Surfing remains one of those activities that portrays an environmentally friendly nature, reveling in the majesty of the ocean's power and beauty, yet utilizes very non-environmental gear. Polyethylene foam is very toxic to produce and work with and the largest supplier of surfboard blanks, Clark Foam, was shut down a few years ago for continuing to violate EPA regulations. Homeblown, a UK company, has developed deployable foam technology with an environmentally friendly twist. The stateside sister company, HomeBlown U.S.
, has announced the availability of a "Green" surfboard blank, with 50% of the material made from plant-based products. They claim 36% less global warming emissions and a 61% reduction in non-renewable energy use. The company is also making "Biofoam" for other applications such as insulation and panels and is employing a deployable system for site-based production, realizing that shipping raw materials is much less energy-intensive than shipping a final product. The prices of these surfboard blanks is competitive with traditional polyethylene foam yet is 10% lighter and 20% stronger! Another UK company, the ecosurfstore
, has developed environmentally-friendly surfboards using balsa ribs overlayed with hemp cloth and resin. Now all we need is for all us surfers to start utilizing this technology and keep demanding eco-friendly alternatives!