Outwardly and in reputation, surfing seems like it couldn’t be any more environmentally sensitive. It’s all about connecting with nature: just you and the power of the ocean, nothing but a simple device of plastic and foam between you and the primal forces of the Earth.
To lifelong surfer Stu Bowen, this idyllic vision about surfing is “the height of hypocrisy.” Nearly a half-million surfboards are sold every year, and most boards last just six to 12 months, often snapping under the strain of performance.
When you realize modern surfboard design uses polyurethane and polystyrene, surfboard manufacturing looks about as Earth friendly and spiritual as drilling for oil or the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. And with surfing about to become an Olympic sport and thus even more popular, the pollution inherent in surfboard manufacturing is set to multiply exponentially.
Bowen wants to do something about it.
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