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This surfboard was made from trash

January 23 2013 | Joy, Culture Shifting, Water Quality, Surfing,

Thank goodness the Clark Foam monopoly ended seven years ago.

Since that milestone we've seen a renaissance of sorts, and a slice of that change is benefitting our oceans.

A portion of the surfboard construction sector has reinvented itself. Unlike a decade ago, seeing surfers in the lineup on different types of craft is now the norm. Some of this recent experimentation has also yielded smaller environmental footprints.

And this brings me to trash. 

We surfers are immersed in the elements. We are IN the ocean... so it's important for us to ask the simple question "how can my choices decrease my impact on the ocean I love?"

Climbers figured this out decades ago... they stopped hammering pitons into rock faces because they were destroying the very rock routes that they loved. We should follow that lead.

Regarding surfboards from trash, I've written a few blog posts on the subject. These posts suggest a path that parallels the one climbers took. We should ask the simple question "can I decrease my environmetnal impact?"

Surfboard blanks from recycled TV packing materials.

Surfboards glassed with non-toxic "Super Sap" Epoxy resin.

Since those posts, the movement has continued to gain momentum. Shaun Tomson recently received his first board made via this process, blog on that is here.

What has changed since my first blog on this subject is that I now think of this innovation differently.

As is the case with anything new, the first time around we're skeptical. We are experimenting. We are seeking to separate the novel approach from the novelty.

Personally speaking, when it came time to order another board I moved from thinking that this was a good idea, to embracing this process as my default. It now feels logical to me that all shapers should consider offering options like the ones suggested in these posts.

To state the case simply, I wanted a super strong board with a notably lower environmental footprint from a shaper of my choice... and that is what I got.

It's a super fun little singlefin hand-shaped shaped by Manuel Caro (his site is here).

If you're getting a new board in the months to come, I encourage you to check out this process and ask your shaper about this option.


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