Partner Spotlight
October 27 2017

2017 Vissla + Surfrider Upcycle Contest Recap

Photo credit: Stokehouse Unlimited

The 2017 Vissla + Surfrider Creators & Innovators Upcycle Contest was one for the books! For the third year, we encouraged creativity to the conscious & creative folks in our communities to upcycle an old or found object into a functional wave riding craft (i.e. surfboards, handplanes, paipos, fins, alaias, skim boards, boats, etc.). Contestants entered their innovatons on Instagram using #CreatorsContest and the contest culminated with an awesome exhibit event at The Ecology Center in Dana Point, California on October 20th where the finalists were judged and a contest winner was chosen. The finalists gala drew a packed house of enthusiastic guests, all of whom came to view, appreciate, and feel the 14 projects on display.

While everyone wandered through the idyllic organic farm, they were greeted with hors d'oeuvres from local chefs using local organic produce and libations from One Hope Winery and Docent Brewing. As guests appreciated the finalists’ creations, three judges (Vissla founder Paul Naude, master shaper / Vissla Creator & Innovator, Donald Brink, and The Ecology Center founder / Vissla Creator & Innovator Evan Marks) paid special attention to details, creativity, and level of “upcycled-ness”. After much deliberation, the winners were chosen.

In 1st place came Taylor Lane, who built a surfboard made from 10,000 cigarette butts collected from the central California Coastline. This entry resonnated especially since cigarette butts are the most littered item in the world and they never fully degrade. Surfrider chapters  host the 'Hold on to Your Butt' campaign to remove butts off our streets and beaches to protect our oceans, waterways and drinking water.

In 2nd place, François Jaubert. François created a surfboard made from a discarded wood pallete, recycled styrofoam, and 19 smaller pieces of wood. The fins were made from cardboard, efties fiberglass and Lin from Shaperhouse Shop in Biarritz. Finally, the whole board was glassed with biobased epoxy Entropy Resins EU.



In 3rd place was Shane Swindler, who converted an old stand up paddle board into a short board and a trailer to carry the short board. The trailer was made from a discarded stand up paddle board perimeter, wood from a 1913 building and old aluminum golf cart wheels. The surfboard is made from repurposed EPS core of the stand up paddle board, scrap cork anti-stringer, poly rails, speed hold drilled fins, woven scrap veneer top, scrap veneer bottom, scrap glass on bottom, glass tape rails, no glass on top, the dregs of three different resins and custom leash loop. Finally, the fins, rails, and board shape all came from repurposed/modified/stolen from a micro bus by BG Surfboards.

While Taylor, François, and Shane all took home Vissla prizes and official bragging rights, everyone who participated in the contest is truly a winner. Paul stated, in agreement with Donald and Evan, that every entry into the Creators Contest should be extremely proud of his work, and should share this passion of creativity, innovation, and upcycling with others. Check out a full gallery of images here.

Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate these finalists with us! Special recognition to our partner Vissla for founding this contest and for their role as leaders in raising awarness for ways people can engage in conservation and coastal protection while doing what they love! We're already looking forward to next year…