Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sustainable Eco-Friendly Surfboards

For as wonderful a sport surfing is, and how surfers are devoted to the sea, their surfboards are very unfriendly to the environment. Well, here comes a eco-friendly surfboard:

Surfer magazine

Moss Research Announces “Industry-First” Sustainable Surfboards
Eco-Flex™ Technologies Gain Sustainability Endorsement
By SURFER/ Posted on January 25, 2011

SOLANA BEACH, CA Master surfboard shaper Jake Moss, 15 year manufacturer of Moss Research Surfboards announces the availability of a new collection of surfboards, which define the industry standard in meeting sustainability criteria relating to human, environmental, economic, and social impacts.

Up until now, Surfboard making has arguably been one of the least “eco-friendly” crafts around. The traditional surfboard manufacturing process is toxic and emits gases known to be hazardous to shapers; the process depletes the ozone layer, and contributes to global warming. Previously, alternatives have not resulted in performance improvements for surfers. “The few people making ‘green’ boards have run in to two problems; the performance is never as good as a conventional surfboard, and they haven’t been able to demonstrate them as eco-friendly,” says Jake Moss. “Our Eco-boards, refined over the past 4 years, are better to surf than conventional boards. And we’ve worked hard to establish that our construction processes and materials are, in fact, more environmentally friendly.”

The customizable line of Moss Research boards utilizes “Eco-Flex” technology, which gets its name from a construction process using plant fibers, a 100% recycled core and an ultra strong and elastic plant-based, non-VOC (volatile organic compound) resin.

According to Moss, “The performance surfboard never had a sustainable beginning.” In the late 1950’s the lightweight surfboard, using a polyurethane core reinforced with fiberglass and polyester resin was introduced. It was a performance breakthrough, however, at a time where there were few surfers and little consideration to the waste streams produced. To date, a majority of boards are still made of the same materials, toxic and non-recyclable plastics, containing diisocyanates (MDI, TDI) and VOCs.

Now, with a world surfing population of over 10 million, with each surfer owning an average of 3 boards, there are over 30 million surfboards in use. These boards will eventually become garbage, with no way to down-cycle the resources. “Plastic recycling has never been a ‘closed loop’, with over 30% of all plastics having the potential to end up in the ocean, in the North Pacific Gyre. That’s a horrific version of the future that no surfer wants to help create”, Moss says.
Read the whole story in Surfer Magazine.

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