Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Shifting Tides Has Moved!

The Surfrider Foundation has consolidated all of our issue-based blogs into one Coastal Blog. Come check it out at

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Greener Blue through a green lens

Check out The Greener Blue, a cool network of surf-focused green bloggers and green-focused surf bloggers. The site seeks to engage visitors with a broad spectrum of info about sustainable and downright cool stuff from the surf culture, as well as ocean related environmental issues!

Written by experienced surfers and topic experts, TGB offers authoritative content, compelling discussions, and actionable advice—not to mention access to the best of "green" surf products. Our partners and sponsors are examples of inspired cooperation and coordination, not branded warfare. The field is level—the products and ideas will speak for themselves—the audience is the decision maker.

I, for one, am stoked to see the issue of sustainability in and around the surf taking on more of a mainstream spin. Can't wait to see what they can do.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hobie's Green Shop

I recently visited the Hobie shop in downtown San Clemente and was stoked to learn that it's now an all "green" products. They've worked with all of the surf industry manufacturers to bring in only their sustainable product lines.. shirts, shoes, sunglasses, etc. It's a great concept where you can pick up some cool gear but also know that you're pushing the industry to reduce the environmental impacts of their products. Turns out they also have an online shop called Fragile Ocean.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Surfboard Cradle-to-Grave Project

The Surfboard Cradle-to-Grave Project

by Tobias C. Schultz

As the surf community has been made aware of its own environmental footprint, theinterest in creating a surfboard from "green" materials has grown exponentially. But without a life cycle assessment of the baseline materials used in surfboard manufacture, it is impossible to make informed decisions to reduce the footprint of the sport.

What part of the board contributes the most to its environmental footprint? Which parts of the process will be the easiest, and cheapest, to improve? These are the questions the surf community needs to answer before real improvements can be made; these are the questions the Surfboard Cradle-to-Grave (SCG) Project was started to resolve.

In the Surfboard Cradle-to-Grave Report, you can find the life cycle carbon footprint of the two most common types of surfboard, polyurethane (P/U) and expanded polystyrene (EPS). By comparing the environmental footprints of future boards against these baseline materials, we can find out which new types of board are truly ‘greener.’ “It’s easy to buy an ‘environmentally friendly’ surfboard and say you have reduced your footprint—but is it a ‘green’ board just because its maker says so?” says Tobias Schultz, the founder of the SCG Project. “The only way to make a real comparison is to assess the footprint of a new type of board, and compare it to the footprint of conventional surfboards.”

Over a surfboard’s entire lifetime, it is the manufacture of a board’s foam core and petrochemical resin that make up most of the carbon footprint; these two board components account for the lion’s share of the total toxic by-products, as well. The fiberglass that makes up a surfboard’s outer skin is responsible for a tiny fraction of these footprints—less than 5%.

“This means making a board with substitutes for fiberglass—balsa wood or bamboo, for example—do not produce boards with a significantly smaller footprint, even in a best case scenario,” the SCG Report states.

The SCG Technical Report contains information on both the carbon footprint, and information on total toxic by-products; these two metrics are very good indicators for the pollution arising from a product in general. Using the recommendations presented in these reports, we can all gauge the best ways to reduce our environmental footprint.

Read the SCG reports at:

Contact: Tobias Schultz,

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

J.P. Holeman Podcast

Surfider's CEO, Jim Moriarty, recently sat down with J.P. Holeman, of Holeman Surf Designs to talk about board materials and what he's doing with "Ecoboards" and how he's trying to reduce his environmental impact.

Podcasts available on Surfrider's site. "J.P. is a custom surfboard shaper in Southern California. I sought him out for a few reasons. I wanted to hear his perspective on how his world has changed since Clark Foam shut it's doors. I also wanted to hear his view on the experimentation and variety that we're seeing with surfboard design. Most of all I wanted to connect with him and understand how he has altered his worldview and his approach to living and shaping with the least environmental impact possible. Listen in as we catch up just south of Oceanside Pier... on the beach."
[Download the ".mp3" version, 31 MB] or on Itunes.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Drift Magazine covers "Green" Boards

The online surf 'zine Drift has a nice slideshow and story about the environmental issues associated with surfboard manufacturing.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

British shaper Steve Croft on the Difficulties of making an "Ecological" Surfboard

Drift Magazine

MS: Tell me about the eco boards you did for the Eden Project...

SC: Yeah that was a really interesting project and helped raise awareness of how toxic surfboards are. Ten years ago when Mark [Dickinson] and I started out shaping, we put a lot of time and our own money into researching more ecological ways to make surfboards and it’s quite frustrating that this hasn’t developed further. A lot of so-called ‘eco boards’ are not that ecological really, and the technology needs to come a lot further in terms of performance. It says a lot that the boards I build for myself are not ‘eco boards’, and I consider myself environmentally responsible. Saying that, we can’t keep using products that are made from petro-chemicals. The linseed oil resin is really good, but difficult to work with. Polystyrene/epoxy materials have come a long way in terms of usability and epoxy releases at least 50% less VOC’s into the atmosphere than polyester, making it safer for the workers and the environment. I am constantly looking for new ideas and materials to lessen the impact of the boards that we produce. We are currently looking into the viability of having someone produce recycled fins for us. Any new material has to at least match, if not out-perform the current standard, be competitive in price and be necessary to the market. I haven’t yet found a satisfactory replacement for polyester resin and polyurethane blanks on the Empire boards, so I’m working on the Rolls Royce principle of building less but making them last. Hopefully people will still be riding and enjoying the boards that I am building now in 30-40 years’ time.