Happy Earth Day! Today is a day to celebrate our planet and to focus on ways we can protect it for future generations. As surfers, some big ways we can do that is by embracing responsible materials and reducing or re-using waste that is created.
Most surfboards in the lineup are often made from petroleum-based materials that are harmful to the environment. These materials are not biodegradable and can take hundreds of years to decompose.
We’ve worked for close to two decades creating better alternatives for riding waves. Our hand-built wooden surfboards are made from local, sustainable Northern White Cedar, a material that’s been used in surfboards for a hundred years. Here are some reasons why wooden surfboards are a great choice for surfers looking for a more eco-friendly board:
Sustainability: We chose to work with cedar because it grows plentifully here in Maine. We created our board process around its properties. Cedar is a renewable resource and is harvested in a way that creates minimal impact on the land. For example, cedar typically grows in swampy areas and as such is generally harvested in winter months when the ground is frozen. By choosing a wooden surfboard, you can help reduce the demand for non-renewable materials and support sustainable forestry practices.
Durability: Wooden surfboards are more durable than foam surfboards. They rarely show pressure dings and dents and can last a lifetime with just a little care. Scrape the wax off after years of use and they often look as good as new.
Zero Waste: Grain saves any offcuts with potential utility, even our shavings and floor sweepings get used primarily as animal bedding at local farms. Larger offcuts are transformed into new products when inspiration strikes. Edgings from straightening planks become rail strips, short cutoffs are used for internal blocking, and longer offcuts are used to make paipos and handplanes. Even short and thin plank cutoffs have a purpose as internal blocking, surfboard fins, or handmade gift certificates. We continuously seek ways to close the loop on our own waste stream and incorporate recycled material and waste-stream elements from other industries.
In the end, we can come up with fun sayings like ‘Waste no Waste’ all day long. But we all need to think, and act, a bit differently. We’re constantly looking for ways to improve our methods and materials and we’re passionate about the process. We believe wooden surfboards deserve a much bigger place in the lineup and we’re proud of the 18 years we’ve been a part of this community of board builders pushing to do better.
Happy EarthDay everyone!