About Polymers and petrochemicals
The truth is, if you buy a surfboard, any surfboard, it has an impact on the environment. The current materials used in surfboard manufacturing, including eco epoxy resins, are polymers derived from petroleum. These resins, like plastic straws, will eventually be replaced, but unlike plastic straws, not as soon as we would like.
There is some good news however, while the surfboard industry strives to find a replacement for petrochemicals, there are resins available now with lower toxicity and best practices that can help to lower carbon footprints.
So we want to be absolutely clear, at Gulf Stream we do not make green surfboards, but the materials we use and our first rate work practices (both detailed below) do have a measurable reduction on the environmental impact of our surfboards.
An ECOBOARD is a high-performance sustainable board. ECOBOARDS have the same technical performance attributes as any modern water-sport board, while having reduced environmental and toxic impacts – through the use of more sustainable materials and manufacturing processes.
By using one of the Qualified Materials (core or resin), the board will have a significant reduction in environmental footprint without affecting performance, durability, or quality.
To carry the ECOBOARD Level One designation, a board must:
Over the past two years we have lowered our waste by more than half.
There are two ways we measure this:
This is a life lesson that can be applied to almost any product, from bikes to cars, clothing to tools. It’s also a lesson we have all learnt to our cost at some stage in our lives.
Whilst cheap doesn’t necessarily equal poor quality, it quite often does mean exactly that. A product with a poor build quality simply doesn’t last as long and will need replacing more often. As a consumer you have to do your research and educate yourself to know the difference.
Surfboards are no different. Know your shaper, find out exactly who made the board, where it was made and how far it has travelled. If you can’t answer these questions, you can’t know it’s carbon footprint or how long it will last.
At Gulfstream, we have been making boards in Woolacombe since 1993. Of course we use the best materials but, most importantly, our craftmanship is unrivalled. We constantly invest in developing our individual excellence as craftsmen. The results stand the test of time. Our reputation is built on it.
Get good advice. If you get good advice that is relevant to you and your personal surfing needs you will make a better, more educated purchase decision. Then you will not need to exchange or replace it as often.
This might seem obvious but getting good advice can be tougher that you think, so scrutinise your sources.
You wouldn’t ask an unqualified builder for advice on how to build your dream house, don’t do it with your dream surfboard.
With 30 years of experience, our advice is honest, considered and clear. It has been trusted by surfers of every ability for generations.
As it stands, the surfboard industry is some way off finding a replacement for petrochemicals. So buying a surfboard with a lower carbon footprint is an imperfect science but it is possible.
You can surf and limit your impact on the environment by educating yourself about materials, asking questions about build quality, understanding best work practices, seeking trusted advice and ultimately making a considered purchase decision.