Surfboard Blanks“ Go Green”
” Go green” a familiar phrase that used alongside almost everything. “Go green” can relate to your lifestyle, your refrigerator, your food, your car and now it even relates to your surfboard.
Who came up with the idea?
Joey Santley, co-founder of Resurf.org has been finding ways to reduce the waste created within the surf industry. They started with taking old surfboards and finding different uses for them. The best use they found was to grind them all up and add them to concrete and asphalt mixes. They do a great job at creating more volume and don’t effect the durability. After a while they wanted to do more at Resurf.org and started to figure out a way to use polyurethane “dust” left after shaping a board. Over the last 50 years people have thought of ways to try to use the dust, but could never come up with anything. It became a” fact” among shapers that it was unusable waste. Joey Santley has turned the fact into a myth and now uses the dust to create new surfboards.
Why Green came about.
Thousands of surfboards are created everyday from polyurethane foam blanks. From these rough pieces of foam, shapers cut and sand away 20-30% of the foam to create a surfboard. That 20% of foam then becomes waste and is usually found in the form of dust throughout the shaping room. The polyurethane dust is really bad for the environment because it does not break down and biodegrade. Before Green Foam came, the dust was collected and thrown away, ending up in landfills. Since the dust is fine it can easily end up in streams, creeks, rivers or even in a surfers playground the ocean.
How Green foam is made.
As stated earlier 20% of a surfboard blank is wasted every time a board is made. Not only is it wasted, but the waste is not environmentally friendly, nor is it good for your health if inhaled (this is why surfers wear masks while shaping). With all these negatives surrounding polyurethane waste it is great that there is finally a positive use for it. Now the waste is collected and added to batches of new of new ingredients to make brand new foam blanks. The green foam blanks being produces now are not 100% recycled foam, but they are around 60% plus recycled materials. This is the process in it;s most basic form. What really goes into making a green foam blank is top-secret. I’m sure nobody knows but Joey Santley and his crew. We do know that surfboards have finally found their place in the circle of life.
The pros and cons of green foam blanks,
You are lessening your impact on the environment by using green foam.
All the reviews from shaping, glassed, and ridden have all been positive They haven’t been able to see a difference in green foam versus traditional foam.
You can impress those around you with Green Foam.
Your board will look quite unique with bits of stringer and other things from shaping bays that get swept into the mix when collecting the dust.
A green foam blank will cost you a tiny bit more. At Fiberglass Hawaii they cost you $4 more than a traditional blank. Is $4 more really a con when you are saving the environment though? I told you I had to stretch
If you like a perfectly white board, the bits of stringer and things might bug you. So this is a pro and a con!
Overall Green Foam is doing great things. They have taken the surf industries largest impact on the environment and created a way to reduce it and hopefully completely do away with it someday. If you can look past the bits of stringer and small holes in your blank you should definitely have your board made from Green Foam. As surfers we need to protect the environment . Since Mother Ocean gives us so much that we need to give back to her. Using Green Foam is one of the little things we can give back!
See you at the beach!
- Green Surfing: Eco-friendly Surfboards (sierraclub.typepad.com)
- Ford Fusion Hybrid gets soy-based foam seats (reviews.cnet.com)
- ECOBOARD Project – Environmentally Friendly Surfboards (freshnessmag.com)