Surfing Sustainable Waves

SurfingSurfing is an energetic, full body sport that is a favorite pastime for many who live near coastlines around the world. With a surfing culture that is present in a numerous amount of countries, surfers are continuously spending time in the ocean, taking part in a sport that depends on the environment. Any ongoing aquatic activities tend to put strain on the ocean, but surfers across the globe have a strong understanding of the importance of maintaining its natural qualities. Recycled surfboards bring a green aspect to the sport, made specifically with the environment in mind. Popular companies have opted to use materials that are sustainable, constantly giving back to the planet.

In an ironic twist, although surfers worldwide enjoy being outdoors and becoming part of mother nature as they ride waves, the traditional boards they ride them on are dangerous towards the environment. Made from toxic chemicals, the surfboards are harmful towards the ecosystems that live in the water. It is not rare for surfboards to break in half while riding powerful waves, which leaves broken bits of these toxic surfboards floating out into the ocean. With increasing knowledge of the harms these surfboards can cause, the surfing industry has begun to redesign the way in which surfers ride waves. One such company is Green Foam Blanks. Created by Steve Cox and Joey Stanley, Green Foam Blanks takes recycled materials and turns them into eco friendly surfboards. 60-65% of each of their new surfboards are made from recycled materials, which comes from parts of other surfboards. This drastically reduces the amount of toxic chemicals put into each surfboard. 

In the state where the surfing culture was born, Hawaii is now transforming the way surfboards impact the environment. Country Feeling Surfboards is a famous local company in Hawaii that shapes boards using progressive materials such as sugar and soy based foams. Resins are also made from plant based materials. Bamboo, hemp, and silk cloth are also used to produce this new generation of surfboards. Country Feeling Surfboards are created by professional board shapers Kyle Bernhardt and Jeff Bushman. They are transforming the way surfers ride waves, making Country Feeling Surfboards as one of the most well liked eco friendly companies among the surfing population in Hawaii. Along with surfboards, the people at Country Feeling aim to redesign the surfing culture as a whole. Other products such as stand up board paddles will be made using sustainable materials like bamboo, and surfboard wax will be made available as an organic product. Country Feeling encourages all surfers and non surfers alike to take ongoing measures to infuse a healthy, green lifestyle into their daily mindset. 

Imagine Eco Surfboards is another company that has taken productive measures to create cutting edge, sustainable surfboards. These boards are made from recyclable B-XP3 extruded polystyrene foam. Instead of using fiberglass to laminate these surfboards, the manufacturers use bamboo fabric. Using bamboo instead of traditional fiberglass eliminates much more toxic chemicals normally used. Bamboo is one of the most environmentally friendly materials available, and when used for making surfboards, it makes the product very strong and good for the planet. 

ReSurf Recycling takes a somewhat different approach to utilizing recycled surfboards. Instead of using sustainable materials to make new surfboards, the people behind ReSurf are taking broken boards and using those parts to make asphalt filler. These unused parts of broken boards are able to also make filler for concrete. Many surfing communities have designated drop off locations where surfers can donate their unused and broken boards to ReSurf, continuing the process of recycling. The efforts done by ReSurf takes all the boards that would normally end up in landfills across the country, and turns them into much more productive, and necessary components needed to make roads.

The feel good, relaxed atmosphere of the surfing culture is an attractive one for people around the world. With the help of international companies, green surfboards are more easily accessible. The importance of protecting the environment is a widespread movement, and surfers are now more than ever taking positive measures to assure their natural playground isn’t destroyed. 

Photo credit: www.epa.gov/flowoftheriver/images/flanniganfullsize_2.jpg

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