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Eco-friendly ways to surf the waves

/ 06:15 PM July 29, 2020
Surfing

Surfboards are usually made of a polyurethane foam boardstock that is not good for the environment. Image: IStock.com/PeopleImages via AFP Relaxnews

Diving under the waves, then being carried by the current and feeling at one with nature: surfing is the classic summer sport. While dedicated surfers are often conscious of the importance of ocean conservation, surfing equipment itself has a significant impact on the environment.

To begin with, surfboards are most often made of a polyurethane foam boardstock encased in resin, a material that is extremely polluting for the environment. On top of this, a majority of surfboards used worldwide are made far from their point of sale, generally in Asia, which means a sizeable carbon footprint: about 270 kg of CO2 for a 6-foot long surfboard weighing 2.5 kg.

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The boards aren’t the only problem. Wetsuits, surf wax, fins, even the leash connecting the board to the surfer can be made of materials that are toxic for the environment. Wetsuit neoprene, for example, is derived from petroleum.

Environmentally friendly brands

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The surfing community is increasingly turning to brands that opt for local production and materials that are more ecologically responsible. For instance, boards can be produced locally from materials like cork, wood and plant residues. Some brands offer board wax made without paraffin or palm or soy oil.

Innovative companies offering these products are popping up in various countries. Spanish brand Two Thirds offers wetsuits made from recycled and organic materials. American brand Wave Tribe sells leashes made from recycled plastic bottles, while French eco-shop Akotzen sells surf gear and also offers eco-friendly surfboards on rent for beginners or occasional surfers. RGA

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TAGS: eco-friendly, Environment, pollution, surfer, Surfing
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