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apex_eden_surfboard_031In a world where being ‘green’ is on most people’s minds here in the UK it is good to see that British surfers can now take more of an active part in this movement right at the core of their sport. When being asked to review The Eden Project’s environmentally friendly surfboard my first thoughts were a little pessimistic. Previously any attempts to make a surfboard more environmentally friendly have resulted in negative side effects that would keep any competent surfer standing firmly by their oil guzzling world damaging quiver. Side effects such as extra weight have resulted in enough damage to a surfer’s performance to stop the majority of eco boards and ideas from ever taking off.
However, Eden, after five years of nurturing and development, have got it right. The new eco boards are made in exactly the same way as a traditional surfboard but with a far less negative effect on the environment. Using Home Blown’s new Biofoam blanks which are made from 50% plant material, and a resin made from 97% linseed oil has resulted in a more environmentally friendly surfboard that performs exactly the same way as your favourite thruster. The shaper shapes the board in exactly the same manner and the finishing process is identical only using much better materials along the way. Being able to keep weight to a minimum and keeping the benefits of a hand crafted board means that these boards could be set to take off in a big way. The other good news is that they can be produced and sold for exactly the same price as the stock boards in your local shop.
Only six boards have been made so far but covering a complete quiver from a retro fish and 6’8’’ gun to a 9’1’’ mal and 6’ short board. Tassy Swallows has had a 6’2’’ made and rode it when she was representing the British team at the world junior championship in Ecuador in March.
Running personal mobile surf tours in Cornwall, ‘Surfing is Therapy’ offer a surf school service that is much more bespoke for people entering the world of surfing. Welsh Junior Squad coach Gemma Harris, who is also head coach at Surfing Is Therapy and an experienced surfer with a string of Welsh and British titles, comments, “Having seen people surfing for the day I often help recommend a first board. These are often custom boards so the clients get the very best shape possible. As these eco boards maintain such a high level of performance and are so much better for the environment I would happily encourage our customers to purchase one over a standard board.”
If the next generation of surfers entering the sport start using eco friendly shapes as their first board and the seasoned old sea dogs can be convinced they will maintain the same level of performance their current boards have, then we could be seeing a huge number of these boards flooding our beaches in a very short time. Well done Eden.
Words: Ben Ridding