Introducing The ECO Egg from Yuyo x Shaka Surf
After months of planning, design and manufacture we’re are today pleased to announce a very special collaboration project between us and Yuyo Surf to create the ECO Egg - probably the most environmentally friendly surfboard on this Earth. Constructed from recycled PET plastics (sourced from medical waste, thank you key worker legends!) and using biocomposite glassing made of natural basalt fiber and bio-epoxy resin making this one of the most, if not the most sustainably produced surfboard currently. Other surfboard manufacturers are still using foam, whether that’s recycled EPS or non-recycled PU foam, from the outset the manufacturing of the ECO egg is using recycled PET plastics from medical waste reducing plastic waste in our landfills or off-shored to other countries to deal with.
About the board
Recognising that the average surfer needs something suitable for typical European beachbreaks and won’t be surfing maxed out Nias or Cloudbreak type waves (especially not now with travel restrictions) the ECO egg was made for maximum fun and to keep surfers frothing for their next session. With plenty of volume (although not such a useful metric to get hung up about), at 38L this board offers a lot of buoyancy, lightweight and precision designed from the latest in 3D printing technology, there’s no doubt about it - this will be your new favourite board. With a rounded pin, the board will also go well in bigger and more powerful waves, 6 - 8ft allowing for critical off-the-bottom turns and control off the top. Suitable for all types of surfers from beginners to advanced surfers/pros the ECO egg not only looks great but performs exceptionally well. Fin wise the system we opted for FCS II for it’s ease of use, allowing surfers to quickly insert and take out their fins and not waste any time on any entering the lineup.
Designed By Shaka Surf produced by Yuyo Surf
Conceptualized earlier on in the year, this project was the result of a collaboration between Shaka Surf and Yuyo Surf. We bought to the table our recognised fin designs and Yuyo surf bought the designs to life with their 3D printing and glassing factory. The result is an all-round performer that is sustainably made and perfect for any surfers’ ability. The ECO egg is a model we’re exceptional proud off, from its environmental friendly attributes to its aesthetics. We’re confident that you’re gonna love it as much as did making it.
The ECO Egg is now available to buy exclusively through Shaka Surf, click here to buy.
We've Launched Our New Website in English and French!
After months of work we’re happy to announce our official new website in English and French. We hope to launch additional languages in the New Year.
The pandemic has given us lots of downtime as with many people, to reassess what we were doing and to dedicate most of our waking hours to a redesign and rethink of our products and getting feedback from our customers. We decided to combine the E-Commerce Store and Content website into one to make the User Experience easier and also offer our European customers an option of paying in Euros and people outside of Europe the option of USD. For our UK visitors, we will soon be adding the option to pay in GBP as well.
Also, we found that spending a lot of time maintaining both sites, keeping them updated as well as being involved in other parts of the business was not sustainable. Hopefully with this new site design we can now focus more on key aspects of the business such as customer service and working on new partnerships and delivering great quality products to our customers.
Speaking of which, we’re really stoked to announce a new collaboration with the awesome Yuyo surfboards and our first ever 3D printed surfboard made from recycled PET plastics. We can’t wait to test out the board in some decent European beachbreaks, of which we’ll be posting some content on our Instagram. The board is perfect for all levels and suitable for your average beachbreaks and also more powerful reefs with plenty of volume and mid-length surfboard dimensions, this is going to be a great board for any surfer of any level. And it’s far more sustainable than anything else currently on the market. I personally will be adding this to my quiver and hope you’ll do the same.
We can’t wait to hear your feedback on our new sustainable surf products and website. If there’s anything we can help with please get in touch.
Announcing The New Swell Lines Single Fin and G5 Fins
We're stoked to announce some new products that have just been added this week on the site. We have been working hard the last few months to bring these 100% eco surf fins exclusively to Shaka Surf. These fins have been designed and developed in Europe and we have teamed up with the graffiti artist Vasco Maio to give these eco and sustainable fins a very distinctive look. Vasco takes his inspiration from nature and what could reflect this better than the manifestation of the force of mother nature and take inspiration form something surfers rely on a daily basis - weather charts.
These fins earn their eco credentials as they are made from 100% recyclable and reusable materials. Available as: blue single fins, purple single fins and orange single fins for the 7" and 9" single fins. We also have released a limited batch of sustainable G5 Medium fins in blue for shortboards.
Use them in your setup, or to decorate the home, the choice is yours. But don't miss out on these bad boys! Check out the video below, to see the artist at work on the fins.
Are Shark Attacks Linked To Climate Change
It's hard not to act surprised when you hear the news of the latest shark attack. As surfers it's a risk we have to accept, we're always entering their territory. But there's always things we can do to minimise the risks such as wear known detterents for sharks. Now it's dubious just how effective some of the newer market technologies are against all kinds of aggresive sharks such as tigers, bulls and great whites. But, some surfers do swear by the shark shields especially in well known hotspots such as Western Australia, certain areas of Gold Coast and New South Wales as well as South Africa, California etc.
More sightings, more risk
I remember one summer living down on the Vicorian surf coast, generally quite a safe area there was an unprecented wave of shark sightings. Many locals were saying it was caused by warmer summer waters and sharks following the bait fish. There was even one weekend session when the alarm went and we had to get out because about 20 sharks had been sighted along various points of the coastline. Reluctantly we complied, just as the waves were getting good. But, most of the time you might hear about a thresher shark that hit a surfer off their board thinking it was prety and then swimming off once it realised it had made a mistake. For the most part, not life threatening sharks are encountered upon.
But, now it seems we're hearing more about shark attacks and sometimes not in common hotspots. You just can't help but wondering what's the reason for them coming closer to shore. Or is it just that now than ever watersports such as surfing have become insanely popular meaning more bodies in water at any given time, meaning increased chances of encounters.
Is Climate change a factor?
No doubt about it climate change is having an impact on the number of shark sightings and attacks. Their food source is becoming increasingly sparse due to overfishing and hence why sharks are being spotted in unusual places as sharks venture to different parts of the ocean. It's hard to say how much climate change is responsible for an increase in shark attacks, but on prima facie it looks like it's strong correlated.
What we can do in our daily lives is change certain behaviours. The most simple thing we can all start doing is going vegeterian. Cutting out fish, means less overfishing in our seas, which means a restoration and regeneration of fish for the sharks. We can protest shark culls, because they're barbaric and there's little evidence to show that this prevents less attacks.
To find out more about shark conservation you can go here.
3 Reasons To Stay At An Eco Surf Lodge
Some call them trendy, while others swear by them. Either way, eco lodges are gere to stay and are a part of the green revolution that surfers and the rest of the world are either enbracing or about to embrace. When an eco lodge gets it right, they really can be something very special. We recently had the opportunity to stay at an eco surf lodge, and here are some reasons why we'll definitely be going back again.
A pure escape
Whilst, we're lucky enough here at Shaka Surf to live close by to a great beach, we're still close enough to a big city to still feel the crowds, especially on the weekend. Crowds on land, traffic, busy shopping malls and other such institutions can affect you in so many ways, many of which you don’t even realise at the time. Constant noise and the movement of people can make some people tense, stressed and vigilant. Crowds in the water can just be odious. Too many people in the water takes all the fun out of it, and makes surfing harder than it should be. A few selfish people in a crowd matrix is even worse, and can lead to a general feeling of tension and aggression.Staying at an eco surf lodge in a remote area of Portugal was pure bliss. We were surprised at how quickly we felt re-energised and invigorated. We were able to totally disconnect from our screens and really embrace nature. It was awelcome relief from all the toil and grind that we have been enduring the last few months in a bid to achieve our goals. Honestly, the last few months have seen us working 10 - 14 hour days, 7 days a week. So this was a necessary break to reconnect, recharge and come back with renewed energy.
Another term that is often used these days but easily falls under the spin of greenwashing is ‘sustainable lodging.’ There is a lot that can be done to make lodging sustainable, but it needs to be done along with other basic eco-principles in order to not nullify a minimal carbon footprint. This eco lodge that we visited got it right. The sustainable lodging concept is pretty subjective, but the lodge we stayed at used renewable energy as best they could, with solar panels and inverters. They also recycled everything possible, which is always very encouraging to see. Even just makig sure that was eventually sinlged out as trash went to the recycle bins. They are a lodge that has entirely cut out single use plastics, which should become compulsory all over the world. They also made judicious use of all water, catching rain water and making portable, as well as recycling grey water for watering their garden. Speaking of their garden, everything was grown organically with permacultures, which meant we had delicious evening meals with everyone.
An alternative to Overtourism
Many cities are suffering from overtourism. It's clear that people need to start venturing out of the cities more. This avenue of tourism is expected to grow even more over the next decade as the cities get busier, and the trafic and trasnport systems often border on the dysfunctional.
Staying an eco surf lodge will often mean traveling a bit further, and some people do not enjoy getting out of their comfort zones, but the rewards of getting out, of getting away and of having nature and fresh air surrounding you are certainly worth a few extra miles. Remember that when you book in an eco lodge you’re also supporting local whether it comes to the actual lodge, the people employed by the lodge and by buying local produce. That is infinitely better than supporting already established tourism businesses in the cities.
If you're interested in having an eco surf lodge experience and are in Portugal here's the lodge we stayed at:
Bukubaki Eco Surf Resort, near Peniche
There are great waves in the area, from gentle waves for beginner surfers, to full-on beach-break barrels at Supertubos a little further away. It has a pool, a skate pool, yoga classes and the rest.
Check out the video here
Can You Live Happily With A One Board Quiver?
We sure you've seen those posts on Instagram from your favourite surfers, with a seemingly never ending supply of fresh new sticks wherever they go. Oh the joys of sponsorship. Yeah, sure it makes sense but sometimes I can't help thinking do they really need so many boards with vary little variaton in their volume, height and thickness.
If the WSL were really serious about environmental issues they should start imposing limits on how many boards surfers can take to travel with them, or how about supporting local shapers more? Perhaps they could insist all competition boards must have been produced by local surfboard shapers.
Slimming DownThese days I don't rarely buy new boards. For me personaly more reward comes from labouring, sweating and swearing trying to manufcature your own. Whilst, I'm no Ben Aipia or Tommo, I find doing it this way I appreciate the board a lot more and tend to be more careful with them. I'm yet to break any of the baords I've made and have slimmed down my quiver to about 4 or 5 boards. My aim is to slim this further down by the end of year to just 2.
For an aspiring shaper this has been hard, as the temptations is to make all the boards you can, after all that's the only way to learn right? But, if I can be a bit more careful about the materials I'm using e.g. bioresins and make boards for friends etc. it gives me so much more satisifaction than selfishly making boards for myself.
One board to rule them allIs it really possible to have a one board quiver? Can a surfer truly be called a surfer if they just have one board? I think this notion that a surfer must have as many boards as possible to get the full experience of different boards and sensations is ridiculous. For anyone that thinks they can't live without just one surfboard, they should watch Given - they might just change their mind.
It's symptomatic of our consumerist culture today, they we should buy the latest fashions, models and conform to the latest trends. But all this is showing it's no longer sustainable and soon we will all have to start making sacrifices. Starting small and working your way up to larger sacrifices is one thing I've found makes it more manageable. Don't go full cold turkey straight away. If I set goals for myself to slowly reducing the boards I have and I'm careful not to spend too much time on board review sites or at my local surf shop, I can easily hit my goals.
We're doing some research on this topic and would like to know if you could live with a one board quiver? Be a champ and answer our poll, it will take like a second! Cheers.
Celebrating Women in Surfing and Sustainability
In mark of International Women's Day today, March 8th 2019, we are celebrating awesome women who are championing sustainability in surfing. Women who are highlighting the importance of beach clean-ups, reducing plastic usage, and promoting changes in all kinds of environmental issues. Without these environmental advocates, we probably wouldn't have progressed as much as we have in the last few years.
WSL Women Promoting Sustainability
Steph Gilmore for a long time has been my favourite surfer on tour. Not only does she exude style and grace on a wave, but she refuses to be pigeonholed into the whole marketing aspect of modern day surfing for women which sad to say still relies on tapping into femininity to get people interested. Steph proves that you don't have to wear skimpy bikinis to get views, the surfing speaks for itself.
Aside from being a great role model for young girls, she is more vocal than others on tour about environmental issues. Aligning herself with brands that are passionate about raising awareness to climate change. This can be seen when she speaks about the need for changing behaviours and leading by example when she recently used Audi's electric car in San Francisco.
She also makes the perfect candidate to promote new lines of swimwear that are eco centric. This was even more recently seen when Roxy choose her to model the new POP Surf collection, which unlike collections before has a much more positive environmental message.
Women Outside of the WSL
A post on women, sustainability and surfing wouldn't be complete without a mention of one of the most vocal advocates of not just sustainability in surfing but also social cohesion, I am of course referring to Easkey Britton. Since a TED talk in Dublin in 2013, she has gone from charging heavy slabs in Ireland to bringing surfing to women who had never seen a beach let along surf in Iran. Into The Sea documents her time in Iran and how surfing can be used as effective tool for bringing about social change. If you haven't yet seen Into The Sea, we'd highly recommend setting some time aside to watch it a bold and truly eye opening documentary.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is not just a way to generate some positive PR about your business. It's about nuturing relationships either at the local community level or further afield. It's about giving back and offering career fulfillment and a sense of added purpose for your employees. As a startup, we've embraced CSR and have some advice for other startups looking to do the same.
Easy Ways To Get Involved in CSR
1.Local Community Projects
At Shaka Surf we always like to start local, and then think global. We look at local community projects and ways we can be involved, especially if the project's mission aligns closely with what we do. For us we've found local beach cleanups a great way to get involved with the local community. We combine community projects with our routine business activities and that helps us to be way more efficient.2
- Donate a Percentage of Profits To Charity
Whilst many SME's can't afford the level of philanthropy of Bill Gate's Foundation, it's not how much you give but the active particpation of donating a percentage of your financial year end's profits to a charity of choice. This giving back has been important for us at Shaka Surf, and we always make sure to donate to charities which align with our mission.
- Consider hiring a dedicated CSR person
Depending on where you're startup is at, you may want to think about going the extra mile and hiring a dedicated CSR officer. Having a dedicated officer will be one less thing to worry about and will embolden your company's mission. Make sure to involve the CSR officer in meetings and ensure that they communicate their projects regularly with the team.
Do You Even Carbon Offset?
Feeling bad about taking your next flight? Chances are that despite the guilt you're probably gonna take it any way. Let's face it who really wants to spend the best part of their weekend getting from A to B when it can just take a few hours by airplane. And then there's the cost. Taking a quick look at national and international rail ticket prices the cost can be up to 4 times as much as taking a low cost carrier.
Fly less, offset more
We've all known for a long time now how bad flying is for the environment, and whilst we may have contemplated offsetting each journey through charity donation or some other means, invariably we let it slip by the wayside. This year, however, we're predicting that more travellers will do the right thing and cut down on non-essential travel and/or offset their journeys.
As surfers we too have to make some sacrifices. For the past few years, I've certainly been going on less trips and instead selected to base myself close to a very consistent break, whilst still having good transport links to other surfing regions and countries. Being in Portugal certainly gives you plenty of options and you soon come to realise a trip to Indo is really not necessary.
But I'm only one person what impact can I possible have
This is often heard in the climate change debate, and is the easy opt-out for doing nothing, or very little. Imagine your little impact x 1,000, or x 10,0000 - it does make a difference. Let's face it those in power are slow to react and implement changes, the individual is more nimble and agile and makes a difference now, not in 10 years time.
This being said, we still need to keep pressure on our governments to make policy shifts that are better for the environment. Your vote is your biggest voice, and so choose it wisely to send a powerful message.
Even Trump is beginning to listen
It's not all doom and gloom. Trump's announcement that the US will join the 1 trillion tree initiative shows us that momentum is beginning to swing in favour of the climate protesters. There's reason to stay optimistic.
Ok, so what can I do?
If you're a young person we would definitely recommend joining a 'Fridays For Change' climate strike to keep the momentum going in 2020.
If, like us you feel a bit too old to go on the Friday climate strike, there's lots else you can do. We recommend starting off very simply and looking at your everyday life. What small changes can you make in your life that will help? This might be something as basic as turning off all the lights when you go out, or using less water for showers.
When it comes to travel, try to reduce the amount of non-essential flights. Look into switching to a electric vehicle and if it's possible to go to your destination overland instead. If you absolutely have to take a flight, at the very least offset your journey through the airline carrier's nominated charity or your own.
The most important thing is just try to be consistent as much as possible. We're not all perfect, and yes there's gonna be times where we slip up. But let's just do our best for ourselves and future generations' sakes.
Do Your Own Ding Repairs
Or Not...The Choice is Yours. But if you're after some great advice on how to repair creases / a buckled surfboard, watching this video is highly recommended.
Me personally, if it's a small repair I usually do myself, but something where I'm not confident I have the necessary skills and equipment I'll always hand over to a professional. After, all if it's one of your favorite board's and you want to get some more use out of it for the other swells, you don't want to fu** it up. It's good to see pro's like Joe Roper also being thrifty with what they have and recycling whenever possible.
Dressing Like Your Favourite Celebrity or Surfer
These days it's pretty easy to find inspiration from the net, to emulate your favourite celebrity or surfer. Instagram, for example, can be great in this area as all you have to do is to search by hash tags and start getting some ideas of what your favourite celeb or surfer is currently wearing.
Before, celebrities and surfers, would often endorse clothing and products and not declare that is was an endorsed product. However, Instagram has released a new feature last year so that when they promote a product a label will show up saying that its an endorsed product.
Getting the inspriation - Reliable sources
We find that there are some great trusted sources for getting some fashion inspiration to start dressing like your favourite celebrities and surfers. Inspirational fashion websites such as Etsy and Pinterest are the perfect choice when it comes to design ideas.
Watches are one such accessory that it's pretty easy to pinpoint where our favorite celebs or surfers are getting their timepieces from. Often they will hashtag the brand, as they're getting paid to endorse the product. New features such as shop the look apps, also help people to buy lesser known watches such as rising trends such as Bewell watches.
Some of our favourite surfers are obviously contractually obliged to wear their sponsor's products. Following them on Instagram can reveal the brands upcoming collections, as often the surfers will get first dibs on new season's products. This is great to get a feel for upcoming fashion trends and also with Instagram new clickable product shopping features, we can now grab the item instantly! A few brands are capitalising on these features, however many are still just placing a link to their online store in their bio.
Before, the age of online shopping it was sometimes quite hard to find the exact clothing and accessories your favourite celebrities or surfers were wearing. For instance, I've always wanted to buy the leather bracelets worn by Johnny Depp in a lot of his movies, but I've struggled to find these in the retail stores.
Eco Conscious Dive Spots Around The World
If you’re a keen diver, you’re probably concerned about the health and well-being of the oceans. After all, without beautiful clean oceans, we can’t enjoy scuba diving. Unfortunately, some destinations which are popular with divers don’t pay a lot of attention to the well-being of the marine life in that area.
When choosing a dive spot for your next vacation, it’s time to think about selecting one which is known for its eco-conscious approach to diving. In such places, the local authorities have thought hard about how they can preserve animals and habitats that are threatened, and when you choose to visit them, you can be certain that you won’t be causing any damage to the world’s natural environment.
Here are some of the world’s most green diving spots for you to choose from.
Several years ago, Hawaii was leading the way in banning plastic bags in grocery stores. A couple of years later, resorts stopped giving their guests plastic single-use straws. This just goes to prove how dedicated this state is to preserving its natural beauty. The Papahanaumokuakea Marine national Monument has half a million square miles of habitat underwater that surrounds the islands to the north west of Hawaii’s main chain. Although you can’t dive there, the habitat is home to 7000 different marine species and this means that the rest of the waters surrounding Hawaii are especially teeming with wildlife. Head to eco-conscious Hawaii on your diving vacation and you’ll discover the joy of manta night dives at Kona – something which is only possible because of conservation efforts in the local area. The safe diving practices which are implemented here ensure that divers can see the stunning creatures without threatening or damaging them.
The first Caribbean national marine park was established in 1978 in Bonaire – something which was revolutionary at the time. Covering almost 7000 acres, this park protects marine life down to 200 feet and the Coral Restoration Foundation has long been active here working to regrow staghorn and elkhorn corals which once grew around the island. Bonaire is also home to the green sea turtle, which you can discover at Bonaire National Marine Park. The Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire group is responsible for protecting these beautiful creatures and you can discover them on a diving trip here.
Stay a little closer to home at the Californian coastline. Monterey Bay has its own national Marine Sanctuary which covers just over 6000 square miles of the ocean. It’s home to many of north California’s favorite dive sites such as Pinnacles of Carmel Bay, Monterey’s Breakwater and Point Lobos State Natural Reserve’s Whaler’s Cover. Almost 300 miles of underwater habitat and coastline support an enormous amount of biodiversity and you’ll see no less than 36 different marine mammal species such as blue whales, harbour seals, southern sea otters and Steller sea lions. There are lots of volunteers working here, and divers are encouraged to join the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary’s volunteer network every July for their annual fish count exercise which tracks the local population of giant sea bass, California sheephead and many more species.
When you’re preparing for your diving vacation, you also need to take great care that your actions won’t be destroying or threatening any of the natural environment that you’re keen to discover. Make sure that you don’t interfere with any of the creatures or touch any of the delicate corals under the water. It’s important to observe without interaction so that both you and the creatures can stay safe.
Make sure that you are also well prepared for your trip. In some of these areas you may find that there is no equipment available for hire or purchase when you arrive. That means if you’ve left some key item behind you won’t be able to get in the water for your amazing diving experience. You don’t want to miss out, so make sure that you have everything packed for your adventure in your suitcase before you set off. This article will tell you everything you need to know about choosing the right equipment for your trip so that you don’t forget anything vital. Why not set off on a motorbike adventure at the same?
Fin Placement and Its Effect on Your Surfing
Have you ever wondered what effect positioning the fins has when you surf. Perhaps you've experimented with different setups such as a quad or thruster (three fins), or ridden a ‘twinny’ (twin fin surfboard). Often the nuances of fin positioning gets overlooked by the more talked about aspects of boards: length, width, thickness and literage.
Perhaps you've noticed differences in positioning with longboards and shortboards or been looking at the latest Pyzel, DHD, or Mayhem models and noticed that fin placement differs on different models. The best way to understand more about fin placement is to talk to a local shaper who can explain what impact moving the fin boxes up an inch or so will have when you surf.
Essentially when you change the position of the fin boxes and their cluster i.e. how close or spread out they you will change the drive and pivot for your turns. Generally speaking the greater the distance you place all fin boxes up from the end of the tail and the fins closer together, the looser the turns will feel which is for when you want quick loose feel turns. The closer to the end of the tail, and more spread out the fin cluster then the more drive you can get out of the board which is useful for fast, hollowing barrel waves to get maximum drive. Now there's certain ranges you want to keep within, positioning too far up or too low down you can loose a lot of performance and the fins won't work as intended. This is why an experienced shaper will be able to explain this important step and ensure your fins are perfectly placed according to how much pivot and drive you want.
Typical Placement Ranges
The most common set-up is the thruster set-up as first introduced by the legendary surfer and shaper Simon Anderson and first showcased at Bells Beach in the huge swell of 1981. The typical placements on shortboards for this are:
Thruster fins: Center/rear fin: ~3” to 3 ½” from the back edge of the board.Front/side fins: ~11” to 11 ½” from the back edge of the board.
Quad fins: Rear fins are often 6-7” from the tail edge.Front fins are often 11-12” from the rail edge.
Twin Fins: This can vary but common configuration is anywhere from 6 1/2" to 10" off from the tail.
Finally, set-ups that include rail fins (2+1, thrusters, quads and twins) will often have the side fins about 1 1/4" in from the rail
Cant and Toe
Also important are the angles at which the side fins are placed at. A shaper uses a shaper’s ruler to set the angle of the side fins. Changing the angle so that the side fins point to the stringer or center line of the board is referred to as toe. Fins are said to have more toe-in when they point into the stringer.
More toe-in means a looser feeling, but also produces more drag. Cant on the other hand is the opposite and when fins angle away from the stringer, this will feel stiffer when performing turns and is more suited to bigger, hollower waves to offer more drive and projection. Whereas more toe-in is preferred to small to medium sized waves where loose fast turns are more important.
The average surfer will probably not notice the impact of small adjustments to fin placement. But, more seasoned and advanced surfers will notice minute adjustments and can work with their shaper to get these really dialed in.
So to recap, fin placement can differ in three main ways: cluster - how close or spread out the rail fins are placed, position up or down from the tail end and angling of the rail fins. A spread out fin cluster will result in a longer turning arc, you might see this is longer boards or guns designed for bigger waves. A compacted fin cluster produces shorter turning arcs, this is seen in the majority of high performance shortboards. It suits for a variety of wave conditions.
Just remember don't ever do a backwards Beth and put your fins in the wrong way round! Or do, it might be fun.
With free shipping, a 15% discount on our eco surf fins that are made from 100% sustainably there's never been a better time to own a Shaka Surf fin.
Forget New Years Resolutions
January blues always hit us hard at Shaka Surf after all the family time, eating and drinking it's a perfect time to reflect on what changes we'd like to make in our lives for the year ahead. This year rather than make any resolutions we've decided to more or less make a continue commitment to helping our oceans, cleaning our local beaches and keep on keeping on. There'll be no gym membership sign-ups or extreme dieting (though we will be participating in Veganuary), dry Januarys. Instead we pledge to keep living simple lives, not buy any unnecessary new things and cut down on our carbon emissions through less air travel.
From the business sides of things we've also looked at ways we can improve our supply chain and lower our carbon emissions, and have come to the decision to only ship our products within the EU. We may review this decision further along the year, but for now it just makes sense. Whilst we're aware that these are only small changes by a small business, we have to act now to avoid the cumulative impact we're all having on our environment and avoid warming of more than 1.5 degrees within a decade. The below graph as tweeted by Greta Thunberg explains it well:
Source: Robbie Andrew - Data: GCP
Join with us a make a pledge to our oceans
Will you join us this year to make a pledge to change a habit that can improve the health of our ocean. This could be anything from not getting a take away plastic coffee cup, to making sure your sorting your recycling correctly. Whatever the pledge, make it with us and together we can make a stand and say no to single use plastics and change our daily habits.
Don't forget that our fins are made from recycled plastics and this year we will have more styles and colours in stock. All our environmentally friendly surf products are available in-stock and online - view our latest products.
How Can I Buy a Sustainable Wetsuit
This is something that I ask myself on a fairly infrequent basis, but it’s something I’ve been thinking about more in the last couple of years. It’s only when our wetsuits tears or shrinks, or we realise that our 3/2 just won’t cut it in colder waters during Winter, that we start thinking about our next purchase. Often we just go for whatever is easiest and perhaps been recommended to us by friends. The only problem is that most of the leading brands are still using Neoprene in their wetsuit manufacturer. This is a big problem if you’re ecological minded.
Nope, no way, absolutely not. The chances are that the neoprene that makes up most, if not all your wetsuit will end up in landfill at some point. Take a moment to think about the scale of wastage that causes and let’s do some basic math.
Let’s take the ridiculously high estimate that there are 35 million surfers in the world (according to Ponting and O’Brien) and let’s half this number straight away to account for regular surfers, and est. at it at 17.5 mi. Approx. 85% of them will need a wetsuit at some point during the year, so that’s 14.875 mil. Wetsuits right there. This is only assuming that each person has one wetsuit each, and of course we know that for many surfers in colder waters (Northern Europe, East Coast, South America, NoCal etc..) will need more than just the one type of wetsuit in their wardrobe.
So if we assume about 40% will have 2 wetsuits then this increases the number of wetsuits to approximately 20,825,000. Now let’s say a very conservative ⅓ of all those wetsuits will end up in landfill that’s still 6.8 million wetsuits every two years (which is how often the average surfer replaces their wetsuits). At this point it's also worth pointing out that surfing makes up a small percentage of water sports, the number is probably a lot great when you consider scuba diving, spearfishing, windsurfing, kitesurfing etc. Carvemag have in fact estimated that 380 tonnes of non-biodegradable chemical waste ends up each and every year.
The good news is that you shouldn’t to search too far and wide to buy a more eco friendly wetsuit. Already, well established brands such as Patagonia have lots of different sustainably produced wetsuits to choose from, for both guys and girls. Often their wetsuits come at a restrictive price point for those on a tight budget. They use Yulex neoprene for many of their wetsuits which means the material comprises of a natural based rubber rather than petrochemicals/oil. Their wetsuits provide great warmth, comfort and stretch and many of my friends are glad they made the investment as their wetsuits are known to last for longer than many of the competitors.
The good news is that you don’t need to spend $500 - $700 on a wetsuit, there are some relatively newer companies that offer ‘green’ wetsuits at a lower. If you don’t mind paying a bit extra for shipping, France has a few companies that are looking to alternative materials and bio-based alternatives to Neoprene that are fast establishing themselves in the market. Picture Organic and Soöruz, for example that are trying as hard as possible to cut out all neoprene from their wetsuits. The former has a First Stretch wetsuit made from primarily NaturalPrene, with 15% made up of chlorine free rubber. Their wetsuits come in at a more palatable price of around $300 - $400. Then of course, there’s Vissla which are capturing more of the mainstream market thanks to their marketing efforts and provide wetsuits in the price range between Patagonia and the aforementioned French brands.
Some people may want to consider a limestone-based neoprene for their wetsuit. Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed of Calcium carbonate. It is often found in marine environments e.g coral, algae, fecal debris that settles on the ocean floor and is compressed by oceanic currents/movements over time. However like petroleum it is energy intensive in its extraction, transportation and transformation into a usable material. It is also a non-renewable mined from the earth. Matuse in California have been using limestone-neoprene but are looking for more sustainable materials for wetsuit production.
As more experimentation with materials, expect more players to enter the sustainable wetsuit market, although at the moment it appears that the major players such as Quiksilver, Rip Curl and Billabong are yet to change their manufacturing process as they chase profits over sustainability.
So, next time your due for a new wetsuit take a moment to think about buying a ‘green’ wetsuit even if it may cost a bit more. You’ll be doing your bit and chances are you’ll save more in the long run as the wettie will last longer.
How Sustainable Are Wavepools
Ever since Kelly dropped that video from the surf ranch a few years back the hype around wavepools has been growing. After all, isn’t it every surfers dream to have an on demand wave machine that can pump out perfect waves in a short time frame. No more waiting in a cold sea waiting for the sets to come, with wavepools as soon as its been switched on waves will follow subsequently with much shorter intervals than what occurs in nature. Imagine how quickly you’d improve if you could get hundreds of waves rather than a handful of waves in a single session. Your bag of tricks would exponentially increase as you’d be able to really lock down timings and positioning on identical waves.
With more wavepools projects in the works around the globe and a new one near Bristol, UK about to be launched next month it seems the momentum shows no signs of a baiting. Let’s face facts lineups around the world are getting more crowded and with surfing to feature in the Tokyo Olympics next year its only going to get more popular. But, whilst it’s amazing to see this multimillion dollar projects over several years to come to fruition there’s definitely an associated environmental impact. From the cubic tons of water required to fill a wavepool to the effect construction has on the landscape and wild habitat not to mention the logistics associated with customers, suppliers and so forth.
Time will tell
At the moment with just a handful of wave gardens around the world and regulations varying from country to country each project will have its own sustainability ambitions. There’s an argument that why should they even built in the first place if they require so much water to be pumped in when nature provides this for free. The truth is the success and sustainability of wavepools will be contingent on striking the right balance. For people in very landlocked areas that can’t get to the ocean easily there’s certainly a strong case for a wavepool especially if it introduces surfing to the next generation and bolsters the local economy. On the other hand, wavepools should just sprout up because of the sake of it and because some VCs want to cash in on the action. By 2023 US, UK, AU will have at least 3 wavepools including existing ones whilst other developed European nations on the continent with no ocean will have none.
Combining technology and sustainability
The technology in use for the latest wavepools has come on leaps and bound since Surf Snowdonia was launched. Indeed, Wavegarden who are behind the wavepools in Basque country and Bristol have refined their technologies to now produce ocean like waves and make modifications to allow for variations in power, speed and directions. However, these efforts need to be combined with sustainability considerations. For example, is the site using or generating renewable, is it offsetting its carbon footprint and what’s being done to mitigate human impact on the surrounding environment. Wavepools are therefore very complex projects and one can understand why they take many years to complete from initial planning applications through to doors open and punters in. We’re excited to see what the future holds and just how sustainable these projects really are, only time will tell.
How To Buy a Surfboard in 2018
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”?
If you’re interested in having a go at producing your own more eco friendly surfboards, we recommend researching 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.
However, if you’re after real eco surf products, look no further than our range. We have a range of 100% sustainable surf products. Our eco surf fins are amongst our most popular products, made from recycled PET plastics and custom finished with a unique design. Always on the look out for pioneers in the surf industry who share our values we have teamed up with French brand Yuyo surf to produce 3D printed recycled plastics surfboards and currently have one model in stock which is perfect for all levels. The ECO Egg is suitable for all conditions from 1ft to 8ft and is a wave catcher, made from recycled PET plastics, 3D printed and then given the Shaka Surf design touch. We’re currently taking pre-orders on these beauties with an estimated completion time of around a month.
How To Cope When The Surf is Flat
As surfers we take exceptional risks, and I'm not talking about the obvious ones in the ocean. We spend time, money and a lot of effort to find waves sometimes at the detriment to what's going on in our personal and professional lives.
Sometimes we just need that escape. Sometimes days/weeks and even months can pass before we find what we're after that perfect uncrowded wave that we've been dreaming of. One thing that strikes fear into the heart of any traveling surfer after spending hours of research, planning routes, checking forecasts, studying maps and getting 'skanked'. There's nothing worse than spending all that effort only to rock up to the beach and find its flat. Spirits can sink further if it turns out to be a run of flat days. Then we have to look for other things to entertain ourselves.
Childish antics or keep the brain active?
For some surfers that might mean getting up to some mischief. Just watch any 'Who Is J.O.B.'episode to get what I mean by that. If bullying one of your mates to doing stupid and acting like big kids isn't your bag (which for most of us maturer surfers isn't) then something more cerebral might be the order of the day.
A pack of playing cards should always be bought along, especially for those rainy days to pass the time. Books, board games and footballs are also sure fire winners to keep everyone sane on the trip. Other essential items to bring should include a coffee travel tumbler, sunscreen, first aid kit and mosquito net if you're going somewhere tropical.
It's always a good idea to assume that you won't have access to the Internet for those remote trips, so don't rely on smartphones. Even if there's internet access, sometimes it's a good idea to have a bit of a detox. I've made a point of doing this for my last few trips and it's really made a difference. There's less anxiety and my general wellbeing is the best it's ever been.
We're now half way through Summer in the Northern hemisphere, and for a lot of us we can see days if not weeks of flat spells. How do you cope with these periods? Let us know in the comments.
How To Look after Your Wetsuit
As soon as you’ve finished your swim and you’ve taken off your wetsuit, you want to remove any really obvious dirt cause it’s much easier. When your wetsuit is soaking wet and the same goes for getting out of the swimming pool. You might think your wetsuit is clean, but sea water and sand inside doesn’t do your suit any good at all, so give it a really thorough clean. Let's rinse it through on the inside and then turn it around, and rinse it thoroughly on the other side as well.
Make sure you don’t use any detergents if you don’t want to ruin your suit.
You do not wash your wetsuit in the washing machine and dry it in a dryer! Clean it yourself. People sometimes question, ‘can you wash a wetsuit in hot water or in a washing machine?’, but this should be avoided as washing neoprene at hot temperatures can reduce flexibility.
OK, if you are a surf school and have a ton of wetsuits that different people use daily then from time to time it’s ok to wash them in a washing machine. But you need to use only lukewarm water, set your washing machine to the lowest temperature possible, and choose a wash cycle for delicate clothes. No spin cycle and take the wet wetsuit out of the washing machine and dry it outside. It is more important to keep them clean than to keep them in top shape cause they are worn by many different people.
Once you’re happy your wetsuit is completely clean, it’s time to let it dry naturally. Maybe you don't know, heat is the enemy of wetsuit fabric. Because the UV rays will deteriorate the wetsuit fabric really fast. So just make sure you find somewhere away from direct sunlight and not to close to a radiator and leave it to dry naturally.
Once your wetsuit's fully dry, you will need to store it. Now when you’re using it regularly, having it on something like a banister which has got a nice wide soft edge is perfect. But when it comes to winter or several months, you probably want it out of sight. Now, the ideal option is to put it in your wardrobe and using a hanger, something like this, so you’ve got the straight bar and then you can just roll your wetsuit over that. In the middle, it’s only got one fold and it should not have any sharp creases.
A helpful tip for when storing your wetsuit on a hanger is just to use a towel folded over and then place that over the bar and it just makes it a little bit wider, So let pressure on your wetsuit. You might not have the luxury of space in your wardrobe to store your wetsuit. So sometimes you will need to fold it to put it away.
Conclusion, if you follow these tips, it will prolong the use you can get out of your wetsuit. But if you’ve got any great ideas, we’d love to hear from you, so please leave any tips you might have in the comments section below.
How To Make Wooden Surfboard Fins
LAST UPDATED: 01-05-2020
Making Your Own Wooden Surfboard Fins
This is something that I've wanted to do for a long time, but always suffered from classic surfer procrastination. A great idea for making surfboard fins was first introduced to me, by Elvis, and if you haven't read the interview with him make sure you check it out here.
When we spoke about board making, I remembered from his Instagram that he had been making recycled fins from old broken skateboard decks. This got the wheels in my head turning, and started thinking how hard this would be to do myself. The timing of losing a very nice glide fin I bought in Australia, seemed serendipitous.
Bare Essentials for this job:
- Vice and clamp
- Measuring tape/ruler and drawing materials (pen, pencil)
- Jitterbug or angle grinder
- Scraper for draining of excess resin
- Spirit level
First step is to get the raw materials. Go to your local skatepark and check nearby dumpsters. If you don't find any broken decks, try a few skateshops and see if they can help. Once you've got enough to shape a couple of fins, head to your workshop.
Then you want to cut the wood to the template of your fin. You can use any fin and just trace the outline if you're lacking confidence in templating. From here, your foiling begins. Now, most people start from base to tip with their foiling, but do whatever suits you best.
Start by creating bands the same as rail bands on surfboards using 1/8 increments on the trailing edge and 1/4 increments on the leading edge. The aim here to foil almost a triangle pattern. Once you've finished the foiling, take some sandpaper to round of the edges. Then use a jitterbug to get everything smooth. Failing this you could use a palm sander dremmel or just a regular angle grinder.
Then you should be ready to laminate your fins and tack them onto the board. You'll find that making perfect symmetrical fins is pretty darn hard, and first couple of times probably won't go to plan. But, the more you try the better your fins will turn out.
Making your own wooden fins from recycled materials such as old skateboard decks helps is not only extremely rewarding but also helps transform discarded junk into useful things again.
How To Make Your Own Surf Wax
Ever wondered how to do this? You can read our full write-up over at Surf & Mind
How To Stay Surf Fit This Summer
Summer is coming with beaches packed and waves crammed full of eager groms and locals battling it out for some space. And surfing always is one of the most activities which is peaks during the summertime. Do you want to rip it up in the nice long peelers, or walk leisurely on the beach topping up your tan? It's time to get your fitness on point and surf a whole lot more! We love to letting you know about staying surf-fit this summer, so here are amazing tips to stay in shape quickly so you can enjoy your next surf holiday so much more:
Swimming is considered one of the best sports to improve overall health increase muscle tone and get rid of unwanted pounds once and for all. It is commonly said that swimming is one of the best activities to burn fat.
Because unlike running or riding a bicycle it puts most of the body’s muscles to work. The heart increases its potency as a result, pumping oxygen faster to reach all corners of the body and increasing the rate at which calories and burnt. Simultaneously heart disease is prevented on a different note many people can not do high-impact exercises like running due to the problem in the joints back or hip which lead them to sedentary lives. If you are one of these people, swimming turns into a very attractive option. Many people are sure that they feel more relaxed and with a lower stress level after a good swimming workout. This is great because stress increases cortisol level a hormone that makes people store a lot of fat very easily.
You may be bored with hearing about how Yoga can help surfing but it really can. There are a shocking amount of studies that show the health benefits of yoga. If you think it’s something for only naturally flexible or for happiness, think again.
There are a lot of benefits when practicing yoga and especially for your mind and your body. It seems the popular term yoga body actually has some evidence behind it. Moreover, yoga has proven to help the body become more flexible, relieve migraines improved posture decompress lower back pain, boost immunity. Keeping flexible and strong is key to staying surf fit and Yoga does both of these.
That’s a lot of stuff so at this point you may be thinking what’s the best way to get started? Try a 20-minute yoga workout after this post and see how you feel. I’ll link some of the best places to start for beginners in here (Yoga for Surfers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqwgJpXA8O0). If you’re feeling those yoga vibes and enjoyed it then you should either:
- Join a studio
- Find an online book or program to help you walk through it
It can help you in so many ways and even minimize your risk of injury especially when your water time is pretty few and far between when surfing.
- Food: Go Organic and Consume Metabolism Friendly Foods.
Choose your food products wisely. Say NO to GMO foods produced with the use of antibiotics and growth hormones. They only SLOW down your metabolism, also you should set long and short term goals, which you can reach within a short time. Take a moment to reward yourself for every success, this will help you keep a positive attitude toward meeting your ultimate goal.
Consume metabolism friendly foods. You should include dairy products in your diet plan. They provide calcium to burn fat and build muscle mass. Maintain a normal level iron for better oxygen transport and use iodized salt to help support your thyroid gland. People usually think that healthy food is boring and tasteless but secret is to learn how to spice it up and vary it just learn to cook, try new foods and build healthy meals around the foods you like more.
I hope these lists have helped to give you some inspiration or at least some ideas that you yourself could use to help you stay motivated. Get ready for your next surf adventure by getting in shape.
How We Can Reduce Climate Change as Surfers
Let's face it, climate change is real. There's no longer any use in shutting out the voices of reason and expertise. It's ridiculous that there's still climate change deniers in the world that prefer to hold onto their narrative that I know better than people with Phd's and who have been studying this stuff for decades. "Sure pal, it's all a big conspiracy by the Chinese to curb US dominance".
Thankfully, there's people out there finally getting through to the governments and organisations and certainly there's been some good positive signs of change with Greta Thurnberg and Extinction Rebellion in London. Whilst, this is all well and good have you ever wondered what as a surfer you can be doing to mitigate the effects of climate change? This is something that plays heavily on our minds at Shaka Surf and we believe that we can all play our part in helping to reduce climate change.
What can surfers do?
- 🚗 Ride Share
I admit I'm guilty just as much as the next guy for loading my car full with stuff and not having any space for anyone else, or going surfing at times when I know my mates can't join me as they're working. Let's face it surfing is a fairly selfish sport, and I know for myself I need to do better here. I think we've just gotta start making some sacrifices, and perhaps waiting for better days to surf with mates rather than surfing regularly but shittier waves. Getting a ride share going will not only be helping reduce carbon emissions, but surfing with your mates is always more fun. Has someone cup with a decent ride sharing app for surfers yet? Now there's an idea.
- 🔌 Go Electric
It's certainly the future and I predict in about 10 years time this will be the only option when you buy a new car. Well we can live in hope can't we? These days more and more car manufacturers are getting on the bandwagon and I'm all for it. I'm not saying you have to splash out on a Tesla or anything, just something that's affordable for you. Electric cars have awesome technology inside and will be sure to be the envy of your mates when you rock up to your local break in one.
- 🏡 Staycations
One of the major issues we're facing now is not only increased emissions from the burning of kerosene that fuels modern day aeroplanes because flights have become a lot cheaper, but also the rise of overtourism in a number of places. There's several factors at play here, but a major part is cheaper airfares. Essentially holidays have become a false economy and there's always going to be adverse effects because of these "bargains", whether that's locals getting priced out of their cities or increases in traffic, pollution and waste arising from it.
So before you book that flight to Bali or Costa Rica, consider some other options. Staycations will not only save you heaps of money, be better for the environment but also you could score even better waves by just staying home and exploring some new spots.
- 🙇 Marie Kondo Your Quiver
Do all of your boards 'spark joy'? Are there any boards just laying dormant. Consider getting rid, either by selling or giving away to someone in need. You'll be fuelling some groms stoke and your own knowing that there's no need for them to buy an epoxy or PU board.
- ♻ Cut out single plastics in our daily lives
By this point, we all know that single plastics are causing a lot of harm. Things likes straws, plastic cups, bags and bottles are not always recycled and we've seen how much of these items are floating in our oceans and washing up on shore. We can all stamp out single use plastics in our lives from carrying drink water bottles and refilling them, to outright refusing staws or plastic bags when we shop. At Shaka Surf we've turned single use plastics into our eco surf fins available in different colors and sizes.
In summary, we all can start to change our lifestyles and collectively for these changes to start having a big impact.
Interactive Surfboard Design Using Tech for Design
The use of technology in modern surfboard manufacturer is extremely prevalent. CNC Machines are often used by many surfboard manufacturers to ensure production volumes are met from demand. Often these machines are used to produce epoxy or Polyurethane (PU) surfboards. However, they can be used to produce wooden surfboards as well. Given that the average wooden surfboard would take between 40 and 60 hours to finish. Using a CNC machine can reduce the labour intensive job.
To see a CNC machine in action check out the below:
Would you consider buying a CNC made wooden surfboard? Let us know in the comments.
Introducing Cork Traction Pads
Shaka Surf Expands Its Eco Surf Product Range
Let’s face facts, most of the surfing accessories we use on a daily basis has some detrimental environmental impact, and we need to make better informed decisions rather than just always going for the cheapest mass produced cheaply made product, in some industrial city in mainland China. For too long, the surf industry has been slow to react but now the sense of change is really palpable.
It’s why we’ve decided not only to sell our eco surf fins made from recycled plastics but also partner up with some great Portugese brands to distribute other sustainably made products. A new partnership we’ve just formed is with Eco Pro who make awesome 100% cork agglomerate traction pads. We’re proud to get the word out about the alternatives to the traction pads you see in your typical surf shop. Their pioneering EcoPro©UniBody technology offers greater traction and adhesion to the surfboard, as the result of its flat base.
Not just for surfboards
The 100% Cork agglomerate traction pads mean that you get not only great traction, but cork is way more robust and offers great comfort for the surfer. The range includes not just traditional retro and classic traction pad styles, but also options for kiteboarders, tow-in surfers and windsurfers.
On this announcement, Dom Taylor from Shaka Surf says “We’re stoked to be expanding our product offering and working with cool companies who align with our values. I’m only using EcoPro’s traction pads on my boards now and really happy with how they feel and the traction I get. Plus the adhesion feels a lot better.”
To get your hands on your very own cork traction pad head over to our Store, where you’ll find a great range and a current 20% discount on all their eco surf products.
Longboard Surfing Tips
Longboard Surfing - The Basics
First of let's get a few definitions out of the way with. What classifies a longboard as a longboard and how does it differ from a shortboard? A longboard generally is a single fin surfboard with a large rounded nose, its length is typically between 9 and 12ft. A longboard differs from a shortboard, which generally has 3 or 4 fin placement, and is a lot shorter anywhere from 5ft to under 7ft. Shortboards are easier to maneuver and more suited to bigger waves where the drops might be steeper and quicker turning is required. Longboards are better for more mellow waves than run either left or right and where the takeoff isn't as steep.
Getting Started with a longboard
If you're a beginner you'll probably start with a foam board which will help you master the basics such as paddling, riding the foam water and maybe turning.
Once you're ready for the next challenge, you'll want to progress to a fibreglass longboard, one where you'll apply wax or grip to. As for the length of the surfboard you should go for, probably you'll need some guidance from a local shaper or your local surf shop. Some beginners don't feel that comfortable with too long a board so something more around the 9ft mark or even a mini-mal might be best for a first board.
Duck diving a long board is something that takes a lot of skill and practice, and for a beginner is probably not something you want to focus on doing with a longboard. Far better is to practice a turtle roll, or timing your paddle out between sets.
Once you've mastered the turtle roll and feel confident in getting past the first few waves, you'll need to work on your paddling to move out to the lineup in a safe manner. Arch your back slightly and have your head up always looking where you're going. Try and maintain a strong paddling position, watching more seasoned surfers can also help on how they paddle.
Always follow the path of least resistance. Use rips or currents to your benefit to take you to the lineup. If the rips are strong, and you find yourself paddling and getting nowhere. Take a breather, and don't battle it move to either the left or right of the rip and you'll be able to either come back into shore on the next wave, or if you have enough fuel in the tank paddle out to the lineup.
Positioning yourself in the lineup
Where to sit in the lineup can be tricky to work out. Spend some time watching other experienced surfers and how they are positioning themselves in preparation for taking the next week. Always observe correct surfer etiquette and be conscious of other surfers. Before, paddling for a wave make sure you won't be dropping in on somebody already up and riding on the wave.
Before committing take a glance to both sides, if you're good to go then go, don't hesitate. Too much hesistation will give the green light for others to take liberties and can result in frustation from more experienced surfers. Once you've decided to go for a wave commit to it, even if you mess up, it's the only way to learn and get better. Try to work out what's going wrong.
Are you paddling too early, or too late? Are you angling your board across the wave face to make it easier for take-off? Do you need to work on your pop-ups? How is your weight distrbution - are you too far forward or too far back on the board? There's certainly a lot of things to think about and work on when it comes to the take-off alone. Giving yourself plenty of time to prepare before the wave comes can help keep your breathing relaxed and enough time to paddle into the wave and get to your feet. Working in the gym or at home by doing burpees and pop-ups can also help improve this movement.
Putting it all together
As with anything practive makes perfect, the more mistakes you make, the more you learn. Positioning, timing, core strength and reading the wave all improves over time. Remember it takes 10,000 hours to excel at a skill. So if you're goal is to be really good at surfing then you need to put the time in, between 6 and 10 years you'll be able to hold your own in the lineup and surf advanced waves. Remember we're all learning in this sport, and even though I've been surfing more than 15 years I'm still continuously learning that's why I love the sport so much.
So keep perservering, have a great but safe summer and watch out for your fellow humans in and out of the water.
Need a single fin to go with that new longboard, mini-mal or single fin? Be sure to check out our eco surf fins made from 100% reused and recycled materials
Making The Drop an Interview with Elvis From Romu Shapes
I have a hope for the future that one day surfers will be able to go into a board shop and there’ll be a good assortment of wooden boards on offer, that don’t sacrifice on performance, and come in at a good price point for the consumer. There’s others that share my vision of the future, and one of them is a Finnish shaper Elvis, who owns Romu Shapes (boards which are solely made from sustainable and natural materials). I caught up with him to discuss how he got started making wooden boards and recycled fins and his views on the future of surfboard building.
Dom: So it’s been a while since we last spoke, let’s start off by talking about what you’ve been up to in the last 3 years….
Elivs: Yes, I think it’s been about that. Well, shortly after you left Zarautz, I headed back to Helsinki, Finland to continue working on my designs, and to work full-time as a carpenter so I can save money to move to Portugal. Ida and I have bought a house there and are planning to renovate, open up a workshop and bring Romu shapes over. We are going to reduce our impact on the environment, by using solar polar for electricity and recycle the rain water. And I’m still shaping, fulfilling orders and constantly researching and trying new things trying to find the ‘secret recipe’.
Dom: That sounds awesome. Can’t wait to come and visit you guys when it’s all ready. I was wondering when you first started shaping, what were your main influences and sources of knowledge.
Elvis: An internet forum called Swaylock. It’s a board building forum and there were plenty of more experienced shapers on there willing to give advice and pointers. Everything you wanted to know about board building could be answered here. Moreover, I found the community to be very helpful and supportive. I would post questions, and someone would get pack to me pretty quickly. I then tested different types of surfboard designs from the information I learned and looked for feedback form the community.
Dom: Do you still go on the forum?
Elvis: These days certainly less questions, but once in a while I’ll go back…see if I can help others. These days you can learn pretty much learn anything you want to from the Internet, from YouTube videos etc. So, Swaylock definitely facilitated a lot of my learning in the early stages.
Dom: Do you think mainstream shapers will ever move away from toxic chemicals. If so what will take for this shift to happen?
Elvis: It seems as though people are really interested in eco stuff, but nobody is really doing a lot. Most people would choose the greener option if it didn’t compromise performance. At the moment, people aren’t ready to sacrifice the high performance that PU and epoxy boards give. The market doesn’t give you anything for free, it has to be a good price and good quality. Otherwise the change won’t came.
There’s certainly a bigger effort now to improve space grade materials and make new developments. You have to process the plant to get the high-quality space material, but before there was no interest. Things are changing slowly and in ten years I think there will be new materials available, but we’ll have to wait until then.
Dom: How has your home country and environment influence the kinds of boards you’re making?
Elvis: Wood is a very traditional medium in Finland, it dates back centuries. Since a kid, I’ve had an understanding of the grain and our nautical history. Say, a 100 years ago in Finland if you were building a house and you messed up, you were going to freeze to death. So, it’s really important to do things with 100% focus, care and attention.
The Japanese style of craftsmanship has influenced me a lot, so I always try and have this in mind when I’m shaping. ‘Romu’ actually comes from the Finnish word meaning wreck and I guess you could say I was never satisfied with the first few boards I began making.
Dom: Any advice for people looking to start making sustainable boards or just shaping in general?
Elvis: Always look forward and just do it. Eco surf board building is a new thing, and it’s hard to predict the future. Even if you fail many times, it’s your own thing and will give you endless enjoyment. I love it and can’t see myself doing anything else. It’s like taking a steep drop, you know if you make it, you’ll feel stoked.
Dom: Lastly, how would someone go about ordering a board from you
Elvis: Visit romushapes.com and contact me via the site.
New Sustainable Surf Products
New Eco Surf Fins - Limited Editions
We've been very busy bees during the lockdown period and have been working hard on some new designs. One design we're particularly stoked with is our new paisley eco surf fin, which is a special one-off design and we have limited stock left:
Price: $109.99 - Save 20% With STAYATHOME20
Buy product online: Eco Paisley Single Fin 9"
Like all our fins we sell on our online store they are 100% sustainable and made from recycled PET plastics. Buying one of our fins means you are supporting our sustainable surfing mission and helping us reduced plastic waste that regularly washes up on our beaches or littered on by people.
We have also some other new 9" and medium G5 surfing fins for shortboards. Our new stylish eco hydro marble fins are great for FCS fin systems and again are a new limited edition set of fins.
Price: $59.99 - Save 20% with STAYATHOME20
Buy product online: Eco Hydro Marble
This captivating sky blue marble single fin is also part of our new product range:
Price: $69.99 - Save 20% with STAYATHOME20
Buy product online: Eco Sky Blue Single Fin 9"
Stay safe and good waves to all!
Let us know what you think of our new designs in the comments
🌱Now Is The Time To Make More Sustainable Choices🌎
We all have tremendous purchasing power and the day to day descisions we make have enormous ramifications for the global world. We've see it with 🦠COVID-19 how easy access to cheap flights has helped this become a global pandemic. We've seen how vulnerable global supply chains are, when the two global superpowers of China and US struggle we all struggle. As global markets continue to reel from the fallout of pretty much everyone staying at home, we're hoping this is now a good time to reflect on sustainability issues.
In terms of the surf community, there's never been a better time to work together and think up ways of how we can make better choices in our daily lives. Our little project was forged out of the desire to make a change in the industry and highlight the need for more eco surf products to be available to surfers. Quite a few years ago there were little alternatives, but it's encouraging to see now more sustainable surf brands and new projects that have come to fruition.
Surfer Egocentricism Makes This Sometimes Hard
It's been quite telling to see the online reaction to the American surfer who went out surfing J-Bay in South Africa when there was a national lockdown and local surfers had been staying indoors. If you didn't hear about this story read here. There was one of two main reactions from surfers around the globe. The first was indignation that this guy was playing the "I didn't know" card, what makes him so special etc. The second main reaction was that good on him, stick it to the man etc. etc. This second reaction is what worries me the most, because it's precisely this egocentricism that has got us into the state we're into today and why popularism has gained traction. Surfing can be a solitary thing, and at times yes we're all a bit egocentric but I'm a firm beliver in coming together at times of crisis. And boy do we need to come together more than ever.
Floating some ideas on how we can all use this time to making better purchasing decisions:
- Question everything e.g. where has this product been made and what has been the impact?
- Do I really need this or can it wait?
- Big brands vs. small brands. Surely it's always better to support the little guy.
- Utility vs. Street cred. Sure you might get some street cred if you have some cool big name branch clothes, but most are manufactured in developing countries these days and the quality is no longer there.
Let us know what you think about the above in the comments.
Press Release: Surf Fins From Recycled Bottle Caps
Our eco surf fins are in the news! In case you missed it, here's the original article.
PRESS RELEASE FOR SYNDICATION
There are approximately 5 trillion pieces of plastic floating in our oceans. It takes about 450 years for a plastic bottle to totally degrade.
The crew behind Shaka Surf decided that there were enough bottle caps floating around for them to be able to source enough plastic waste to produce a very funky and eco-friendly surf fin.
The Shaka Surf eco surf fins are made from recycled bottle caps and other recycled materials to form a composite material, which then goes into the moulding fabrication. The fins are eco friendly, and with their composites, offer great performance.
The man behind Shaka Surf, Dominick Taylor, describes his ideology behind the concept. “We’re taking plastics out of the ocean and putting them to better use,” said Taylor of the basis of his company. “I think that most surfers and non-surfers alike appreciate what we do.”
The Shaka Surf 9″ eco single fin uses approximately 70 plastic caps, while their medium G5 high performance fins use approximately 50 plastic caps in their fabrication. The fins are available in FCS 1, FCS 2 and Futures.
The Shaka Surf fins are designed for use with longboards, SUPs, single fins, retro boards, cosmic cruisers and high performance shortboards. They are environmentally friendly, high performing and ultimately helping reduce plastic waste in our oceans and beaches. Check out their awesome fin guide
“To be a surfer is on the one hand a very selfish pursuit,” said Taylor. “It often means you’re going to let down people close to you because you want to go surf good waves at the drop of a hat. On the other hand, I think most surfers have some level of environmental awareness and will do their best to be good custodians of Mother Earth. So, being a surfer for me is about surfing when there are good waves, and trying to give back a little whenever I can.”
As well as recycling waste materials and plastics to make their recycled fins Shaka Surf also wanted to create a standout design. So they enlisted the help of a street artist to come up with a unique aesthetic. This lead to the development of the Swell Lines Collection, paying homage to surfing culture and oceanography. You can check out their awesome range here
The Shaka Surf store is up and running and taking orders from around the world – shaka surf store – remember to drop the code SHAKA10 at checkout for 10% off all orders.
Reasons to use a Custom Shaper Over Mass Produced Board
The hyper-commercialisation of the Surf Industry and the few players that dominate the industry mean that today it’s never been easier to get your hands on a shred stick. Brands like Lost, JS, Firewire, Pyzel, DHD have become household names. Walk into any board shop or surfing outlet and no doubt you’ll be guided towards the more well-known shapers and brands. This is all well and good, if you don’t mind owning what a thousand other guys have. If you opt for this, be sure to read our how to buy a surfboard in 2018 article.
When you boil it down, it’s all a matter of preference. Some guys like having the Big Mac of surfboards, others can appreciate the dying art that is hand shaping and the work that goes into making a surfboard in this fashion. There’s always going to be a trade-off between scale and quality. Not saying, that if you buy a PKU (machine made) board that it will won’t perform under your feet, chances are it will. But a board made from a well-respected local shaper will perform a damn sight better.
I know this from experience. I used to be that one of the Lost brand’s disciples, worshiping at the altar of Biolos’ boards, but not anymore. Don’t get me wrong his boards are great, and there’s a reason why so many pros on the tour are using them. For your average surfer, like me, who just needs a bit more foam to get into the wave nice and early his boards have served me very well over the years. I found his boards very forgiving and the Sub-Scorcher II and Mini-Driver were my go to’s.
After a while, I found I needed a step-up for bigger Winter waves and rather than pick something out of the Lost range, I decided I really needed something more personalised and a board that was finely tuned to my personal style. After asking a few work colleagues (at the time I was working for Quiksilver) who their shaper of choice was I had a good list to decide from and an idea of prices.
I approached it a bit differently, rather than just submit my order to the shaper I wanted him to come and out and watch me surf, get an idea for my level. That way, I felt the end product would be finely attuned to the nuances of my surfing. I also wanted to get a general overview of the process, from start to finish. After we had selected the blank, I made sure I spent enough time in the shaping bay with my shaper getting to grips with the process and even having a go and using the planner and shaving off the foam. It was definitely a steep learning curve, and one I’m still getting to grips with to this day.
I can honestly say ordering from your local shaper is definitely a good idea. At the end of the day, it may cost you a bit more, but the enjoyment you’ll get out of your board and just fostering that surfer – shaper relationship is something that money really can’t buy.
Say No To Plastic Bottles
Celebrate The End of Summer In Style
Changing our daily habits can be tough, but now that many of us have emerged from lockdown and returning to a semblence of normality have we really changed on our buying/purchasing habits. Perhaps during lockdown you've made a commitment to become more of an eco conscious consumer, if you have we salute you. Or perhaps you've decided to ditch the car and just cycle to work. Definitely lockdown has been a driving force for change. But, what if you haven't changed anything about your normal daily routine after lockdown. Should you be feeling guilty about it?
Well, don't be too hard on yourself change does take time. Perhaps the period of reflection has inspired you to start thinking about ways you can reduce you and your families' impact on the environment.
Ditch The Plastic Bottles
Did you know that very little of the recyling we separate into containers actually gets recycled. Instead it's often to shipped off to developing countries who burn or try to reuse some of the recycled rubbish. PET plastic bottles present all kinds of recyling challenges due to some bottles containing pigmentation/colouring which makes it hard to recycle over a clear plastic bottle. Even still, there's no guarantee that your clear recycled plastic bottle will be recycled. Often just the bottle caps are. Plastic bottles if they are sent to landfill or end up in our oceans through careless disposal will take 450 years to decompose!
There are many reasons to ditch the plastic bottles in our everyday lives, not least the impact on the marine environment. This is why we're now selling Mizu water bottles as a great sustainable alternative to using plastic water bottles for your daily hyrdration needs. These water bottles are robust and with a hook make them ideal for outdoor usage. What's more they've been specially commissioned and designed by artist Jono Wood to highlight climate change with different graphics. We're currently selling two different sizes and graphics:
Stay safe in the sun
As we also approach the tail end of the Summer in the next few weeks, many of us will be making the best out of the holidays we have left and the hotter weather. But, as we've seen in certain parts of the US and Europe this Summer has had extremes of heat as well as wet and cooler than usual weather. With UV index still high in many parts of the world it's important to use a sunscreen that not only blocks harmful UVA/UVB rays, but also doesn't present any harmful side effects to your health. Most of the sunscreens that people actually use contain nanos and nasty chemicals that get into your blood stream and can be carcinogenic. This is why it's really important to invest in proper sun protection. That's why we've teamed up with the amazing Raw Elements and are currently offering two organic vegan friendly non-toxic sunscreen.
Take advantage of our end of Summer Sale which includes both the sunscreen and water bottles, as well as our eco surf fins, cork traction pads and eco surfboards. As long as you're basket is over $50 you'll get the 15% off with EOS15.
Shaka Surf are Now The Official Distributor for Wau Eco Surfboards
Now that the craziness of Consumerist Black Friday/Black November and we're now officially in Christmas season. Please don't get suckered into the so called 'sales' from the biggest tax avoiding companies, we're looking at you Amazon!
We think the world has enough plastic, in our oceans and our landfills already. Did you know that only 9% of your recyclables actually get recycled? Crazy right. As a company that's deeply concerned about the state of our oceans and how reycling gets treated we're doing our small bit by actually using plastic trash we collect to make our fins making our product a true recycled product.
Shaka Surf and WAU Eco Surfbaords Have Joined Forces
We're stoked to announce a new partnerships with German eco surfboard brand WAU. If you don't know who they are, they're an awesome German handshape surfboard brand that put sustainability as their #1 value and use recycled EPS cores and bio resins to make some stunning boards. Mostly crafting crafts for the river wave there, they also make beautiful surfboards for waves ranging from 2ft to 8ft.
All their shapes are hand shapes and made with German precision engineering - better than Audi, definitely better than Volkswagen, these boards are like Ferraris under your feet without the price tag! Don't believe take a look for yourself.
Where can I get me one of these eco boards are hear you say? Well as the official Western European distrubutor you can buy them directly from us via Shaka Surf Store
Shaka Surf Sponsors The Web Series
We're stoked to be one of the official sponsors if this fantastic, dynamic surfing event.
Here's the official PR blurb.
Should Pro Surfers Be Dispensing Wisdoms about The Environment
I saw this on Reddit today and whilst scrolling through the usual humorous platitudes such forums offer, an interesting comment was made about whether surfers are the best advocates for telling people to protect the environment. Indeed, many surfers have taken up recent campaigns, telling us not to use plastic straws, asking us to pledge something for the oceans and of course Kelly's own sustainable clothing line being launched a few years back.
It makes you wonder when you think about how many flights these guys take in a year to compete at the spots, going to other surf spots or back home in between events. And if they really are the logical choice to be promoting environmental messages. The hypocrisy of it all has been noted many surfers and non-surfers a like. I bet you probably wouldn't have to look too hard either to catch some of the pros using take away coffee cups or plastic straws even if they had featured on an ad against their usage.
"Do what I say, and don't do as I do" springs to mind when I see these kinds of campaigns from Corona et al. I think more work still needs to be done on getting the right kinds of advocates to deliver these important environmental messages. Why surfers who actually live by the kinds of messaging these brands are wanting to promote aren't approached is beyond me. Surfers like Dave "Rasta" Rastovich or big wave surfer Hugo Vau, to my mind, would be more logical choices to promote such messages.
In a way, I can understand why the CT surfers have been approached to say "Guys, c'mon we need to stop using plastic" as they have more mainstream appeal. But, wouldn't it make better sense to do educational shorts where the CT guys and girls are perhaps learning how their current lifestyles can be modified to help the environment. Whilst, the sentiment and motivation to make a change is there I think the execution can be refined better.
What are your thoughts? Do you agree that other advocates should be used for promoting environmental messages? Let us know in the comments.
Small Actions Big Changes
This Earth Day 2018 it's important that we stop for a minute about what small actions we can enact to make big changes. We all have a responsibility to leave the world in a better state than we found it. Here's a graphic we made about the small things we can do to affect a big change:
<p><strong>Please include attribution to <a href="https://shaka-surf.com">https://shaka-surf.com</a> with this graphic.</strong><br /><br /><a href='https://shaka-surf.com/blog/small-actions-big-changes'><img src='' alt='mall changes big action - shaka https://shaka-surf.com/img/small_actions_1_shakasurf.jpg' width='800' height='2000' border='0' /></a></p>
Staying at Home Keeping Surf Fit
COVID-19 and Not Surfing But Keeping Active
So it's official the COVID-19 virus is here to stay for a while, and the only thing we can all do to mitigate its impact is to stay at home. The WSL has been putting out some content of their pro surfers simulating surfing whilst at home, as fun as these can be it can be tortuous knowing your home break is going off and all you're allowed to do is stay at home.
We can use this opportunity, because it is an opportunity to slow down and really evaluate what's important in our lives. Do we really need to buy into this consumerist nature the surf industry is currently heading? Do we want to buy into it or forge a different path for ourselves and future generations.
What about keeping our minds healthy as well as our bodies? We all know it's important to have some sort of exercise routine, but with most countries in state of emergencies and people self-isolating in their homes, we need to start getting creative. It's important to maintain a balanced diet and do what you can, whether that's some yoga in the mornings or a mini-workout at home.
In times of crises it's great to see so many legends step up and offer YouTube exercise/yoga/fitness classes online for free. Of course as well as maintaining some sort of fitness regime, it's important to keep your mental health in check.
For many people, spending so much time at home and with their loved ones/family/house mates etc. might cause some tension and arguments to occur. This is why it's so important to take at least 30 minutes of your day to do some self-meditation and/or find some space in the house where you can take some time for reflection and cut off all the noise. And if you want to use this time to prepare for when you can go back in the water, why not start learning about breathing techniques to keep calm for those holdowns and wipeouts?
For anyone interested in learning about breathing techniques and self-meditation here are some people to listen to/check out:
With free shipping, a 10% discount on our eco surf fins that are made from 100% sustainably there's never been a better time to own a Shaka Surf fin.
Sunscreen for surfing
Often as surfers are minds can be fixated on waves, that sometimes we forget to slip, slap, slop. I'm sure we've all been there, rushing to get ready and out into the lineup as quick as possible that we forget to put on sunscreen. Melanoma is a serious business after all, and getting sunburnt is never fun. If like me, you natural skin color is on the pale side anyway, it's best to go with higher SPF factors such as 30+ or 50+ depending on where you are in the world and how strong the sun is.
I have been lucky enough to surf in some amazing hot and exotic countries, but countries were the sun is so much stronger than back home. I always make sure I pack enough sun protection for the trip, as you never know when you might be caught short for instance in more remote places or where basic necessities such as suncream might come at a higher price point because of greed or import cost.
Like many surfers, I've also tried the usual brands of suncream protection and zinc sticks. Remember that SPF is a guide, so if your usually burn in 10 minutes without sun protection it's best to go for a higher rating such as SPF 30+ which will offer 300 minutes protection. But, keep in mind it degrades the moment you put it on your skin, so this should be used as a general guide. Also, is the surf is pumping you're not gonna be going in and out of the water every 1hr to reapply, so with this in mind always go for a much higher level of protection and ideally choose a product designed and tested by surfers for surfers.
Whilst, often these may be the most convenient to buy they are not aways the best for your skin. Many suncreams actually contain chemical filters such as oxybenzone, homosalate and titanium dioxide. So what's the problem you're problem asking yourself? Well the problem is that many of these chemicals that are typical in cosmetic products such as the aforementioned oxybenzone have a very high toxicity rating. Despite its function to protect our skin from harmful UV rays, when we apply it sunscreen oxybenzone actually gets absorbed into our skin and stays in our body for an unknown period of time.
That's pretty alarming. After all we've been buying these products for most of our lives and going out in the sun on the assumption that not only will the sunscreen protect us, but be free from toxic chemicals that will be absorbed by our skin. Shouldn't these sunscreens be more closely scrutinized by industry regulators before being allowed to be stocked on shelves?
Unfortunately, until regulations change these big pharmaceuticals are still going to carry on producing sunscreens with oxybenzone in them in. That's why it's essential to always check the label on what you're buying. If you're not satisfied the sunscreen is free from parabens and toxic chemicals DON"T BUY IT! There are alternatives, such as our natural organic sunscreen which is a non-nano zinc oxide that is free from parabens and offer SPF 45+.
Thankfully, there is a positive moment towards change in sunscreens, and more companies are starting to produce non-toxic sunscreens. Hopefully, this growing awareness will put pressure on the big boys to buck their ideas up and start removing chemicals like oxybenzone from their sunscreens.
NEW IN STOCK! Check out RAW ELEMENTS organic natural sunscreen free from nano particles and harmful chemicals, designed & developed by a former US lifeguard
Sustainability in Surfing
TL:DR;Sustainability in surfing is on the rise. There are number of companies who are actively promoting a more sustainable way of living through their brand values and products. The use of chemicals in surfing apparel and products is affecting all aspects of marine life. As surfers we need to shop in alignment with our love of water and protecting our oceans.
We live and breathe in our ocean environment. We are enamoured with the conditions, the tides and the times of day. We literally sweep the ocean surface with our hands, our fins, our toes. Some of us call our surf time “our solace” yet many of us are not actively protecting it. What can we do as surfers to protect the environment?
What brands can we support that are not harming our precious beaches and surf spots? In 2018 many forward thinking surf companies have risen up and committed to using sustainable and eco-friendly materials and/or selling sustainable products. Companies like Patagonia, ECOboards, Eco-Flex Surfboards, Surfyogis, Avasol Organic Sunscreens, Riz Boardshorts, and Indosole, for example, have used organic and/ or recycled materials to produce their surf gear. For instance, Patagonia Outdoor Clothing and Gear uses recycled plastics and other materials for their durable clothing like their cashmere, wool sweaters and down jackets.
Of course it's one thing to make sure your product contains more renewable and sustainable resources, but it's also important to look at the cause of why there is so much plastic wastage and what can we do to repurpose our waste. This is why many companies from equipment manufacturers to clothing are looking for new and innovative ways to repurpose collateral waste. At Shaka Surf it's something we're committed to as well. Our 100% recycled materials surf fins use discarded materials to create something both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
Patagonia is also part of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), which is “a global alliance of retailers, brands, suppliers, advocacy groups, labor unions and
academics, that aims to create “an apparel, footwear and home textiles industry that produces no unnecessary environmental harm and has a positive impact on people and communities.” And this doesn’t just apply to their clothing-FCD Surfboards (their surfboard brand) uses sustainable surfboard blanks re-made of recyclable EPS foam.
So why would a consumer want to buy these sustainable surf products instead of
the more mainstream, sometimes cheaper, alternatives? First and foremost, without the ocean, water sport enthusiasts would have nowhere to enjoy their beloved hobbies. Ocean enthusiasts tend to be a lot more tapped in to the importance in protecting their water environments because they see first hand the negative effects plastics, dyes and chemicals can have on sea creatures, beaches, and coral reefs. Chemical sunscreens, for example, have been proven to kill coral reefs. “Even in minute doses, the researchers found, oxybenzone rapidly bleaches coral and slows new growth.” In this day and age companies that live and breathe the ocean are taking positive steps Sustainability in Surfing towards sustainable consumerism. That means surfers can now jump on board and set positive examples of how to live and shop in alignment with their love of the water.
The Benefits Of Eco Friendly Fins
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.
The Plastic Problem
It doesn't take much to notice the ever growing problem of our use in plastics and the impact its creating. Travel a bit and you'll notice just how bad this problem can be, especially in developing countries. Indeed, most of us have seen the concerning footage from a scuba diver in Indonesia were plastic littered the ocean bed. Can you imagine having to swim in such plastic polluted waters? Well, soon this might be a reality for many beach goers even in renowned well kept oceans such as in the Southern Hemisphere in countries like Australia and Hawaii.
I now live in Southern Europe, and I see first hand the message still isn't getting through to some people and sad to say a lot of the time it's the city dwellers who are treating the beaches they visit on the weekends like their personal dumping ground. This is not to put all the blame on a particular segment, as I've seen locals behave just as badly but certainly there is a clear correlation after the weekend and the amount of debris left behind.
It's difficult to know how exactly we've got left before the damage becomes irreversible. Whilst, the UN initiative of declaring war on all single use plastics and aiming to rid our oceans clear of such plastics by 2022 is welcome, we can't help but wonder if this is achievable given the current complacency levels.
A wave of viral videos and certainly has helped bought more awareness to the issue, but this issue requires constant attention and I feel it's in danger of slipping under the radar very shortly. This is why we're committed to doing all we can to help reduce plastics in our oceans. Our commitment to this is clear in our mission statement.
We're only 93 days into the new year, but already we have participated in several locally organised beach clean-ups and plan to host our own later on in the year. In order for us to carrying doing our work, we need your support. By buying one of our environmentally friendly surf fins you will not only be helping to further our mission, but also supporting a brand that donates a percentage of its profits to carbon offset charities.
Tips To Help Your Local Beach Clean Up Its Act
Do you love beaches? Of course you do, we all do. We love our beach days so much, soaking up the sun and frolicking in the water, … The best ever! And if we wanna keep it up, we must keep our beach clean.
Here are five easy ways you can help protect our beaches and save our beautiful life.
- Stay away from plastic bags
Always bring your own bags (or boxes) with you when shopping, minimize the use of disposable plastic bags, trays and plastic bottles. You can completely reuse plastic bags or any plastic objects. This will not only save you money on concessions but also reduce our environmental impact. Stay away from those evil plastic bags!
Garbage Environment (Photo: hhach/ Pixabay)
Trash doesn't just disappear and we all know it, so take everything you brought back with you and that will make the ocean smile.
- Save energy, gasoline ... Immediately!
It sounds unrelated! Vehicles and energy are stories of the mainland. Is that the sea, is that the sea?
But actually, it is very relevant. The energy you use every day, the gasoline you use to run the car,... all converts into CO2. This gas contributes to global warming on Earth and also increases acidity in seawater. Consequently, corals at sea and oceans are being destroyed on a global scale. Moreover, the development of shrimp, fish, and marine organisms is also severely affected. Surely we don't want to see a polluted and lifeless beach, right?
Bicycles obviously take up a lot less room than cars.
(Photo: Christian Mueller/Shutterstock)
So, to save the sea, you simply need to change your transportation habits. Please take public transport, bike or walk instead of using personal vehicles. No matter where you live, don’t just be prepared for the day’s weather, be excited about it!
- Feed yourself, not the animals
If you do decide to bring food to the beach, make sure it’s just for you, and only you! Don’t disrupt the diets of the animals, such as bird or fish, that are sharing the shore and sea with you.
Dirt Outside Banana (Photo: Laura Tara/ Pixabay)
4. Do not use cosmetics containing microbeads
Surely one of us also has cosmetics such as cleanser, toothpaste, ... In these types, there are often sparkling, tiny particles, advertised to help message, exfoliate or remove plaque.
Is your face wash killing fish?
But do you know most of them are tiny pieces of plastic? They are called microbeads. When you use products with microbeads, they are washed down directly into the drain and flow into rivers, lakes, and seas, etc. So please carefully select the products you use and make sure they do not have microbeads.
5. Spread the word
Why not talk to your family and friends (even though with new people if you have a chance) about all you know about the beaches of the oceans. Educate everyone you love so that they can help do their part to protect the beach and oceans we all love. It sometimes connects you with like-minded people.
We're pretty sure almost everyone has a place in their heart for the beach, so pass on the word, help us keep the beach clean, our marine life safe and the beach beautiful!
Beach Cleanup with DAVIDOFF Cool Water
Follow these tips to help keep our beaches safe and clean. Make small changes, we are all saving the beach, the ocean, and keep the stoke alive!
Top 5 Eco Conscious Social Media Influencers on Instagram
Is your Instagram feed in need of some inspiration? Do you want to find out more about sustainability and fashion? Fear not, we've put together the ultimate list of our top 10 eco conscious social media influencers. Make sure you give them a follow!
1. Anuschka Rees
Anuschka is a Fashion Blogger and writer of "The Curated Closet". Based in Berlin, she is a big advocate of wearing what you feel comfortable in and not because it pertains to someone's idea of beauty. Posts often reference the aforementioned book.
On Instagram: @anuschkarees
2. Sustainably Chic
Natalie Kay posts some great daily inspiration for people interested in sustainable fashion. A wide range of clothing ideas for all ages from kids to adults. As a mum, posts often feature sustainable fashion items for babies.
On Instagram: @sustainablychic
3. Eco Cult
An account that juxtaposes slow sustainable fashion with travel perfectly. Offers a great insight to where many clothes are made these days, India and Bangladesh creating more awareness and shining a light on this part of the world, Alden Wicker as a journalist and blogger is a great advocate for the sustainable fashion movement.
On Instagram: @ecocult
4. Michelle For Good
LA based Michelle established The Tote Project, a project that supports sex trafficked survivors through selling ethical fashion bags. Her Instagram gives a great fun insights into the world of slow sustainable fashion.
On Instagram: @michelleforgood
5. Eco Warrior Princess
Account run by Jennifer Nini who is on a mission to create awareness on the impact that our fashion choices have on the environment. Bringing together a mixture of eco-tourism, sustainable fashion and healthy living Jennifer's feed will certainly give you more than enough inspiration for leading a more sustainable lifestyle.
On Instagram: @ecowarriorprincess
There are pockets of the surf industry that are applying upcycling processes, and putting creative reuse into place.
There’s no denying it, the surfing world is generally a fairly toxic one. Some estimate that there are about 400,000 surfboards made each year from toxic foams and synthetic resins. There are others who estimate closer to 750,000 surfboards a year. A surfboard weighs in at about 5,5 pounds, and this translates to about 600 pounds of CO2e during a lifecycle of manufacture, repair and disposal, according to Surfscience.
Ninety-five percent of all surf wax blocks sold worldwide contains petrochemical additives, solidifying chemicals, high-strength bleach, and paraffin.Wetsuits are made with toxic chemicals, including PVC, the most toxic plastic for our health and environment. Wetsuits are also made with neoprene, a synthetic rubber produced from petroleum products. Sunscreens are no good either. It has been proved that oxybenzone and octinoxate - two of the most common ingredients in chemical sunscreens - decrease corals' defenses against bleaching.Let’s not forget that sodas, alcoholic and energy drinks and diesel-powered cars sponsor pro surfing. When it comes to fins and fin systems, the majority of fins and fin plugs are made from polyester resin and fiberglass or petroleum based plastic. Yet there are corners pushing back, and doing what they can to stem the tide of toxicity and pollution. Patagonia produce neoprene free wetsuits, by introducing hevea rubber, and all their rubber now comes from sources that are Forest Stewardship Council® certified by the Rainforest Alliance. Patagonia Rubber
Surf Yogis make natural zinc sunscreen; so natural you can eat it, apparently. They use a combination of cacao, coconut, beeswax, vanilla bean, coffee extract, castor oil and zinc oxide to produce their well-tested and proven zinc. Musician and former pro surfer Jack Johnson recently received a surfboard made out of 10,000 cigarette butts, as part of the solution. A couple years ago, for Vissla’s 2017 Creators & Innovators Upcycle Contest, San Jose State University grad Taylor Lane submitted a board made from over 10,000 discarded cigarette butts found along the California coastline. He won the contest, and recently made another surfboard, from another 10,000 ciggy butts for Jack Johnson to surf. More of a novelty, the fact that there were 10,000 cigarette butts on the beach is pretty repulsive. The results of the board test can be seen below. Ciggy Board. As part of the solution, there is also [Sustainable Surf] (https://sustainablesurf.org/), a non-profit organization in California that challenges the modern paradigm of the surf industry to be more aware of their products and manufacturing processes and has a grading system for environmentally friendly eco-boards. Firewire, Channel Islands, Lost and Stretch all adhere to the Eco-board verification processes. Shaka Surf is an eco-friendly fin producing company based in Portugal. They make fins from recycled bottle caps, with their 9" eco single fin using approximately 70 plastic caps in production.
“We came up with the idea of creating eco surf fins from recycled waste materials and plastics after coming in from a surf and seeing so much waste on the beach,” said Shaka Surf founder Dominick Taylor. “We made a pledge to put this rubbish to good use.”
Here is Shaka Surf’s mission statement, in essence. • To help our oceans and reduce the amount of plastics that end up washed up on our beaches in Europe and further afield. To use this waste and repurpose it into something that has great utility: a surfboard fin. • To participate in wide community led initiatives such as beach cleanups, training, seminars, and educate people on ocean environmental issues. To share the stoke by producing highly functional products of great quality and design.Their hero product is the Eco single fin, in 7” or 9” models. They are suitable for longboards, SUP, single fin or home decoration. Each fin is custom made, and it includes screw and metal plate for securing.
Keeping things funky, the boys at Shaka Surf wanted an edge and went out to find someone to give them an edge. It came from amazing street graffiti artist Vasco Maio to give these eco and sustainable fins a very distinctive look. Vasco takes his inspiration from nature and what could reflect this better than the manifestation of the force of Mother Nature a.k.a swell lines.As we all face engulfment by an ocean of plastic, and as our beaches lose the fight against pollution, Shaka Surf are doing the right thing, and fighting against plastic litter, just like we all should be doing. We as surfers and eco warriors should either be in the game producing eco products, or at least supporting these people, like Patagonia, Surf Yogis and Shaka Surf.
The more people that buy eco-friendly and more sustainably produced products will lead the way for change in the mainstream. This has slowly happened with wetsuits and we predict it will happen with accessories such as surf fins, and will extend further into the surf industry in the future.
What Kinds of Trash Do You Find at The Beach
The War on Waste
It's well documented how much trash 🚮 are washing up ashore onto previously pristine beaches. You've probably noticed it when you've been strolling along the beach, the amount of discarded cigarette butts, fishing nets, plastic trash of various forms, toys, foam, even bits of surfboards can sometimes be found. It's depressing and it's damaging not only the natural ecosystem but also presenting risks for other beachgoers such as small children.
It's not until you participate on a beach cleanup that see just how bad it can be. All those little bits of microplastic that can and does end up in the marine foodchain and the chemicals leaked out from cigarette butts is a big issue. It wasn't until I participated in my first beach clean-up that I got an appreciation for what we're up against. Even if there are ample trash cans within a short walking distance it doesn't deter the weekend crowds from leaving their empty cans, food packaging on the beach. It really pisses me off. How can we be so lazy to not walk a few yards and put our trash in the bin 🗑️.
Expect More PPE To Be Found
What I'm truly concerned about now after lockdown in many countries is being slowly lifted, is that we'll soon be finding other bits of disposable Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from surgical masks to gloves. This presents numerous problems for people who encounter such as discarded items. How long has this been left on the beach for? Is it safe to pickup? Should I wear gloves to pick up a discarded glove? Again people fail to see the consequences of their actions for others. When participating in community beach cleanups there, therefore needs to be safety considerations in place. Volunteers will have to wear masks, practice social distancing and of course wear PPE themeselves.
Can The Trash You Find Be Repurposed?
Rather than sort the trash you find into recyclables and non-recyclables how about repurposing some of that trash into art or objects? You can take a leaf out of the Shaka Surf upcycling program where we use plastic trash such as bottle caps in the production of our eco surf fins made from PET recyclables. Or you can get creative in other ways by using the trash for an art project. Here's just a few of our favourite ideas, and if you've never done something like this before have a quick search on YouTube for ideas.
- Painted Robots from Toilet Rolls
Time to get your paintbrushes out and get creative with the kids!
- 10 DIY Craft Projects from Plastic BottlesTime to creative with everyday household plastic waste. If you're stuck for inspiration be sure to watch this YouTube video
- Ambitious Art Sculptures From Carboard Boxes
This LA based artist makes awesome sculptures from carboard boxes. We for one approve of this new found use for all those Amazon boxes!
We hope that some of these ideas have inspired you for your own upcycling project. Who knows you may even be able to make a business from collecting trash as we have done with our eco surf fins.
Have you tried using trash to create some art or an object from it? Let us know.
Whats in a sustainable surfing fin?
5 Oceans are a crowd funded company run by German expats based out of Bali/Australia. They have concentrated on producing shotboard fins with a degree of flex and offering a more performance based fin, thereby sacrificing on fabrication using 100% reused and recycled plastics.
Shaka Surf are an entirely self-funded company that supply eco surf products and not just fins. Our fins are made from 100% reused and recycled materials and hence offer a fully sustainably made product. Whilst we offer shortboard fins our flagship product are our single fins, of which we offer 9" sizes suitable for mid-lengths, longboards, single fins and SUP's.
We are not concerned with making profits or satisfying shareholders as long as we can make a modest living we are happy. Our small profits are reinvisted back into carbon offset, and re-wilding and planting tree initiatives.
We back our products If we don't feel comfortable using the products we sell on our store, we won't sell them. It's that simple. From our fins through to our traction pads and boards we use our listed products on a daily basis. It has to get the Shaka Surf seal of approval before anything else.
Combining art and surfing This is something we are extremely passionate about. Our fins are not only functional they are also objet d'arte, standing out visually. It's part of the fun of surfing, to stand out from the crowd and we believe surfing and art are inextricably linked.
With free shipping, a 10% discount on our eco surf fins that are made from 100% sustainably there's never been a better time to own a Shaka Surf fin.
Will Smaller Virtual Events Replace The WSL
So it's official, there's gonna be no surf events for the rest of 2020 as the WSL announced last week that due to COVID-19 they are cancelling remaining surf events. I'll be honest, I wasn't actually too disappointed with this news, I make no bones about it I have gone off watching the surf events put on by the WSL. I even wrote about why WSL events are not the superbowl.
But, what I love about surfers and the community is that already they're finding creative ways to still provide some action and broadcast it live to the world. A great example of this is the upcoming RipCurl E-Pro (Virtual Series) scheduled to take August 1 through to August 15 in South Africa. The format is a great concept, entrants are limited to South Africans only and they submit their video clips (surf <= 8ft), and a panel decides who gets to compete. Already, it's run in other parts of the world such as Mexico.
The audience also wins, because they get to see up and coming talent in a specific country and a broader range of talent rather than the same old faces. I love how agile this concept is and how it's already been running since March. It just goes to show how creative the surfing community can be.
If you want more information, be sure to check out the action at surfwebseries.com/zaf.
WSL Surfing Events are Not The Superbowl
For a while now this has been playing on my mind and I'm sure I'm not the only surfer that has tuned out to the WSL events in recent years. When it was still the ASP I would tune in and watch the world's best surfers rip Bells Bowl or get shacked in Tahiti, even if that meant getting up at 4am or watching late into the night. Now, I'd rather just watch some old highlight reels than have to tune into jabbering Joel Tuppels' fillers or watch some painful post heat interviews with Strider '' Wazaoloschi. In short, it's become all about the dollars and American culture has slowly creeped in and started to overshadow all the other surfing cultures (Australian, European, Brazilian).
Don't get me started on the dropping of world class surf breaks in favour of shitty 2 - 3ft Trestles or surfing Slaters' wave pool (first year good, subsequent years bad). Everything has been pointing to the race to bottom when it comes to the surfing industry. Yes, I get they want to increase the market share so that everyone and his grandfather will buy into the latest surf clothing, hardware and acessories. But in doing, this in such an uncouth uncultured way as current and jumping on any kind of bandwagon whether that's the whole eco conscious surfer movement or equal pay, is just so disingenuous.
When The WSL Is In Town It's Time To Get Out Of Dodge
This is why I'll not be staying up late to catch the live action and if I happen to be in a place where they WSL circus will soon show up, I'll get out of dodge asap. It's no longer fun, the surfing is all cookie cutter templated aerial moves and the last thing you want is hassle in the lineup from all the kooks that have decided they want a piece of the action too on the lay days.
It's a real shame because I loved the hacien days when less media trained surfers such as Corey Lopez or Sunny Garcia would speak their minds, now its sanitised generic responses that gives very little of the surfers' personality away. Maybe it's me just getting old and being nostalgic, but I swear the whole commercialisation of surfing is now just getting out of hand.
What do you think? Do you still watch the WSL? Was it better when it was the ASP? Let us know in the comments.
Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe
This is just meant as a little bit of fun, after all let's face it we all need a bit of cheering up in the face of a global pandemic, climate change threat of nuclear war etc.
But, more imporantly what surftribe do you idenify with? Are you an ultra cool surfing hipster? Or perhaps you're an Ol' Timer recounting stories of a wild and uncrowded Indo surf trip in the 70s. Or perhaps you identify more with being a Kook having recently taken up surfing? Whilst I've been surfing a number of years, I certainly have my kook days. Perhaps like me, you identify a bit with more than one tribe?
State your tribe, by following us on Instagram: @shakasurfstore and letting us know which persona fits you best.
5 Reasons To Choose Our Eco Surf Fins
Update, Jan 13 2020 We've now updated our eco surf range to help the budget surfer out with our single fin 9" marble effect that won't break the bank. Shop now.
Are you a surfing enthusiast? Are you an ocean enthusiast? If yes, you all obviously know the special connection between surfers and the ocean is undeniable. We -- as surfers, always choose the best choice for ourselves and for our ocean. That why we have developed our eco surf fins.
Why you should choose our fins?
The eco-friendly Fin is the first sustainable surfboard fin – turning ocean waste into performance surf gear. As a surfing enthusiast, you've probably heard the name "Bali"- the surfer's paradise. The sad truth is that over trillion pieces of plastic are floating is all too often found floating in the same waters that we dream to surf. This number will tremendously increase if we don’t reduce the production of virgin plastic and take recycling more seriously. We are convinced that by developing innovative products based on recycled material, we can raise awareness about ocean pollution.
- Unique design
Our eco surf fins are made from recycled bottle caps and other recycled materials to form a composite material which then goes into the moulding fabrication. The fins are eco-friendly, and with our composites offer great performance. And based on the expertise of our team of engineers, and designers we pretty sure that our eco surf fins combine performance with a unique design.
- Strong performance
For us, it was most important to provide our customers with quality products. So, we collaborated with fluid dynamics experts and product designers to ensure our fins stand up to performance testing. We are confident in our eco surf fins to not only perform when needed, but also combine art and creative design with functionality. In addition, we are pretty happy with the overall weight of the product and flex meaning that sustainability doesn’t have to compromise performance.
- Supporting an environmentally friendly business
One fin = 70 recycled plastic bottle caps
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 and decided to develop the option swell lines collection are made with shortboards, single fins, and longboards in mind.
Choosing eco-friendly fins to help the fins whether made from recycled or repurposed materials are putting waste to good use. Additionally, purchasing power has a 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.
- An objet d’arte
We are always wanted to develop a product made of recycled material to meet all the expectations of surfers everywhere in the world. Our team has designed a unique environmentally friendly surf fin that meets the needs of surfers and is also a piece of art, which can be used for decoration around the home or office. At the core of our philosophy is to use less and product more and by investing in the design the surf fin functions as more as just a surf fin.
As Rusty Miller has once said: “we as surfers live off the ocean’s energy – if it’s now time to give back, I don’t want to miss out”. Many drops of water make an ocean and swell pulses from many thousands of kms can make a wave. It’s time for us to take inspiration from nature and be the change.