The ECOBOARD Project

It was a sunny June day in San Clemente, the event (The Cobblestone Classic) was Deep Blue and the ECOBOARDS were aplenty. We know that the crew at Channel Islands love making ECOBOARDS; here’s proof that they also love riding them.

How many ECOBOARDS can you count? Hint – the orange INT Softboards X CI Surfboards foamie that Dane Reynolds is inspecting is also an ECOBOARD (using Entropy Resins ).

 

2017 COBBLESTONE CLASSIC from CI Surfboards on Vimeo.

We are excited to welcome Airush Kiteboarding as the newest brand to join The ECOBOARD project. This innovative kiteboarding manufacturer focuses on environmental and sustainability projects as one of its key ideologies. This step reflects the growth of the ECOBOARD Project into new markets and to a wider global audience and ocean-minded community.

According to Brand Director Clinton Filen, “We are very excited to be part of the ECOBOARD project, as a key part of our broader initiatives to fundamentally change the way we engage with our environment. Our ultimate goal is be environmentally ‘net positive’ and support as much of our industry and broad community to do the same.”

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“We’re stoked to be working with Airush, our largest Kiteboard partner, and helping them to shift their board range to plant-based epoxy resins,” says Michael Stewart, Co-founder, Sustainable Surf. “Their commitment to sustainability throughout their entire product range, and to measure and offset their carbon emissions, sets a new benchmark in kiteboarding. We look forward to working with the entire kiteboarding community to develop ECOBOARDS and accelerate our ocean-health movement.”

By pioneering the kiteboarding industry and shifting 100% of their global surf and Foil board production to now use ECOBOARD-approved plant-based, low/zero VOC epoxy resin, Airush’s actions will result in a smaller carbon footprint across their board ranges and reduce the overall impact of their products.

This is done in conjunction with a focus on details such as plant-based resin in their Fin systems and removing the traditional plastic components from board packaging such as bubble wrap and outer dust protection bags.

Airush has also taken this path with Kites, where Kitebags in the majority of their new ranges are manufactured from 100% recycled polyester, developed in alignment with Waste 2 Wear along with a unique kite upcycle program in conjunction with Mafia Bags, where old kites can be converted into unique backpacks and travel bags via Sustainable Surf’s Waste to Waves program.

These focuses on product are combined with an unconventional approach to Carbon offsetting by Airush, coined “One Ton for the Planet”. For every board or kite sold, Airush ultimately offsets one ton of carbon through their support of a mangrove replanting program in the Thor Heyerdahl Climate Park. (Worldview international foundation http://www.thorheyerdahlclimatepark.org/). In Airush’s 2016/17 Carbon Footprint report, the outcome of 4380 trees being planted results in a projected 4380 Tons of Carbon being absorbed, an estimated 10 times above projected emissions for the same period.

As Starboard Group CEO Svein Rasmussen highlights: “These are some of the first steps for us, and we continue to focus on stepping up our environmental and sustainability focus, without sacrificing our commitment to performance.

Some of these changes are not easy; in this case we had to setup our production in a completely different supplier, Cobra International, due to their clear commitment to take the environmental steps forward.

All of this is only possible with the incredible support of our development team and partners such as Sustainable Surf, Cobra International and the Starboard group.”

Do you shred so bad (or good) you bust your stick?
And whether it’s an ECOBOARD or not, don’t just stick in the trash can, because we teamed up with our pals at The Inertia to show ways to keep your old board out of the garbage heap. Whether it’s turned into art like Walter Blair Tom does, or into another surf craft by Enjoy Handplanes – there are plenty of creative ways to put some life back into your busted shred stick.

5 Alternatives to a Trash Can for Your Broken Shred Sled

The Inertia talks with Sustainable Surf’s Brett Giddings about key the sustainability considerations when ordering your next sled.

Like many who attended the Boardroom Show in Del Mar earlier this month, straight after walking through the front door Dylan from the Inertia began to dream up his next board. Being able to see what an array of board builders are up to, there was no shortage of craft to fondle. One thing Dylan knew for certain was that whatever he order next, I want it to built as sustainably as possible.

Tips on How to Order the Most Sustainable Surfboard Possible from Your Shaper

 

 

Check out this feature Tracks Mag ran on the ECOBOARD Project, which just so happened to come out in time for our official launch at the end of a long Australian summer (yes summer ends in February in Australia…). We will be spreading the ECOBOARD message at the Byron Bay Surf Festival with our friends from Treehouse Surfboards, Firewire, Maurice Cole, Surfboard Agency, Entropy Resins, Marko Foam, Colan and more.

If you’re in the area, drop by our tipi at the festival, which by the way, we’re also helping to make a Deep Blue Event. Can’t make it to the festival, but want to learn more about the ECOBOARD Project and get involved – reach out and let us know.

 

 

In 2012, Sustainable Surf launched the world’s first independent “eco-label” for surfboards. Since then, the ECOBOARD Project has verified the use of more sustainable materials in more than 50,000 boards from nearly 50 shapers globally. The result? Reduced carbon footprints, increased use (and reuse) of renewable, recycled and recyclable inputs, and reduced toxicity.

It’s clear that the ECOBOARD Project has successfully helped the surf community to make, buy and ride more sustainable surf craft. Consumers are buying more and more ECOBOARDS each year from an ever-growing list of ECOBOARD board builders, and the media, from Surfline to CBS NEWS, is talking about the program. Pros are winning on ECOBOARDS, and WSL commentators are taking notice when guys like Jon Pyzel talk ECOBOARDS in interviews.

We’ve made several changes along the way, like introducing Gold Level earlier this year and a launching our new website. 2016 has also seen the introduction of an audit process for large brands and those looking to take the lead and make Gold Level ECOBOARDS; further increasing the integrity of the program, while also allowing us to identify sustainability opportunities for all board builders.

We’re also stoked on the global reach that the program has generated in 2016. We now have more board builders in Europe, South America, Australia, Asia and, of course, North America. Meaning the board riding community can buy and ride an ECOBOARD pretty much anywhere.

Plans for 2017

We are focused on strengthening the program in 2017 so that it delivers even more benefits to ECOBOARD Builders and continues to recognize and reward those going above and beyond. We are in the process of developing resources to help make sustainability-related decisions and will be using our voice to educate even more people about the advantages of building, buying and riding ECOBOARDS.

AND we don’t want to give too much away, but we have some pretty amazing things in the pipeline related to recycling boards, and the continued growth of the program beyond surfboards.

Fee for ECOBOARD designation

To date, we have kept costs to ECOBOARD Builders at zero to low and will continue to make the cost to participate very low. All new board builders that joined the program in 2016 have been paying a fee starting at $1 for each board designated as an ECOBOARD.

It is important that we create a level playing field for all those participating in the program. From January 2017 all ECOBOARD Builders will be required to pay for each board designated as an ECOBOARD in order to help cover the costs of running the program.

Ordering logos

To order logos, simply send us an email. Each one of our high-quality logos is hand numbered. We can also work with builders that prefer to print or engrave their logos – contact us to discuss that process.

Reach out!

As always, we are here to help and listen. If you would like to discuss any of our plans for 2017, don’t hesitate to drop us a line.

Shakas!

 

Guess what… after so many pros were riding ECOBOARDS at Lowers during the 2016 Hurley Pro, Surfline ran this great feature exploring surfboard sustainability, who’s building ECOBOARDS and what materials they’re using. The important role of the ECOBOARD Project as an independent third party verification program that helps the surfing community to make more sustainable surfboard choices is also a highlight. Thanks Surfline!

 

Sustainable Surf’s Kevin Whilden talks Slater, ocean acidification, Gold Level ECOBOARDS and why it’s important to be kind to Mother Nature.

Surfboards built with more sustainable materials work just as well as boards built from 1950s petrochemical technology.

Based on the last 2016 Billabong Pro in Tahiti, it seems that the world’s greatest surfer was quite happy with what was under his feet. He’s been competing full time on Slater Designs surfboards made from more sustainable, ocean-friendly materials, such as Super Sap epoxy resin, which is made from renewable plant-based materials.

 

Big news today folks! Check out our latest press release announcing the next level changes to the ECOBOARD Project.

(September 6th, 2016) Non-profit Sustainable Surf announces the next evolution of the ECOBOARD Project, which is the first independent consumer-facing “eco-label” for surfboards. Since the launch of the program in 2012, and the 2013 endorsement by the Surfing Industries Manufacturers Association (SIMA), there has been dramatic growth in the number of ECOBOARDS made by major surfboard manufacturers. During this time period, the performance of ECOBOARDS has been validated by World Tour contest wins under the feet of the world’s elite surfers, and by radical free-surfers on strike missions to remote corners of the planet.

The program will introduce a new designation: Gold Level, which highlights the top-performing sustainable surfboards, board builders and surfboard materials. This new level is informed by the recently completed ECOBOARD lifecycle study, which identifies the most effective strategies to reduce the environmental impact of a surfboard related to the carbon footprint and use of hazardous materials.

The lifecycle study shows that an ECOBOARD can easily achieve a 30% reduction in carbon footprint compared to an industry standard PE/PU surfboard, with an 80% reduction possible in the foreseeable future. The lifecycle study was performed by Pure Strategies, a leading environmental consulting firm, with data collected from participating ECOBOARD Project approved manufacturers including Entropy Resins, Marko Foam, Firewire Surfboards and Channel Islands Surfboards.

Gold Level designated boards require the use of multiple “Qualified Materials” by the ECOBOARD Project, and are made by board builders that are actively evaluating new ways to reduce waste and lower energy use during manufacturing. Gold Level is intended to be a stretch goal for most manufacturers and showcases a significantly more sustainable way to build a surfboard using modern materials and techniques.

The ECOBOARD Project also showcases Gold Level Qualified Materials, which are the highest performing sustainable surfboard materials with environmental benefits as measured by lifecycle analysis. Entropy Resins has been one of those leaders in this field since 2009, when they were the first company to market a plant-based epoxy resin. The first Gold Level qualified materials is Entropy’s Super Sap ONE epoxy resin, as it meets the minimum requirement of having 30% bio-carbon content (for the final cured resin), and the requirement to be certified by the USDA’s Bio-preferred program.

“We’re proud to see Entropy’s Super Sap ONE qualify for the new designation”, says Rey Banatao of Entropy Resins. “Entropy has always been at the forefront of sustainable resin development and we want to see our customers and the entire surf community take the next step in surfboard sustainability. It’s great to see Sustainable Surf rewarding sustainability innovators – and we’re proud to be part of that group and support leading board builders”.

Since 2012, more than 45,000 boards bearing the ECOBOARD Project label have been made by over 40 approved board builders. These boards have the same or better performance characteristics as the typical PE/PU boards that many surfers ride, but have a measurably reduced carbon and toxic chemical footprint. This ultimately benefits the health of our oceans and coral reefs, and improves worker health and safety issues.

The ECOBOARD Level One designation is also available to help any board builder to quickly start making more sustainable boards.  This requires the use of only one qualified material by the ECOBOARD Project. The complete list of Qualified Materials is available on the ECOBOARD Project website, and includes resins and cores/blanks from several different manufacturers.

Starting in September 2016, surfers will be able to purchase Gold Level ECOBOARDS from a select number of board builders using Entropy’s SuperSap ONE and other more sustainable materials. These include Firewire’s TimberTek model boards built in their Thailand factory with sustainably-sourced, FSC certified Paulownia wood, recycled EPS boards glassed at Earth Technologies in Los Angeles, and hollow wooden surfboards from Santa Cruz-based Ventana Surfboards made from re-claimed historic and exotic woods.

“We’re honored to be one of Sustainable Surf’s first ECOBOARD Project partners to be approved to produce the new ‘Gold Level’ designated ECOBOARDS,” said Martijn Stiphout, master craftsman at Ventana Surfboards & Supplies. “Sustainable Surf is helping to keep the ocean clean one surfboard at a time, and we thank them for recognizing Ventana’s contribution to the cause – as seen throughout the entire process of what we make, and how we make it.”

Much more than just a label, the ECOBOARD Project educates and engages individuals about the environmental impacts of their surfing lifestyle through the lens of their surfboard. The simple act of choosing a more sustainable surfboard can be an “on-ramp” into a dramatically more sustainable, ocean-friendly life.

“We’re super stoked on the support that we’ve been getting from the surf community about this next evolution of the ECOBOARD Project, says Michael Stewart, Co-founder, Sustainable Surf. “Our new Gold Level designation embodies the spirit of the phrase No Ka Oi, Hawaiian for ‘the best’, paying tribute to surfing’s origins, while recognizing the modern day pioneers who are pushing the hardest to shift modern surfboards to embody the inherent values of the truly sustainable surf-craft of the ancients.

Learn more about the ECOBOARD Project at: http://www.sustainablesurf.org/ecoboard

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About Sustainable Surf
Sustainable Surf is a California-based 501(c)(3) non-profit charity organization focused on transforming surf culture into a powerful force for protecting the ocean playground. We take an integrated “systems thinking” approach with our innovative programs and campaigns, which engage both individuals and businesses together in partnership to solve the most pressing environmental issues facing our oceans. Specifically, we focus on addressing environmental impacts such as climate change related impacts (ocean acidification, sea level rise and coastal erosion), marine plastic pollution, and water quality issues that threaten our shared “surfing habitat.” – See more at: http://www.sustainablesurf.org/

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT: Brett Giddings Brett@sustainablesurf.org