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Three Ways to be a Greener Surfer

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As surfers, we’re pretty like-minded. We love the beach, the sea, the sun, even the cold. We love nature. But how many of us fit the environmentalist stereotype?

Most of us are environmentally conscious and wouldn’t intentionally pollute. But we also have cars, we drive, we traverse the globe. We’re unknowingly hypocritical. We use mass-produced boards, mass-produced wax and our wetsuits are made from petroleum that harms the ocean. We all believe in environmental causes, but few of us ever follow this through with the products we use and the actions we take.

Luckily, eco-friendly alternatives to surfing equipment are becoming more and more available thanks to the incredible advances within the surfing industry and research into environmental materials.





Environmentally friendly wax

In the market today, 95% of surf wax available contains toxic petrochemicals. Biodegradable and petroleum-free surf wax is widely available.

It’s the same price and is just as good as normal wax.

There’s every reason to buy it.



Environmentally friendly surfboards

It’s something quite alien to us UK surfers. But over on the west coast of America it’s becoming a reality.

Like wax, surfboards typically contain petroleum elements, but the real damage comes from the manufacturing. There’s a strong use of poisonous by-products and a copious amount of waste is created. The other issue is the fact that, like a lot of things these days, board production is being outsourced to countries thousands of miles away.

However, in the past year or so, we’ve begun to see some major brands fight for the environment. Firewire are strong supporters of the Ecoboard Project created by the Californian based charity, Sustainable Surf. The project aims to help surfers choose high-performance surfboards with a reduced environmental impact; from the materials to the manufacturing to the transport. With Firewire surfboards taking a lot of surf shops by storm, we should all be able to push these to the forefront of our quiver.



Environmentally friendly travel

Second to flying, driving is something we all do that contributes most to our individual ecological footprint. We need our cars. It’s as simple as that.

Public transport is a near impossible choice for surfing, as surfboards are either banned or frowned upon, and even when you do drag your board onto a bus, the hassle makes it barely worth it. But in an age run by social media, we can do more to travel responsibly. Joining all the local Facebook travel groups for a start. Car share your way around the UK’s best surf spots and meet some new surfing companions along the way. You’ll save some money and feel good about making a greener effort.

If you want to go that extra mile, cycling is another alternative. It can be impractical for a lot of us, but if you can’t cycle to your closest break, it can be an alternative to get to the shops, see friends or go to work and is good for you and the environment.


By Josh Sainsbury


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