Complete your setup.

A look at eco-friendly surf accessories available. 

Surf accessories.

The impact of these small but essential items on the environment is often over looked with the focus mainly on boards and wetsuits.
Only recently have eco friendly versions become available.

Tail pads.

Some love them, some don’t need them and some cant surf without them. Sadly that piece of foam stuck to your board is yet another addition to the toxic list. Traditional tail pads are made from EVA foam, a petroleum base foam that contributes to the destruction of our oceans. But dont worry, there are alternatives.

algae foam

  • Bloom, a company that creates foam from algae biomass on lakes and ponds has contributed to foam in Adidas shoes and now started making tail pads for Kelly Slaters’ surf brand “Slater Designs”.

  • Algae grow pretty much anywhere there is water.

  • The Algae is scooped out, solar drying and pulverized. The material is then extruded to create pads.

  • Algae is part of the freshwater ecosystem, but too much can tamper with the balance.

  • The Algae is sourced from lakes and ponds with high algal bloom risks.

  • Algae foam has 20-41% fewer impacts in the top five environmental impact categories (ecosystem, resources, cumulative energy demand, climate change, and water).

biodegradable EVA foam

  • Dakine working in partnership with EcoLogic has created an EVA tail pad that is Biodegradable.

  • By introducing an additive called EcoOne to the EVA foam it accelerates biodegradation of the material.

  • The EVA foam will only start to degrade once it comes in contact with a biologically active landfill.

  • The byproduct is mainly methane gas that could be recaptured into renewable energy.

cork

  • A number of companies have introduced tail pads made from Cork

  • It has a natural foam like characteristics with excellent grip.

  • Cork is also 100% natural, biodegradable and sustainably harvested.

  • The only impact would be energy used to grind and mould the raw material.

  • Depending on the manufacturer, different bonding agents are used to fuse the cork particles.

  • Adding a Cork pad to your new stick will make it eco-friendly and give it a natural look.

Leash.

A leash is definitely one item you cant surf without, from a safety and convenience perspective. It is also the item that needs replacing more than others. Often only the case of a snapped cord, although we have to purchase an entirely new leash and dispose of the old one. That’s a rather unsustainable cycle. 

Revolwe

  • The cord is made from 20% recycled Polyurethane plastic.

  • Rail saver and Cuff strap is 100% recycled PET from plastic bottles.

  • The Cuff padding is made from Yulex, a natural neoprene made of natural rubber from Hevea trees.

  • By using Yulex the CO2 emissions are reduced by ≈80% compared to a conventional leash cuff.

  • The rail saver and Cuff is also detachable and replaceable rather than purchasing a complete new leash.

Kun tiqi

  • Kun Tiqi partnered with Surfrider Foundation Europe to create a more eco-friendly leash.

  • The cord is made from partly recycled Polyurethane plastic.

  • Rail saver and Cuff strap are made from recycled Nylon.

  • The Cuff padding is made from recycled Neoprene.

  • The rail saver and Cuff is also detachable and replaceable rather than purchasing a complete new leash.

Fins.

Alot of development has gone into fin shapes, the flex of materials used and construction. They can make a substantial difference to how a surfboard performs. Fins are now being made more sustainably using recycled material as well as natural materials without compromising on desired flex and performance. 

recycled fishing nets

  • Disgarded and disposed fishing nets that end up in the ocean are called “ghost nets” and make up 10% of plastic in the ocean. These ghost nets are 4 times more harmful to marine life than all other forms of ocean plastic combined. 

  • Futures fins have partnered with Bureo to make fins from recycled fishing nets. Bureo, interecept these nets and recycle them to create a material they call Netplus.

  • The recycled material is combined with Futures’ compound 6 carbon air infusion technology to create fins that are incredibly light weight and resilient.

  • Futures recycled fins are refered to as the Alpha series.

recycled bottle caps & packaging

  • A number of companies are recycling plastic bottle caps to make fins. The Polypropylene plastic used to make bottle caps is a very durable plastic and does not decrease in strength when recycled.

  • The recycled plastic is infused with fiberglass reinforcement for desired flex and strength.

  • 5oceans and Shaka surf are two companies making these fins.

bamboo / hemp / cork

  • Scarfini have combined 3 natural material to replicate a solid composite fin.

  • Hemp, used in the base is one of the worlds strongest natural textile fibers.

  • Cork used as the core for weight reduction.

  • Bamboo is used in the tip for strength and flex.

Wax.

Parrafin, the main ingredient of surf wax, is a byproduct of petroleum.

The substance starts out as a grey-black sludge and undergoes a bleaching process that emits dioxins. Dioxins are highly toxic environmental persistent organic pollutants.

After the bleaching, more chemicals including acrolyn are added to transform the white ooze into solid Parrafin.

Further processing and chemicals including benzene and tooluene are added to create the wax we find on the shelves.

Organic alternatives are an obviously better choice and proven to perform better than traditional toxic wax.

Common ingredients for organic surf wax: Bees-wax, Soy, tree resin, coconut oil, and natural fragrances.

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