“Ecoboards” Raising the Level of Surfing Performance

by Kevin Whilden, Co-Founder of Sustainable Surf         

waste for waves 

There is a common perception that “green” products tend to have reduced performance and increased cost. For example, a Prius hybrid car costs a few thousand dollars extra and drives rather slowly and sedately. This perception of uncomfortable tradeoffs is hard to shake. Going “eco” means you are giving up “fun”.


However, surfboards made from the latest eco-friendly materials are changing all of that.  Boards made from recycled EPS blanks are actually stronger than boards made from “virgin” EPS, and new bio-based epoxy resins are just as durable, clear, and easy to use as the petrochemical resins.  Other options such as bamboo stringers and fins made from recycled carpet fibers also increase strength and performance.


All of this sounds great in theory, but the proof comes from pro surfers and shapers. Timmy Patterson has recently made a number of boards from Marko 100% recycled EPS. He says that the foam is noticeably stronger than the equivalent virgin EPS blank. It’s a little harder to shape, but nothing significant for a good shaper with sharp tools. 


Pro surfer, Mike Losness has one of these boards and loves it. It performs so well that it’s the only board he has ridden in the past four months. The board has held up well through some hard surfing. In fact, there are very few stories of the recycled EPS boards actually breaking.


There is no longer any good reason not to order a board made from these eco-friendly materials. It has increased performance while also having up to a 50% reduction in environmental footprint. The cost is the same as any other EPS/epoxy surfboard. That’s a win-win-win scenario. Especially considering that “traditional” surfboard production is highly toxic for both people and the planet. The future is now here.


Even better, you can be part of the solution to create these boards by bringing your waste Styrofoam into Hansens. Then, the Waste to Waves program can recycle it into new EPS surfboard blanks.