Sustainable Surfboards are Changing the Surfing Industry

The surfing industry is taking a sustainable turn.

Most surfing products are toxic to the environment — that’s is a total bummer, considering surfers are in the water every day. Well, one surfer decided that enough is enough, and has dedicated a lot of his work to supporting the creation of sustainable products in the surfing industry.

Greg Long is one of the “best big wave surfers in the world,” reports CBS news. He’s no stranger to the materials in surfboards. According to CBS, “wetsuits and surfboards have been made with harmful petroleum-based products for more than 50 years.” But as Long says, if that’s all that’s available, what else are you going to do? You have to use them or not surf.

To help provide an alternative to toxic surf products, Long is teaming with non-profit Sustainable Surf. The non-profit’s founders, Kevin Whilden, a scientist, and Michael Stewart, a social entrepreneur, work with “manufacturers to find ways to replace toxins like polyurethane and polyester resin [in products],” reports CBS. One product that’s been quite successful is the algae surfboard. The boards are created at an algae-growing lab at the University of California in San Diego (the first algae-based surfboard was made by Steve Mayfield).

Algae boards are great because they are biodegradable. And while the sustainable boards are a bit more expensive than traditional boards, they are doing just as well or better in sales, reports Long.

Another campaign that’s jumping on the sustainable surf train is Waste to Waves. The campaign “encourages recycling Styrofoam that can be turned into material used in new surfboard cores called ‘blanks.'” And another company is “replacing neoprene in wetsuits with a product made from desert shrubs,” reports CBS.

Would you invest in a sustainable surfboard or wetsuit? Do you know of any other companies that are dedicated to making the surfing industry more sustainable?

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Image of people surfing from Shutterstock

Abbie Stutzer

Writer, editor, and owner of Ginchy!, a freelance writing and editing company, and home funeral hub. Adores smart sex ed, sustainable ag, spooky history, women's health, feminism, horror, wine, and sci-fi.