As the northern hemisphere heads into summer, what better time than to learn how to surf or practise your technique? Diehard surfers were probably out riding the waves all winter long, but if you are like me, the warm weather is a definite prerequisite.
Surfing is fantastic exercise and many surfers report spiritual as well as physical benefits. Being out in the ocean paying close attention to the waves and your own body within them can’t help but bring you closer to nature. Many surfers are passionate environmentalists because they see firsthand the effect of any sewage or litter on their playground.
Sadly though, the average surfboard is very far from green. Despite numerous attempts over the years to create an eco-friendly surfboard , the majority of surfboards are pretty much made how they always were. That means a urethane foam blank (with a wood stringer), fibreglass and polyester resin. Or in short, non-renewable petrochemicals.
The latest eco-surfboard comes not from Australia or Hawaii but from Cornwall in the southwest of England. Cornwall is both a fabulous place for eco-tourism and the hub for surfing in the UK, so it’s not as surprising as it might sound. Five years in development, the surfboard traces its history back to a fallen balsa tree in the rainforest biome in the Eden Project in Cornwall. It is at least 50% renewable, with some 15-20% of the foam core made from plant-derived material and a resin developed from linseed oil to coat the board.
My dream is that one day all surfboards will be sustainably produced. If consumer demand grows and research delivers continuous improvements to the product and price, this could become a reality sooner rather than later.