Ryan Harris talks fast. Nothing personal. It’s just efficient. For 6 years, he’s been a leading man behind Earth Technologies – one of the preeminent eco-surfboard building and glass shops in the world. With all those years of experience shaping, glassing, and riding boards that are made with more sustainable alternatives to traditional “poly” surfboards (that’s polyurethane foam and polyester resin), he’s got a lot of information to share on the subject. So time is of the essence. He also has a bone to pick with unfounded theories about the performance levels of more eco-friendly boards that use EPS foam and epoxy resin, for example.
“The performance argument is all bullshit,” he said. We were standing in the middle of Earth Technologies’ shop in a small industrial park in Hawthorne, California. I felt my shoes sticking to the ground as I walked. The sound of a norteño corrido and hisses of heavy machinery were coming from the shop next-door, battling some music Ryan put on as he spoke. “The fact is when I first started riding eco my boards lasted longer and performed better,” he said. “That’s what convinced me.”