…ask how much went in the trash. If that question can’t be answered, find a shaper who can tell you the weight of their waste. Like a shaper’s signature, it should be standard practice that all shapers are tracking their waste and scoring their efficiency on their surfboards. For if a shaper doesn’t know how much harm they are causing the environment, that surfboard was irresponsibly made.

One step  shapers can take to be responsible surfboard makers is eco-friendly material choice.  Organisations like Sustainable Surf and Entropy Resins are already doing great things to drive eco-conscious material choices in the surfboard manufacturing world. Thankfully surfers are increasingly recognizing and demanding surfboards made with these environmentally sustainable materials. But waste minimisation is something that hasn’t got as much coverage in our drive to eco-serenity, yet it is something that every shaper can easily do.

As I found out shaping surfboards in Hong Kong, not everywhere has it so easy to purchase eco-friendly materials.  So far I have only been able to achieve bio-based epoxy resin in my surfboard and so have acquired the Level 1 ECOBOARD Certification. But I realised I could also make a difference through efficient use of materials and recycling of excess. And so was born my 1% Initiative that drives you as a shaper to minimize your impact to the pIanet with every surfboard you make.

It’s so easy to do and it does good for Mother Nature.  It also challenges you to hone your skills to use better quality techniques, which ultimately saves you money.  All you got to do is give each surfboard a dedicated bin and place anything in there that is not going to get recycled.  That includes latex gloves, resin soaked brushes, masking tape, paper towel, sanding dust, etc. And when you are finished, weigh it and compare that weight to the net weight of the final surfboard. You’re done.  Now brag about how well you scored by glassing your result into your surfboard. Want a better score? Recycle more!

I would love to see shapers all around the world taking the time to responsibly collect their production waste, calculate their efficiency, and mark their score on their surfboards. Otherwise, you can’t claim you are doing all you can for our planet. And for those folks who find it hard to obtain eco-friendly materials, you can still do your part by wasting less and recycling more.

So next time you buy a surfboard, please ask how much was wasted during its production. If that can’t be answered, find a shaper who can answer. And if you’re in Hong Kong, order a custom Makara surfboard. I can guarantee you they are responsibly made.

Support your local shaper.


December 21, 2018

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