So two of the team members over here at GVS Co. have booked a surf holiday to Ericeira for the start of August but we have only just realised that this coincides with the annual Portuguese Surf Film Festival! We cannot believe our luck!

It is the 5th annual festival and is being held on  July 30th – August 6! There will be 21 films screened over the course of the festival and they will be judged in 5 different categories: Best Surf Film, Best Short, Best Sustainability, Ericeira in Shorts and Best Soundtracks

Ericeira PSFF 2016 from Portuguese Surf Film Festival on Vimeo.


We cannot wait! Also if any of you lovely people are going to be out there, let us know!

Davidoff Cool Water – Beach Clean Up.

Pollution is an issue which has been plaguing surfers world wide for many years and has resulted in great organisations like Surfers Against Sewage and the Plastic Project who aim to try and tackle the rubbish that is collecting on our beaches.

Prominent Men’s fragrance Davidoff Cool Water, who base their advertising around crystal clear seas have been active campaigners on ocean pollution. They teamed up with the National Geographic campaign called “Pristine Seas‘ back in 2012 and they have been working together since then to help try and preserve the world’s oceans.

Their latest campaign #lovetheocean is encouraging people to sign up to their local beach cleans, avoid using single use bags and also to campaign for a plastic bag tax or ban.

It would be easy to be cynical about a big brand using an ethical campaign to win brownie points but in all honesty we think that any extra awareness that can be raised for ocean pollution can only be a good thing! They have a load of interesting information on their website so make sure and head over to check it out!


Meet the Labels! Tails and Whales

Founded in 2015 by Luis Vaz, Tails and Whales is dedicated to creating products that focus on form and function, as well as versatility, durability and most importantly, the user experience.


The brand name originated from the whale, the giant mammal of the deep sea that has adapted it’s form over time to flourish in its natural environment with a strong tail that propels it’s functional movement. This is the core behind the brand identity and what we aim to achieve with some elements of biomimicry to the whale: adaptability, movement, balance and simplicity. Each product resembles and reflects a whale species closest to its design. The Bowhead, a multi-function backpack, is the first product to sprout from Tails and Whales.


The name represents durability, thickness and a ruggedness that Bowhead Whales possess. As the oldest mammal, the Bowhead represents longevity and quality – a product that is made to last. The Bowhead is the swiss army knife of backpacks, designed to alleviate the pains of organizing and storing surf gear  – on your back, in your car and on and the airplane –  making it  it easier to travel to  your favorite surf-spot, regardless of the distance. The Bowhead is made of water-resistant Cordura, and provides a 35L of total storage space while still being FAA-compliant for carry on travel. The bag is divided into compartments so surfers can keep their gear organized and maintain a separation between wet and dry gear: it includes 5 separate storage areas (2 large, 1 medium and 2 small), all secured with reinforced waterproof YKK Zippers.


In addition to the standard shoulder straps, the Bowhead features a hook and strap mechanism that allows surfers to attach their bag to the backseat of the car in a matter of seconds. This helps you to organize all your gear while maintaining trunk space, and allows for easy access to the pockets. This unique design also allows the customer to unfold the back into a flat plane that can be used to protect your surfboards while travelling, used as a chair at a busy airport, or as an additional division to store more items. The Bowhead provides all of the features that people have come to expect from a high-quality backpack, and adds a unique level of functionality and performance designed for active explorers that require a higher level of versatility, durability and efficiency.

Our Story

Tails and Whales is owned by Canvaz Design Studio, based in Matosinhos, Portugal. Canvaz was founded and is run by Luis Vaz, an avid surfer, traveller and professional UI/UX designer with over 10 years of experience in branding, marketing, advertising and mobile/web design. Canvaz focuses primarily on developing best-in-class digital interfaces and crafting seamless user experiences for consumer products. Tails and Whales was founded as the Studio’s performance brand, and will focus on the design and development of fashionable and functional gear for outdoor sports – specifically, surfing. The Studio includes a workspace that serves as the company’s headquarters, as well as a showroom for Tails and Whales branded product; all 500 meters from the Beach.



My profession is as a UI/UX designer, and my passion is surfing. I have spent many early mornings warming up with a cup of coffee just before dawn, trying to preheat my body before jumping into the cold water for a sunrise surf session. I’ve also spent countless hours travelling – driving, flying, walking – in search of the best swell in isolated places. Being able to pick up and move quickly to wherever mother nature decides to create a swell, requires a certain amount of efficiency and discipline in one’s preparations. You don’t want to rush to the beach, only to find that you’ve forgotten your surf wax, or finish your session and not have anywhere to put that soaked wetsuit. But you also have to be cognizant of not overloading or over-packing your bag – being quick, nimble and versatile is the name of the game. To that end, I was always struggling to find a bag that suited my needs; being both large enough to carry my gear, but comfortable and compact enough to travel easily with, and of course durable enough to take a beating. The Tails and Whales performance brand, and our flagship product, The Bowhead surf bag, was born out of my own desire to solve these issues for myself.

Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 17.02.40
“I started out to create a backpack that allowed me to keep my surf gear organized – large enough to fit the necessities, but compact enough not to slow me down while I went searching for the swell. After selling a number of my own prototypes – literally right off my back – I decided it was time to make a business out of it, which is how Tails and Whales was born.” – Luis Vaz, Founder of Tails and Whales

You can find these guys here and we will also be stocking them in our long awaited store!

Web: http://store.tailsandwhales.com/

Bowhead Product: http://bowhead.tailsandwhales.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tailsandwhales

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/tailsandwhales

Fancy: https://fancy.com/TailsandWhales

Tumblr: http://officialtailsandwhales.tumblr.com/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/luismvaz



Surfing Fitness Tips – By SBS Boards

A few more guides from the guys over at SBS boards to help us improve and develop our surfing skills.

Definitely going to be hitting some of these up before heading out on our surf trips this summer!

The Isle of May – Puffin Watching! By Nicole Duncan

If you are lucky enough to find yourself in Scotland you should definitely try and make your way over to the Isle of May. The Isle of May is a small island located off the East coast of Scotland and is a National Nature Reserve site. Considering it is a tiny island, it is home to a huge amount of of wildlife including Puffins, Guillemots, Razorbills, Shags, Cormorants, Terns and Grey Seals and although there are no permanent residents there are often people staying there for a few days to study the animals and plants.


The only way you can get to the island is by taking a boat trip from Anstruther or Crail, it takes around an hour, but no worries, there is a bar on the boat!!


Once you land you get a quick talk about the island and what to expect and then you are set on your way. One bt of advice I would strongly recommend that you follow is to **stay out of the way of the Terns!    The season in which the boat trips happen also coincides with breeding season and this makes them very territorial and they will swoop and peck at you if they think that you are too close to their nests. Be warned they do actually hit you, I learned this the hard way!


Once you get past the terrors that are the Terns, the rest of the trip is far more relaxing! You are left to wander around the island using the paths that have been marked out, avoiding the 46,000 puffin nests that are hidden in the surrounding earth. The abundance of wildlife around the island is incredible and for anyone even slightly interested in photography it is an absolute dream.

There is also a huge population of seals on the island and one of them decided to follow us around for a while! We also even managed to catch a glimpse of a dolphin but unfortunately we weren’t able to get any pictures of them.


The main reason for taking this trip however is to see the puffins and you literally couldn’t miss them as there are over 100,000 of them on the island at the height of summer!





Top Tips for the Isle of May:

**Dress for cold weather/rain, have layers so you can take them off if you are warm.

**Take a hat or a jacket with a hood to save you from the Tern attacks!

**Take a packed lunch as there are no shops on the island and you can only buy snacks and drinks on the boat.

**Make sure your camera is fully charged as you will have LOADs of things you will want to take photos of.

You get to stay on the island for just under three hours, so this gives you pleanty of time to take all the photographs you would like and then once you return to the mainland, make sure and visit the Anstruther Fish and Chip bar – it has won the best chippy in Scotland for several years and it certainly lives up to the name!






The SBS Guide To Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP).

The lovely guys over at SBS boards have put together a great video for anyone who is looking to get into Paddleboarding this summer and or even if you are just looking to improve.

We hope you find it as useful as we do!

You can also check out their selection of lovely Paddleboards here.