TL:DR; As surfers and ocean lovers we all have a duty to protect our playground. A lot of information has come to light about the use of petrochemical plastics in surfcraft equipment. More environmentally friendly products are being released onto the market.
Seeing that most surfers and ocean lovers alike have a vested interest in protecting their ocean environments, one would assume buying a surfboard would be a “green” or sustainable option. Sadly surfboards made from sustainable and non-toxic materials haven’t always been easy to find and it wasn’t until the last decade that some shapers made the shift towards “cleaner” materials. It is no longer a secret that plastics and harmful chemicals go directly into our water sources, particularly the ocean, and that these delicate eco-systems are being adversely affected by our consumer choices.
Luckily in 2018, surfers can now pick up wooden fins and boards from their local surf shops, as well as“Eco-boards”. Eco-boards are boards that now have bio-based blanks, bio-based and low-VOC resins, or sustainably sourced wood. In addition, wooden surfboard fins, or “skegs” are now an option instead of the all fiberglass/ resin alternatives. Although they still include small amounts of fiber glass and resin, wooden fins, such as, “The Twinny”-made by Future Fins, are incredibly sturdy, aesthetically pleasing and less-toxic than traditional alternatives.
As surfers our boards are our most prized possessions, but what many surfers may not be aware of is that most boards use polyurethane glassed in polyester resin blanks (the foam core of the board) and glassed with resin filled with VOC’s (volatile organic compounds). Sadly, these materials are not the least bit friendly to the environment and are hardly sustainable. For surfers who already invest in sustainable gear, and even walk or bike to the beach, why should their surfboard choices be any less than “green”?
Check out more eco-friendly materials like bamboo, used in the “Sunrise Bamboo & Honeycomb Fiber glass FCS Quad Fins” or if you haven’t already, make sure you keep an eye out for plant based/bio based epoxy resins now hitting the market that replace the chemical alternatives. Although greener boards and fins are making their way into the surfing market, it is still going to take vigilance and conscious navigating on the part of the consumer.