The reason why surfing became a multimillion-dollar sports industry is that brands appeal to consumers' emotions and dreams in a very effective way. The surf industry is what it is, and surfing wouldn't be what it is today without the innovations and technologies companies have developed during the sport's first century of existence. Surfing is supposed to be a near-zero carbon emission footprint, but the future still doesn't look bright. So, how can we turn the surf industry upside down and become part of the solution. Isn't it time we glide towards a more sustainable world? Don't hesitate to send tips!

Cover: Breitling’s partnership with sustainable apparel manufacturer Outerknown, co-founded by Kelly Slater. The watch features a Nato strap crafted from ECONYL® yarn, an innovative material created from nylon waste.

Clothing

Board shorts are being reasonably easy to produce, but they can be as expensive as $200. Marketing strategists sell you innovative stretch fabrics, revolutionary water-repellent coatings, and super comfortable out seams. But really, what are they made of? Polyester and elastane. Could organic cotton become a thing?

Actually, we really don't like the feel of polyester board shorts on our skin.

"Since organic cotton has not been treated with pesticides, it is also better for the skin of everyone involved - from the farm worker to the final consumer - you. Furthermore, less greenhouse gases are emitted (since the production of fertilisers mainly depends on fossil fuels), and less artificial irrigation is necessary for organic cotton, resulting in better water management and preservation of groundwater." Source: twothirds.com

There's no doubt, tons of small brands are out there that deserve our and maybe your support, reach out to us to complete the list of sustainable options.

Wetsuits

Sixty percent of wetsuits are produced in the same factory. Believe it or not, the majority of the world's wetsuits are made in the same place. Taiwan's Sheico Group produces two million wetsuits per year for the planet's most prestigious surf companies. So, don't expect huge differences between neoprene models from rival wetsuit brands. So, what about Yulex and Limestone Neoprene?

These wetsuit are lighter, warmer and last longer than oil derived neoprene.

"Created by Japanese company Yamamoto, the neoprene is made from limestone sourced rubber. Nitrogen gas blown rubber that increases the insulation of the wetsuit, making it warmer. A 23% higher closed-cell structure than oil-derived neoprene, making it more buoyant. It is 98% waterproof, whereas oil-derived standard is only 70%. "Limestone" neoprene is way more expensive than a classic neoprene but cutting classic distribution network cuts costs, today you can buy a limestone neoprene wetsuits, handmade in a specialist workshop for the same price as a classic wetsuit."

Have a look at sennosen.com

Surfboards

All materials involved in the production of surfboards are toxic. Some surfboard brands outsource their production as is not a highly lucrative activity. NOTOX is leading the way and when this C19 nightmare is finally over, we'll visit them for a full report. Pretty cool to see the French brand inspire people across the globe.

Surf Wax

Ninety-five percent of all surf wax sold worldwide contains petrochemical additives, solidifying chemicals, high-strength bleach, and paraffin. So, surf wax is basically a petroleum-based product that will do more harm than good to your health and will cause damage to the oceans and marine life. An alternative solution? Make your own wax or buy some eco-friendly alternatives.

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Sunscreen

Unfortunately, there are no sunscreens 100 percent safe for corals and reefs, and marine life. It has been proved that oxybenzone and octinoxate, two of the most common ingredients in chemical sunscreens, decrease corals' defenses against bleaching. In the medium-term, and especially in crowded beaches, when sunscreens get in touch with the water, they will damage and eventually kill coral reefs. And it is not like there aren't any good alternatives.

mandanaturals.com

Wave Pools

Make no mistake: the first generation of wave pools is an energy-intensive industry. This explains the price you have to pay to surf an artificial wave. But can we not bash Kelly for chasing his dreams? This innovation is here to stay, and yes there is room to improve it. Soul-surfing qualms aside, the wave he created in a test pool in Lemoore, California, is perfect. Disgustingly so. But the amount of energy needed to created a wave that good is not a small thing. That’s why Kelly Slater Wave Company decided to partner with PG&E’s Solar Choice Program. What that means, is the the wave will be run off of 100% solar energy.

Surf Travel

Oh boy, we sure kept the best for last hey. Surfers are known for globetrotting. Disappearing at the drop of a hat to chase down a perfect swell. But while traveling, we are burning fuel in cars, airplanes, wave-runners, charter boats and off-road vehicles. Each journey we take produces greenhouse gases that are causing climate change. When that time of year comes around where you can start planning your surf getaway, think smart. Surf trips are amazing experiences and a reward for working hard the rest of the year, so don't get a guilty conscience by trashing the environment. The past year, we planted 100 trees for every single surf charter booking. It's a start, but we can do better. More about that later.

Choose Your Spot

There are destinations you can go that are greener than others, e.g. Costa Rica provides 96% of all its energy from renewable sources. Many famous surf spots are in wild areas filled with natural beauty. You can help preserve these locations by staying at eco friendly accommodations. Avoid hotels or complexes that have been built on cleared coral reefs, believe it or not some companies have been known to blow away parts of coral reefs to clear beaches for tourists and to make foundations for buildings such as hotels. And if you really want to have a positive impact, stay home and enjoy your local break.

Transport

When booking your flight look for a carbon offsetting option. A flight from California to South Africa creates over 5 tons of CO2. When booking a 1000 dollar flight, take 5%, and use it to plant trees. With 50 dollar you can have 50 trees planted and these will offset your carbon footprint. Our new travel app will make that as easy as pushing a button.

Be A Sustainable Tourist

Leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but memories. Tourists can have a massive detrimental effect on a local economy by using valuable resources. Through a little research you can find ecologically sensitive companies and accommodation that work to preserve the local environment, culture & surf.