When your career depends on both a healthy ocean and having the highest performing surfboard under your feet, it’s important that sustainability plays a part in choosing the right boards. And while we could rap about this all day (and night), above and below the water… why not hear it right here, direct from Jordy Smith, Lakey Peterson and the crew at Channel Islands.
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.”
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!