Are we a nation of Green Surfers?

Have you got the latest copy of Wavelength Surf Magazine? Well if not, go and get one. This edition is probably the best one yet as it focuses on green issues in Surfing and has plenty of interesting articles and interviews in there, including one of Surfers Against Sewage CEO Hugo Tagholm, as well as a nice little product guide.

But better still, the green issue has The Green Wave founder Gordon Fontaine's article as one of the main features. Titled 'Are we a nation of Green Surfers?', it is based on Gordon's dissertation research and explores the future of the green segment in our beloved surfing industry. Here's a little snippet...

Surfing is a green sport, right?

Here’s the basic thing, us surfers need nature to play ball in order to do what we do. And when all elements come together, I think we’ll all agree that surfers can be some of the most stoked and grounded people on earth.

For this reason I believe surfers have the power to make a difference globally, by spreading their ‘Aloha’ and inspiring others to find peace within themselves. Unfortunately the truth is that surfing is not all as harmonious and perfect as people would think.

Look at surfboards for example. It was following World War Two, in the 1950’s that technological advances made their way into the surfing world, allowing the transition from wooden boards to the polyurethane version. Over 60 years down the line, and the PU boards are still the standard option to now millions of surfers. But PU boards aren’t brilliant when it comes to the environment.

Although the blanks are generally favoured by shapers due to their fine, brittle and easily shape-able characteristics, they also represent real environmental challenges. Not only do they expose the individuals involved in their manufacturing process to serious health threats, they also present high risks of nearby environmental pollution and are non-renewable.

For over 40 years, Clark Foam exercised a near-monopolistic control over the surfing industry. In 2005 however, the market-leading Californian factory got pulled up by the United States Environmental Protection Agency for using toluene diisocyanate, a highly toxic chemical that’s now illegal in the US. After complaints from ex-employees regarding working conditions and related health issues, Gordon Clark decided it was best to destroy all his machinery and put an end to the Clark Foam era...

Read the full article in Wavelength Surf Mag - Issue 241.


Gordon Fontaine
Gordon Fontaine

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