If you live near the beach, I bet you love surfing or know someone who does. Or maybe you’ve just heard The Beach Boys’ hit song “Surfin’ Safari” and imagined grabbing a board and hitting the waves. But not so fast! I bet you didn’t know that surfboards have a negative impact on the environment.
The standard surfboard is created by using polyurethane foam and polyester resin. These substances are toxic and can leave a big carbon footprint. Once the ‘gnarly’ surfboards are worn out, they end up in a landfill.
Recently, a farmer from the Gold Coast developed a more eco-friendly board by using lemon grass. Why lemongrass? The farmer-turned-surfboard-designer Meg McDougall chose lemongrass because it has a foam-like structure that floats when processed and is waterproof. Lemongrass’ vascular structure is also more buoyant and lighter than most of the regularly used materials.
Ms. McDougall, who is working with a Currumbin surfboard company, is releasing a new full-size model of her board soon. She hopes that surfers will hop on one of her eco-friendly boards to help protect the environment.
McDougall is not the only innovator to make new boards that can potentially help sustain the environment. Other leaders are creating new ways of producing surfboards right out of their very own houses! These inventors are energizing the industry by coming up with new techniques and ideas to make surfboards more durable and eco-friendly.
Anything I can take and turn it useful is got to be better than it sitting in the bottom of a dirt pile somewhere.”
– Adam Baldwin, surfboard-maker from the Sunshine Coast
Currently, many of the eco-friendly boards are made outside of the country and have a shorter lifespan than traditional board options. Changing the surfboard industry now might catch surfers’ attention and bring them away from the older boards that cause harm to the environment.
Hopefully in the near future, pro surfers will use these fascinating eco-friendly surfboards, to start a worldwide surfing revolution!