It was decided earlier this year that Surfer vs Planet will become an annual release after it's first edition last year which had over 3000 downloads and plenty of positive feedback. Each edition will highlight some of the latest environmental innovations from the surfing world, to inspire sustainable practices across global surf culture. We hope this inspires?? Snapshot of some of the latest trends and innovations?? Without further ado...
- Timber Surfboards - Creative Hybrids - Natural Cork - The Softboard Market - Recycling - Think Different - Community - Boost Your Idea - Accountability - Credits
Early surfboards were invented in the Polynesian islands of Tahiti and Hawaii dating back 1000 years ago, known locally as papa he’e nalu in Hawaiian language, typically made from local wood and were often 15 feet long and very heavy. Natural materials and methods were used, such as using coral or stones to sand their locally sourced wooden sea-craft, and tree bark sap and nut oil to treat, colour and preserve their surfboards. These could be seen as pre-cursors to the modern materials that are used for surfboards, resins and surf wax prior to the industrial revolution.
Timber, the original eco-surfboard. Prior to the 1950s, timber was the dominant material used for surfboards. Can we slowly go full circle and realise its potential as the most suitable material for a surfboard? Given it's durability, low environmental impact, and natural beauty, perhaps we should be asking, why not?
Some shapers even boast boards made from locally grown timber and employ local community members, thus lowering the carbon footprint but also enhancing the economy and wellbeing of locals. Surfboard building workshops are common too, such as this five-day experience with Otter Surfboards in Cornwall, UK
It all started with an academic research thesis on the subject of Surfing and Sustainability that was completed in 2018. This research highlighted that the surfing world can do much better with it's environmental and social impact; from it's pinnacle as a competitive sport, all the way down to it's prominence as a fun weekend activity at the beach. We've given talks, facilitated workshops, mentored students and provided research and written content. Our latest project, Surfer vs Planet, is a free digital guide to inspire surfers and those working in the surf industry to become more environmentally aware.
There's more in the pipeline and we're excited to be forging partnerships with key players in the surfing world to safeguard our natural environment and ensure surfing is something everyone can enjoy. Everyone involved at Wave Changer is a volunteer; which means we are driven by a genuine passion and motivation to facilitate positive change.
CHALLENGES FOR THE SURF INDUSTRY....
- increase bio content - reduce packaging or go plastic-free at least - can production be moved onshore? Microfactories? - If not, solar energy, decent wages, look after staff (health scheme, pension etc) - utilise waste materials or permaculture eg: Varuna - reduce ink/branding... embossed logos - financial incentives to return products so that you can re-use or recycle those materials - structure your organisation to be transparent and honest - carbon offsets? eg Carbonhalo