As surfers, we are some of the first to feel the effects of pollution and climate change. The ocean is our playground and we try our best to keep it clean, but when the tools of our trade are contributing factors to rising oceans and carbon emission we are put in a bit of a box. Fortunately, there are brands out there that realize surfboards, wetsuits, sunscreen, and even surf wax can be incredibly harmful to the environment. These brands aim to reverse the effects of climate change and pollution through their sustainable products. These products are environmentally friendly, and they work phenomenally, so check them out below!
Patagonia has been on the Yulex path for a while now. Unlike Neoprene, Yulex is a natural rubber that can be sustainably farmed. The original issues with Yulex – lack of flex, stiffness, and overall lack of comfort – are no longer an issue. Patagonia’s new line of Yulex wetsuits is some of the best wetsuits out there. Additionally, they are Fair Trade certified so you can ensure your dollars are contributing to good on all fronts. Unlike most brands, Patagonia wants their products to last a lifetime, so they have created the Worn Wear program, where you can send in your torn, used, and damaged clothing for little to no cost repairs!
Firewire’s Timbertek program has been around for a few years. The shapers at Firewire utilize sustainably grown Paulownia wood and bio-resin. That combination qualifies Timbertek for Eco board certification, an aim that all board builders should have.
In 2015, Vissla signed on to become a Surf Rider Foundation “Surf Industry Defender,” aiming to create sustainable products that help protect our oceans. They have a variety of sustainable products that include their stylish boardshorts made from coconut husks and recycled polyester yarn!
By now, we are all aware that most sunscreens are harmful to coral reefs. But it’s still a challenge to try to find a high quality, dermatologist recommended sunscreen that is reef safe. Well, not anymore! ThinkSport Sunscreen has an SPF rating of 50, does not contain any biological toxic chemicals, and is waterproof for 80 minutes!
If the name gives you any indication, the team over at TreeHugger Surf Wax is doing everything possible to create sustainable products. Every product Tree Hugger Surf Wax creates contains locally sourced beeswax and is handmade. There is no fossil fuel based paraffin wax or factory mass production involved in any form!
Love it or hate it, it appears that the high-performance soft board craze is here to stay. If you’re going to take part in the craze, you might as well do so in an environmentally responsible way! Formula Fun Foamies feature a twin fin fish outline and are made entirely from recycled materials. Once you’ve ridden your Formula Foamie to its death, don’t trash it, mail it back and the guys and Formula Fun will recycle it to make other boards!
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