Eden takes Eco Board to California to help surfing world go green
The Eden-inspired Eco Board is being taken to California to spur the surfing world towards a greener future.
Eden’s Sustainability Director Chris Hines will present the board at the commissioning of UK-based surfboard blank manufacturer Homeblown’s new factory in San Diego.
The Eco Board started life after a giant balsa tree fell to earth in Eden’s Humid Tropics Biome.
Chris Hines and colleague Pat Hudson worked with Cornwall-based companies to make a “blank” – a surfboard core – from the timber and more environmentally-friendly materials than those used in conventional board production.
The first balsa prototypes were too heavy so the team have worked to produce an eco polyurethane foam blank.
The result is a collaboration between Eden and Homeblown and two other companies, Sustainable Composites and Hillzee Surboards, all of which are based in Cornwall.
The latest prototype is made of a 40 per cent plant-based blank, laminated in hemp cloth and a bio-resin. Eden hopes that the new greener technology will win over the Californian surfing industry recently shaken by the closure of Clark Foam.
This giant company manufactured 65 per cent of the world’s surfboard blanks but went out of business following stringent new environmental regulations.
Chris Hines said: “Showing a prototype surfboard to the Californians may seem like taking coals to Newcastle but we believe that the new version of the Eco Board represents a hugely-exciting leap forward for the industry and sport.
“For manufacturers and surfers to be won over by them, Eco Boards must be as good if not better in terms of performance, and cost competitive. Ultimately we believe all surfboards will be made from sustainable materials sourced from the indigenous plant base.”
Chris Hines, who founded the pressure group Surfers Against Sewage and was recently awarded the Surfer’s Path Green Wave Award, is to present the latest prototype to a senior member of the US surfing community.
Chris added: “The Eco Board project is a natural fit with Eden’s core values of plants, people and sustainable futures.”
Homeblown Managing Director Tris Cokes said: “I’ve been making boards for 40 years and in that time surfing has become a huge global industry with global environmental and social impacts.
“When Clark Foam announced their shut down in December last year, we immediately saw the opportunity and this opening is a great landmark. We are pleased that the chemistry and processes used in Homeblown production comply with the US Environmental Protection Agency’s tough regulations. Our unique delivery system also means highly efficient use of materials and energy and reduced waste streams.”
The San Diego factory will be Homeblown’s third, following their Redruth, Cornwall outlet and one in Jeffrey’s Bay, South Africa.
Tris said: “We believe it is vitally important to reduce “surfboard miles” by manufacturing close to the market.
“By following this policy we reduce the carbon footprint and global warming impact of the sport. It is a form of madness to transport surfboard blanks half way round the world. Big volume and low weight being transported long distances equals a big negative environmental footprint.”
On the importance of the green prototype, Tris is clear: “The Eco Board is the real future. This is one in a series of prototypes but we are moving rapidly and hope to progress the foam and get to market in the near future.
“We will continue working with Eden and our other partners in pursuit of the ultimate goal, a 100 per cent natural surfboard that can be used by everyone.”
The party from Cornwall, UK are protecting the planet by offsetting the carbon generated by their flights through climatecare.org.