The great majority of the surfboards on the market is made out of plastic.

Typically the core of a surfboard is either Polyurethane foam (PU) or Expanded Polystyrene foam (EPS). The skin is made by saturating a cloth of fibreglass with either Polyester resin or Epoxy resin. All of these materials, including foam, resin, glass cloth, plugs and fins, are ultimately byproducts of oil refinement.

The market now offers some alternatives to these materials. Some examples are cores made out of partially recycled foam, plant-based carbon-content resins, alternatives to fibreglass such as flax, basalt or timber/cork veneers. In my humble opinion this is still not good enough (calling EPS foam an environmentally friendly material is a massive stretch), but at least we are moving the first steps towards something better and I believe it is worth to invest in it. After some research and experimentation I managed to make a few boards using some of these materials. An example is the boards below, glassed with 100% flax (no fibreglass), partially recycled EPS foam and 30% biobased content resin.

Board displayed: 5'7" • 20 1/2" • 2 1/2" Commuter.

Board displayed: 5'7" • 20 1/2" • 2 1/2" Commuter.

Another interesting material that can replace fibreglass is basalt cloth. It is sourced from a volcanic rock and is stronger and with comparable flex properties to fibreglass…very interesting option actually.

The issue is complex and the solution is not quite clear yet.

However, I do believe that something is set in stone: a sustainable surfboard is the one that lasts for a long time, it is worth to be taken care of and doesn’t end in a landfill after one season.

Please feel free to get in touch if you want to know more about these materials or hit the following links: