Surfing gives us so much stoke, but unfortunately many of the materials used in surfing, so we can play in the ocean, aren’t full of stoke for the environment. From the wetsuits we wear to the equipment we ride in the boards and fins everything has its roots in petrochemicals and in the case of boards the least sustainable materials you could imagine: resins, catalysts and fibreglass cloth. Of course, things are slowly changing with more companies producing ‘green wetsuits’ and wooden boards becoming more popular, but still the industry has a long way to go.
When it comes to arguably one of the more important aspects of surfing performance which enables surfers to turn and perform critical manoeuvres, fins are essential to provide control and manoeuvrability. Fin set-up and the permutations, designs and placements are endless. Today, there are two major fin systems used in most surfboards: FCS and Futures. Both fin systems use fins made from petrochemicals and therefore when they get broken, lost, discarded, So what are the alternatives?
At Shaka Surf we make our fins from recycled plastics primarily and are committed to our pledge of reducing plastics in our oceans. We considered many options to make our fins sustainably. Another option we considered was to use broken skate decks and shape them using some basic tools. This is sometimes used for twin fins and the aesthetics can be awesome. We decided against this option, because we wanted to make all types of fins for all types of surfboards, our swell lines collection are made with shortboards, single fins and longboards in mind.
The benefits of choosing eco friendly fins are quite apparent. Firstly, the fins whether made from recycled or repurposed materials are putting waste to good use. Secondly, purchasing power has great impact on the industry. The more people that buy eco friendly and more sustainably produced products will lead the way for change in the mainstream. This has happened with wetsuits and we predict it will happen with accessories such as surf fins.
What do you think? Would you buy environmentally friendly surf fins over FCS or Futures? Let us know in the comments.