Friday, 25 September 2009

The Eco question

If industry could make a surf board from entirely sustainable (non toxic) materials, then why does it continue with its current practice. The most apparent answer is profit, and as such the consumer holds the key to change. So, would you still be keen to buy a hemp/bamboo board and pay slightly more for the product, which may also not be quite as shiny white. I am still researching whether the 'Eco' board still has the yellowed look of a 'over sunned' PU board (the faded yellow), but even so would this put you off? Please Please Please post your thoughts and comments on this, as I was fortunate enough to see such a project that could potentially reach out to create an ethical collective for board shapers and suppliers.
Your thoughts please ?


  1. hey howard, as I understand it fully eco boards dont really exist at the moment - when you consdier all the materials involded that is - resins, glass etc. and furthermore the means used to create these boards. The only ones i have come across are'nt really comparative to the standard we're used to. Although i'd be very interested in seeing a commercially available one. i know homeblown (blanks) have made the move to a more eco position, in response to the demands for a more eco blank at the expense of its whiteness (whats that all about anyway). Overall though i'm unconvinced. so what if you can get a completely "green" board - is it just a vocal gimmick - what about the wetsuits, cars, air-travel, all of it. I'd say a move away from the "disposable" board culture would be a better place to start.

  2. I totally agree, and would love to know the real truth behind the production. Apparently blank construction has just evolved again -

  3. I'd be interested in a greener board. There was an article in Surfer's Path (July/August 2009) in which they tried using a Homeblown Biofoam blank, considered EcoComp or Linseed resin but due to technical/strengh issues opted for Polyester Resin with a bamboo inlay (not even braving all bamboo cloth). I'm not sure why because Gary Young's been using bamboo for years (remember Woodwinds? Robbie Naish had one) but he still uses epoxy resin and standard foam I think. The only Eco parts that definitely worked for Surfer's Path were the fins, leash plug and leash so there definitely seem to be some performance issues in eco materials. Where do the hollow carbon fibre Aviso's sit in the 'eco chain' I wonder?

    I'm really interested in the completely wooden boards like Tom Wegener is making. In fact the other night, after watching Sprout on DVD, I had a dream that I met him and he made me a beautiful wooden fish. I read that the wooden boards feel very different in the water though which clearly stops them being a replacement for standard construction boards.

  4. Perhaps the aim of the industry should be just to remove the blanks, and force change via regulation ? This didn't seem to work with Clark foam though - now named US blanks?

  5. Hi, came across your site from the other side of the pond. Always wanted to surf/sail over in your neck of the woods, maybe I'll make it one of these days...

    Imagine Eco Boards:

    Recycled closed cell foam core, bamboo cloth, epoxy resin.

    I've had one for about a month now, great feel, indestructable, white(ish). The core is recyclable if you do decide that it's time is up.

    Could be just what you're looking for...