It is estimated that 70% of the total of surfboards emissions come from two sources – resin and blank manufacturing. The amount of waste materials produced by a standard 5.7lb. polyester board is 10lbs. amounting to 40% of the boards carbon footprint attributed to wasted foam and resin, and 95% of the surf wax products made on the market today are petro chemical based. So looking at Eco options is a good idea.
Minimizing your Carbon Footprints in the Water
As surfers, there is a need to be thoughtful of the impact on the natural habitat for the sport, and the number of toxins carried through equipment and gear.
Traditionally suits are made of neoprene, a petrochemical by-product and petroleum-derived polyurethane surfboards. Boards are coated with paraffin extracted from petroleum. And many when done with their gear, throw it all away, and it ends up in landfills and the sacred ocean surfers love to enjoy so much.
By the time the surfing wax bar has reached commercial stores, it will contain additional toxic petrochemical by-products. Some of these are benzene and toluene, which have been determined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as probable human carcinogens. Considering that about 95 percent of surfing waxes in the global market contain these petroleum by-products, this is very alarming.
Not only does it have a significant risk on the health of surfers, but it also pollutes the ocean, as the wax eventually degrades off the surfboard and enters the marine ecosystem.
There are some great all-vegan surfing waxes, and organic surf wax, that are endorsed by eco-organizations such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
Here are some great eco surf board and gear brands to help you protect your favourite playground – the ocean.
Eco Surf Boards:
The Ecoboard Project: The Ecoboard Project uses more sustainable materials in manufacturing, with the goal to reduce toxins and environmental impact but have the same technical performance attributes as any top water-sport board brand.
Earth Technologies(E-Tech): E-Tech is a surfboard and paddle facility that combines multiple sustainable, natural, and recycled materials to their boards.
Surf’s Up Eco Shop: Located in Huron country of Ontario, this Eco surf gear outlet has online sales available, so you can get anything shipped to you. The brands ethos is to only have ethically and environmentally friendly merchandise. And this thoughtful brand created the store made with 75% recycled materials.
Moss Research Eco-flex Surfboards: Their mission is to minimize environmental impact by innovating and implementing the most sustainable practices possible.
Firewire Board: This brand builds high performance surfboards and accessories through innovative design, materials and construction methods that have low impact on the environment.
Pulp Surf Pulp Surf “is committed to making quality surf related products that reduce our carbon footprint and enhance our overall experience in the ocean.”
This company creates sustainable surfboards, eco-friendly clothing, and organic surf wax.
Matunas Sustainable Surf Wax: The original eco-friendly sustainable surf wax company, Matunas has been at the forefront of organic surf wax since they started production in 1998.
Wave Tribe: Made in the USA on wood stoves from bees and coconut oil to create a natural clean product that is safe for the sea. Their aim to protect the oceon also by using non-petroleum based products in production.
Wave Tribe: Wave uses Hemp which is grown naturally without pesticides, is a biodegradable, durable product, reduces heat and remains cool, and protects against the sun’s harmful rays.
PanDan Bali: PanDan produces biodegradable board bags and mats hand-made in Bali. Their Eco-friendly products are made with the natural and sustainable Pandan weave, replacing the usual plastic.
For Eco surf wear check out Charlotte Carson’s story – Guide To Getting The Top Rad Eco Surf Wear Brands.