In the world of surfing, the ocean is our playground, our sacred ground. But, for decades, the surf industry has left a heavy footprint on our environment. Traditional surfboards , often made with polyester resin and polyurethane (PU) foam blocks, are not known for their durability . Compared to other board sports, such as windsurfing or snowboarding, the manufacturing of surfboards has changed little over the last 30 years . The technology usually remains the same with a foam block which serves as a core to which fiberglass is added.
It's time to change the situation, to review our relationship with the waves, and to choose eco-responsible surfboards that respect our planet while guaranteeing us an exceptional riding experience.
In this article, we'll explore the concept of eco-friendly surfboards , with a particular focus on pioneering companies such as Wyve , who are using 3D printing to revolutionize the way boards are made.
Introduction: The Evolution of Sustainability in the Surfing World
The history of surfing is intrinsically linked to a legendary company: Clark Foam. Founded in 1961 by Gordon "Grubby" Clark, this Californian company played a major role in the manufacturing of surfboards. Clark Foam produced surfboard "blanks", blocks of foam reinforced with one or more wooden slats, used by surfboard shapers to create finished boards. From its beginnings, Clark Foam made its mark on the American and then international markets, establishing a virtual monopoly on the supply of surfboard blanks.
The sudden closure of Clark Foam in December 2005 took the industry by surprise . Gordon Clark's decision to close the company was prompted by regulatory issues related to chemicals and equipment used in the manufacturing process, as well as litigation brought by former employees.
This abrupt closure had a huge impact, leaving surfboard shapers searching for new suppliers. However, it also paved the way for innovation in surfboard manufacturing. Since the closure of Clark Foam, the surf industry has turned to new materials and innovative techniques. not
Clark Foam 's legacy still resonates throughout the modern surf industry, influencing the way durable surfboards are designed, manufactured and perceived.
The Ecological Surfboard Revolution
The world is evolving and that of surfing too, and with it, the notion of sustainability is becoming more and more important . A good surfboard is, above all, a board that lasts longer. The design of surfboards is evolving, as are the design methods. If professional surfers like Kelly Slater can afford to change boards, it's also because they don't pay for them.
Eco-friendly surfboards are at the heart of this revolution in the surf industry. But, what do we mean by “ ecological surfboards” ? These are boards designed with respect for the environment, with a lower carbon footprint throughout their life cycle.
One of the main reasons that led to this revolution is the realization that traditional surfboard materials are often difficult, if not impossible, to recycle . For decades, the surf industry has primarily used polyester resins and polyurethane (PU) foam blocks to make its boards. This combination of materials, although efficient, left a significant environmental footprint.
Recent technological advances and growing environmental awareness have paved the way for more sustainable surfboard designs. Eco-friendly surfing has become a major movement in the surfing community , highlighting innovative brands that are rethinking the design and manufacturing of boards to minimize their impact on the planet.
Whether in the textile world with eco-responsible brands like Patagonia . Points of view and approaches are also changing in the world of surfing.
Among the pioneering brands in France, we find Notox and its workshop in Anglet, which adopted an approach using natural materials such as linen for the manufacture of its boards. This evolution towards ecological surfboards is a response to growing environmental concerns and a quest for innovation to offer surfers high-performance products that respect nature.
The Eco Board Label: A Guarantee for a Sustainable Surfboard
Do you want to contribute to preserving the environment while continuing to enjoy the waves? The Eco Board label is the standard that allows you to reconcile these two objectives. This certification ensures that surfboards are designed with respect for the environment, while maintaining the performance that surfers expect.
The Eco Board label is available in different categories, including One and Gold . Each of these categories requires specific criteria to ensure that boards are environmentally friendly at different stages of their life cycle with an emphasis on production.
The Eco Board label is a guarantee that the materials used for the board are sustainable and environmentally friendly. These include the use of eco-designed resins , bio-sourced materials , and the incorporation of recycled materials. The goal is to minimize the carbon footprint and waste generated during manufacturing.
Opting for an Eco Board certified board , whether at level One or Gold , is making a responsible choice. It also means supporting a surfing industry which is evolving towards more environmentally friendly practices.
Sustainable Materials Transforming the Surfing World
One of the cornerstones of eco-responsible surfing lies in the choice of materials used to manufacture the boards. The surf industry has made significant strides in incorporating sustainable materials that are transforming not only how boards are constructed , but also their impact on the environment.
These revolutionary materials include bamboo, linen, balsa , cork , and other bio-sourced materials. A French company stands out in the world of surfing, it's Sicomin, you may not have heard of them. But more than half of the world's surfboards are made with their resins.
Another revolutionary aspect is the use of 3D printing in the manufacturing of surfboards. This technology makes it possible to create custom boards with exceptional precision. 3D printed boards minimize material waste because they are built layer by layer according to a digital model. This method provides unparalleled customization, allowing surfers to choose the shape, contours and features of their board based on their specific needs.
Green Manufacturing Practices
When choosing an eco-friendly surfboard, it is essential to consider not only the materials, but also the manufacturing practices. Some brands stand out by adopting environmentally friendly production methods . Common practices include using solar energy in workshops , reducing production waste, managing water responsibly, and minimizing the use of harmful chemicals. When looking for a sustainable surfboard, be sure to support brands that incorporate these eco-conscious practices into their manufacturing process.
The End of Life of Surfboards
Another important facet of sustainability in the surf industry is end-of-life management of surfboards. Used boards can become an environmental challenge if not properly recycled or disposed of. More and more companies are focusing on recovering and recycling old boards, transforming the materials into new products or reusing them to create new boards.
When you decide to dispose of your used surfboard, explore options for recycling or donating to organizations that can extend the life of your board.
In France, since January 1, 2022, surfboards are part of the sporting goods subject to an eco-contribution which helps to finance the collection and treatment of waste. It is the company: Ecologic France which obtained approval until 2027.
If you have an old surfboard, you can turn it into a cool decoration, it's always better than putting it in a recycling center. Fiberglass, once starched on a foam block, is very difficult to recycle, unfortunately most often old boards are crushed.
Eco-tourism and Surfer Responsibility
The surf industry is closely linked to eco-tourism, and surfers have a role to play in preserving surf spots and the coastal environment. This section could cover topics such as raising awareness about beach protection, participating in beach cleaning initiatives, and reducing the ecological footprint during surf trips. It's important that surfers recognize their impact on the environment and work together to minimize their footprint, both on the waves and on the planet.
By incorporating this information, our blog post will be more comprehensive and provide a deeper overview of sustainability in the surf industry, covering not only the materials and production of surfboards, but also other aspects essential for preserving the coastal environment and practicing responsible surfing.
The Future of Surfing Goes through Nature-Friendly Boards
The future of the surf industry is inextricably linked to sustainability. As environmental awareness continues to gain ground, surfers around the world are demanding boards that respect nature while delivering exceptional performance. Surfers, like manufacturers, understand that the ocean, which is the very heart of surfing, is both the most precious and vulnerable jewel on our planet.
This is why the movement towards eco-friendly surfboards continues to intensify. From innovative materials to cutting-edge technologies, sustainable surfing is constantly evolving. Today's surfers are fortunate to be able to choose from a growing range of boards that combine cutting-edge performance with environmental awareness. It's never been more rewarding to ride the waves while protecting the oceans.
By opting for eco-responsible surfboards , you are actively contributing to forging a future where surfing and nature coexist in harmony. We invite you to join this movement to preserve the oceans and waves we cherish so much.
Together we can create a world where every surf session is a celebration of nature, a sustainable adventure and a deeply satisfying experience.
In summary, eco-responsible surfing is not just a trend, it is an imperative necessity. By choosing eco-friendly surfboards, we can continue to enjoy the waves while playing an active role in protecting the oceans. It is time to become fully aware of our impact on the marine environment and adopt sustainable practices that preserve this fragile ecosystem.
As surfers at Wyve , we have a deep relationship with the ocean, and it is our duty to protect it. Every wave we ride should be a celebration of nature, an experience filled with respect and gratitude for the wonders of the ocean. It is by making informed choices, such as adopting eco-responsible surfboards, that we can really make a difference.
Together, one wave at a time, we can contribute to a future where surfing and nature conservation go hand in hand. So, may your next surf session be both an unforgettable adventure and an act of protection of our planet.
FAQs on Eco-Responsible Surfboards
Q1: How to choose a durable surfboard?
Choosing a sustainable surfboard starts with looking for environmentally friendly materials, such as linen, balsa or Australian pine, as well as eco-designed resins. Make sure the board is Eco Board certified, preferably at Gold level, for a guarantee of durability. If you opt for a new board, find out about the brands' eco-friendly manufacturing practices.
Q2: How to maintain a recycled surfboard?
The maintenance of an eco-designed surfboard is similar to that of a traditional board.
Q3: What are the environmental benefits of sustainable materials used in surfboards?
Sustainable materials, such as linen, balsa and Australian pine, guarantee several environmental qualities. They are renewable and require less energy to manufacture. Additionally, they generate less waste and have a reduced carbon footprint compared to traditional materials. By choosing these materials, you help preserve the marine environment that you love so much.
Q4: Where to find eco-responsible surfboards?
You can find eco-friendly surfboards from Eco Board certified manufacturers, such as Firewire , NSP , Channel Island , Lost and Superbrand . Some French brands, like Notox and Nomads Surfing, also offer environmentally friendly linen fiber boards. Look for brands that feature the Eco Board logo on their boards to ensure you choose sustainable models.
Q5: What are the differences between the Silver and Gold levels of the Eco Board label?
The Eco Board label offers two levels of certification: Silver and Gold. Silver level boards use at least one qualified material, such as a plant resin or a bar containing recycled materials. In contrast, Gold level boards go further by using more durable materials and being made by manufacturers with improved manufacturing processes. Opting for the Gold level guarantees greater sustainability and reduced environmental impact.
Q6: How does transporting surfboards affect their environmental footprint?
Transportation of surfboards can contribute to their environmental footprint, but it generally represents a small portion of it, around 10% on average. However, it is important to choose eco-responsible transportation methods, such as carpooling or consolidating deliveries, to reduce this impact. Most of the environmental footprint of boards comes from the materials used in their manufacture and the energy required to produce them.