Surfers love the ocean and it is our job to protect the space that we use as a playground and way of life. With this in mind, there are a lot of new and really exciting things happening in the way of board design and shaping practice which are starting to take the shape of more sustainable building materials and eco-friendly boards.
If you aren’t aware, there are some substantial environmental benefits to choosing epoxy resin over polyester resin. Epoxy is about 2 times stronger than polyester. It does cost more than polyester, but a stronger board means less broken boards, less dings from hitting rocks, reefs, and running into crappy airline baggage handlers (we’ve all been there). An epoxy resin your board has better flex in the board because of the increased strength and won’t break as quickly and need to be replaced as frequently.
As surfers and board makers, we can really start to make our mark on sustainable board making and purchasing (no need to grow out the dreadlocks though). Bio-resins are another way to cut down on our impact. Bio-resins are generally produced from plant based sources, like vegetable oils, and are easier to refine than regular petroleum based epoxy and easier on the environment when disposed. Seems like a win for everyone, although these resins are currently more expensive than both polyester and standard epoxy.
We should also take a look into renewable sources available for foam cores. Companies like Ecovative produce mushroom based surfboard blanks, which would be 100% biodegradable once disposed of in a landfill or better yet, in your compost bin. We hope to use one of these mushroom blanks soon!
We hope you take some time to think about your board design, materials, and what you are looking for in that new purchase. If nothing else, we hope that you pick up any garbage you see on your next beach stroll and put it where it belongs, in the garbage.