The movement toward a more sustainable surfboard is overdue. While the average consumer weighs out the debates in performance between greener broads and the status quo, Mother Earth isn’t exactly getting healthier.
This is an auspicious moment to announce an update to the ECOBOARD Project, which is a program by non-profit Sustainable Surf that helps board builders make informed choices about new surfboard materials with a reduced environmental impact. More importantly, it helps surfers identify more sustainable surfboards with a consumer-facing label.
Since 2012, more than 45,000 Ecoboards have been made by over 40 registered board builders. These boards have a reduced carbon footprint and are made using renewable and recycled materials while reducing exposure to toxic chemicals for those building boards. “Verified ECOBOARDS” are being made by big brands like Firewire, Channel Islands and …Lost, and also smaller artisans like Maurice Cole, Donald Brink, Earth Technologies, and Ventana Surfboards.
This shift is happening not a moment too soon. Mother Ocean is losing her temper and getting hot due to the increased carbon dioxide being pumped into the air from our use of fossil fuels. According to reports, oceans are acidifying at a rate ten times greater than ever before in geologic history, and coral reefs could become extinct in about 30 years. Is that a future you want to see?
To help point us in the right direction, Sustainable Surf is also releasing a new report that proves sustainable surfboards have a reduced carbon footprint. The Ecoboard Lifecycle Study shows that a 30% reduction in lifecycle CO2 emissions can be achieved, simply by using blanks and resin with recycled and plant-based content that reduces the use of petrochemicals. Check out our list of qualified materials for the ECOBOARD Project.
Informed by that lifecycle study, the ECOBOARD Project is introducing a new designation: Gold Level, targeting the top sustainable surfboards, board builders, and surfboard materials. Gold Level is intended to be a stretch goal for most board builders and showcases the best materials and most innovative techniques to build a more sustainable surfboard.
So maybe now you’re saying: “Hey! how do I get my ‘footprints’ on a more sustainable surfboard?” It’s simple. Just look for the ECOBOARD Project logo on boards in the racks at shops, buy from an existing partner, or ask your shaper to join the program and make one for you as a custom order.