Sustainable Surf’s Top 10 List for 2016

2016 was another XXL year for Sustainable Surf. We’ve grown and diversified all of our unique programs, providing “on ramps” for people to see how they can live a more ocean friendly, Deep Blue Life. We have developed partnerships with innovative companies that are thought leaders in sustainable business, that provide sustainability touch-points to their customers. Pro athletes are endorsing sustainable surfboards and winning competitions on them.

THANK YOU to all of our sponsors and partner companies that are changing their practices to be more sustainable. Our community is getting stronger every year.

The shift toward sustainability in surf culture is happening faster than ever before – and we’re proud to be at the forefront of catalyzing that change.

Looking Ahead – we want to partner with you to help effect a Deep Blue change and grow our community of Deep Blue Surfers. We will be providing more content and even more opportunities to help you live a Deep Blue Life. This is the first step toward protecting oceans in 2017.

Please make a donation TODAY as part of our growing community of Deep Blue Surfers – those taking small, medium and large steps towards living a more ocean friendly life. Our impact and success as an organization depends on support from people like you.

And speaking of impact , we proudly present Sustainable Surf’s Top 10 List of Successes for 2016 ! (Ranked in no particular order).

  • Top Pro Surfers Win on ECOBOARDS: It’s a fact, boards that use more sustainable materials perform at the highest level. 2016 saw Michel Bourez win the Pipe Masters on his Firewire/Pyzel ECOBOARD, Zane Schweitzer win the World Surf SUP Championship on a Starboard ECOBOARD. And many others like Kelly Slater, Jordy Smith , Stu Kennedy, Lakey Peterson, Sage Erickson and Bethany Hamilton all have ECOBOARDS in their World Tour quivers.
  • Growing Community @ Two Pines Farm: Our latest video in the Deep Blue Life series features a surfer turned farmer – who turns his home garden into an organic micro-farm producing food for a local restaurant, and ends up creating community along the way. New partnerships with brands like Ecoscraps (and others being lined up) are now helping to support the DBL storytelling platform, so expect lots more in 2017.
  • Deep Blue Events go Beyond Surf: 2016 also saw the Deep Blue Event program expand beyond surfing into SUP, arts, music and cultural events. We worked with the Wanderlust yoga festival on Oahu in February, and in November, we helped the ISA SUP World Championships in Fiji reduce its environmental footprint and support the local Fijian community. Through our DBE program, the ISA and their partners demonstrated an impressive level of commitment to holding an “ocean-friendly” event, which sets a model for how surfing events will operate during the 2020 Olympics. And we’re currently in talks with other sports leagues around the world for expanding into kiteboard and windsurfing events.
  • Upcycling Sails with MAFIA Bags: We joined forces with MAFIA Bags to set up a kiteboard and windsurf sail recycling partnership with Starboard, Severne Sails and Airush Kite. In addition, we helped develop a bag for SUPKids that is now part of the MAFIA product range, and we’re currently working on an exciting new colab bag project with internationally renowned product designer, Yves Behar, at the helm for 2017.
  • Groundbreaking surfboard Lifecycle Study:  Collaborating with partner Pure Strategies, we published the world’s first authoritative ECOBOARD lifecycle study. The study shows a 30% reduction in the carbon footprint of an ECOBOARD using Entropy Super Sap bio-epoxy resin and a Marko Foam EPS blank with 25% recycled content.
  • We’re Growing ! : In 2016, we hired a new staff member to manage the ECOBOARD Project. Brett Giddings brings substantial experience in managing sustainable product verification programs, he’s growing the organization’s impact, and he’s got a smooth rail game too!
  • Waste to Waves adds Materials and Partnerships: Our Waste to Waves program continued to develop exciting up-cycling partnerships – re-imagining waste as new surf gear. We worked with Recork to develop the world’s first recycled cork traction pad, helped SUGA Yoga Mats to set up collection points for used wetsuits, and partnered with ECO-Fins to help show that there are solutions for collected ocean plastic.
  • True to This !  Volcom Pipe Pro goes even Deeper: It’s hard to believe that the Volcom Pipe Pro is entering its sixth year as a Deep Blue Surfing Event.  The VPP was the first event to become a sustainable event on Hawaii’s North Shore, and it developed the model that is being used by all major surf contests on the North Shore. What’s even more amazing: it continues to improve on sustainability performance year-on-year!
  • ECOBOARD Project jumps Next Level: We introduced the ECOBOARD Gold Level designation in 2016 and a new website with more than 50 Approved ECOBOARD Builders. We’ve also expanded beyond surfboards, with SUP, kite, wind and river surf craft now carrying the ECOBOARD logo. At last count, nearly 100,000 ECOBOARDS have been built since the launch of the program in 2012.

That’s only the tip of the iceberg! With your support, 2017 will see us make even more impact and deliver the Deep Blue cultural change we know is possible. Here’s a small sample of what we have on tap for the next 12 months:

  • A Deep Blue Life webisode series. Helping to share the stories of influential people living an ocean-friendly life and inspire a new generation of Deep Blue Surfers to look after our ocean playground, use greener forms of energy and transport and choose more sustainable surf products.
  • The continued growth of the ECOBOARD Project. More brands, building more boards, for a broader mix of water-lovers, in even more places around the world. That’s more surfboards, SUPs, kiteboards, windsurf boards, riversurf boards with more sustainable materials.
  • The ongoing expansion of the products and materials included our Waste to Waves program. We want to make it even easier for people to recycle waste and buy it back again as rad surf gear. We’ll be developing more drop off points, collaborating with more partners and getting creative with ocean plastics.

Deep Blue Event designation for a growing number of events all around the world. We’re going to continue working with our partners to see surf, SUP, wind, arts, music and cultural events adopt sustainable practices by diverting waste from landfill, using green energy and transport, minimizing climate impacts and engaging local communities.