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Long Island-Based Pro Surfer Balaram Stack Is Using His Platform to Help Conserve the Oceans

Kendyl Kearly | August 19, 2019 | People

Surfers like Oceanic Global ambassador Balaram Stack are the wave of the future thanks to their dedication to protecting and preserving our oceans.


Balaram Stack surfs a barrel while competing in Oahu, Hawaii.

To watch Balaram Stack surf a New York wave is like watching a fight with a gray-green monster—nothing like the glistening blue, shampoo-ad waves from his Hawaii days. There’s something rough and gritty about the way he tackles the East Coast surf—and eventually conquers it for a barrel.

“I’ve had countless times where people have said: ‘You’re from New York? Is there even an ocean there?’” the Long Island-based pro surfer told The New York Times in 2009, when he was only 17 and already being courted for sponsorships. “So it’s like a lot of people were surprised if I [made] a couple of heats or if I [did well] in Hawaii. I guess I have to prove myself in some places.”


This wave allowed Balaram Stack to advance in the Volcom Pipe Pro in Oahu, Hawaii.

With the beautiful way he battles, then dances with the Atlantic, it’s no wonder that he’s become a staunch protector of the ocean. He’s partnered with Oceanic Global (, the United Nations’ ocean conservation nonprofit, for a host of local programming.

The initiative includes encouraging local businesses to go plastic- and straw-free, and forming a “Hamptons Hub” as a grassroots effort for awareness and fundraising. Stack has appeared at Oceanic Global events such as a panel at the East End Arts center and a city council hearing on a plastic straw ban in NYC. He joins ambassadors Susan Rockefeller and Sailor Brinkley Cook to help represent New York and the Hamptons in the endeavor to protect the area.

“I spend most of my time on the ocean,” Stack says. “It has given me the opportunity to build a life and career out of doing something I love. It’s important for me that I do all that I can to protect it in return.”

Photography by: BRIAN BIELMANN/AFP/Getty Images; Keoki Saguibo/WSL via ZUMA Wire/