How to Surf Eco-Friendly
Last Updated: 31 October 2018
As the sport of surfing grows, so does it’s an environmental impact. Surfing equipment made of non-biodegradable materials such as synthetic resin surfboards, neoprene wetsuits, and petroleum-based surf wax are just some of the products used by surfers to be more eco-friendly.
Be An Environmentally-Friendly Surfer: know your products
Environmentally conscious surfing companies such as Envirosurfer are attempting to address some of the ecological issues with surfing products and offer green alternatives.
Long-lasting board materials (less wasteful and less toxic than typical polyurethane boards):
- Epoxy boards;
- Wooden boards;
- Bamboo-based resin boards.
Other tips include using thinner and more durable wetsuits, which create less waste than typical models. Wetsuits not containing PVC are also a less toxic option.
And while surf wax may not seem like the biggest problem in the ocean, there are quality petroleum-free waxes available, made from natural ingredients, thus more environmentally friendly.
In the more general beach-going category – and by no means limited to surfers – is the subject of sunscreen.
Most sunscreens contain toxic chemicals like oxybenzone and other poisonous ingredients that pose dangers to sea life and may have human health concerns. Fortunately, sunscreens free of these toxins are also widely available.
Sustainable Surfing Organizations
Other ways in which surfers are trying to ‘save the planet’ include projects like Bali’s own Eco Surf Rescue Uluwatu, which is fighting to keep Uluwatu beach – one of Bali’s most beautiful surf spots – clean and safe for future generations.
Then there is Surf for Life. The organization’s mission is to channel the interest and energy of individual surfers into teams that travel internationally to various project sites where they serve as hands-on volunteers.
The non-profit organization WAVES for Development was the result of a surf trip to northern Peru. Several volunteer programs help the local youth becoming empowered adults. Also, help shaping traveler’s views of the world and themselves and becoming more eco-friendly.
Read more about surfing and the environment on Care2.