Earth Day should be every day (it is for us!), but we’re always down with taking a day to celebrate our amazing planet. We’re especially grateful for the sea and all that it gives us—and thankful for organizations that work tirelessly to protect our oceans, including Surfrider, Heal the Bay, and Oceana.
Category Archives: Environment
Having children certainly changes the role that surfing plays in our life, especially when that child is autistic. Read the beautifully written article by Jim Moriarty, CEO of The Surfrider Foundation, who discusses what surfing means to him.
The first day of summer should be a holiday, right? Surfrider presents International Surfing Day on the first day of the summer solstice by hosting beach clean-ups and paddle-outs and we love to participate.
This year, Surfrider brilliantly made the effort of having International Surfing Day declared an official holiday in California. A resolution was approved by the California Assembly that states, in part: “Whereas, Now in its eighth year, International Surf Day has grown to over 200 separate events in over 25 different countries; now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, That the Assembly recognizes June 20, 2012, as International Surf Day in the state…” Woot!
Even better, Surfrider CEO Jim Moriarty penned a letter for surfers to use in trying to get an approved day off from work. Hmmmm, maybe next year. At least I got to celebrate this morning, when Rebecca and I joined the Surfrider clean-up in Santa Monica before a quick surf.
When Clark Foam, the main supplier of polyurethane surfboard blanks, closed its doors in December 2005, we knew the surf industry was about to change. Citing environmental regulations and workers’ compensation claims as the reason for the shuttering, the topic of creating a more environmentally friendly surfboard was on surfer’s lips around the world. From the highly toxic urethane foam to the chromium in the fiberglass to the VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) that are released into the atmosphere when resins cures, almost every part of creating a surfboard is not only an environmental hazard but a potential hazard to the shaper as well. Surfers are an environmentally conscience bunch, what we need now is environmentally conscience boards. Luckily, there are a few choices out there and intrepid designers are furthering the cause.
Many shapers are looking to epoxy. According to the Surfrider Foundation, “epoxy resin has about 75% fewer VOCs than polyester resin and about two-thirds fewer VOCs are released into the atmosphere when it cures.” These resins not only can be made from plant sources, such as sugar and agrigum, but can also be cleaned up with more environmentally friendly citrus cleaners instead of toxic acetone.
Some other alternatives include Bamboo Boards out of Australia who replaces their fiberglass with bamboo. Or Ocean Green Surfboards which uses 100% biodegradable hemp cloth in place of fiberglass and blanks made of FSC certified balsa. Fletcher Chouinard Designs (Patagonia) uses less toxic extruded polystyrene foam, which has fewer VOCs than polyurethane.
It seems as though the Clark Foam fiasco may have actually benefited the surf industry. It shed light on the impact of surfboards on the environment and sent us on frantic search for boards that are environmentally sound.
Visit Eco Surf Project to check out a list of eco-friendly surfboard manufactures.