In 2006, Firewire was the first major high-performance surfboard brand to utilize 100% EPS/Epoxy construction. In addition to emitting 50 times less Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) versus a traditional polyurethane surfboard, Epoxy/EPS boards are also significantly stronger than poly surfboards and thus have reduced environmental impact because they last longer.
Now, Firewire is raising their game by producing a line of surfboards that meet the “ECOBOARD Project” Benchmark developed by Sustainable Surf, an environmental non-profit organization. These ‘ENVIROFLEX’ boards will be glassed with Entropy Super Sap epoxy resin made with 25% biologically derived carbon content. These boards will be released in limited quantities in 2012, before a larger introduction in 2013.
Sustainable Surf developed the ECOBOARD Project to help surfers choose a high-performance surfboard made from the latest advancements in green chemistry and recycled materials. Surfers can be assured that surfboards verified by the ECOBOARD Project have significant and meaningful environmental benefits such as reduced lifecycle CO2 emissions and reduced toxicity exposures to workers.
The ECOBOARD Project provides the first science-based “eco mark” for surfboards to verify the use of advanced sustainable materials. These logos are individually hand stamped with a unique code for tracking purposes, and then laminated onto the surfboard during the manufacturing process.
“Firewire is a firm believer in transitioning towards ever ‘greener’ surfboards and with that in mind, we welcome the efforts by Sustainable Surf to set industry standards, and to work with individual board builders to improve their ‘eco-credentials’, said Firewire CEO Mark Price, “To have access to their expertise in this area is of significant benefit. They are serious about what they do”.
Sustainable Surf has used lifecycle impact analysis (LCA) of surfboard materials to determine which components can significantly reduce the impact of surfboard production on people and the planet. These materials include any resin made with at least 25% bio-carbon content and/or a foam blank made with at least 25% recycled content. A surfboard made with both of these materials can have up to a 40% reduction in total lifecycle CO2 footprint.
“All surfers should be concerned about CO2 emissions because it directly threatens surfing,”
says Kevin Whilden, Co-Founder of Sustainable Surf. Sea level rise, ocean acidification, and ocean warming will produce a “triple-whammy” impact on surf breaks worldwide. Sea level rise will create a “permanent high tide” condition globally, swamping out most surf breaks. Likewise, coral reef ecosystems are expected to go extinct globally in this century. These impacts are not well-known by surfers, and they should become a higher priority for action by the surfing community.
“Given the risks to our ocean playground, why not buy a surfboard that has a significantly reduced CO2 footprint if it doesn’t affect performance, durability, or price?” says Kevin. Buying a verified ECOBOARD is an easy first step for any surfer to take to reduce their surfing CO2 footprint.
More details on the Ecoboard Project are available at http://www.sustainablesurf.org/ecoboard
About Sustainable Surf:
Sustainable Surf is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to promoting surfing as the global leader in sustainable lifestyles and sustainable business. Cutting edge programs by Sustainable Surf include the Ecoboard Project, Waste to Waves which recycles waste styrofoam into new EPS surfboard blanks, and Deep Blue Surfing which helps surf contests become more sustainable.
About Firewire: Firewire believes that refinements to the shape of today’s modern surfboards can only produce incremental performance benefits. Exponential improvements in performance require the ongoing development of new materials and construction methods, which, in turn, will fuel new design opportunities. In addition, with the increased eco-consciousness of today’s consumer, Firewire is constantly refining our raw materials to decrease our carbon footprint and our toxic emissions in comparison to the existing surfboard industry.
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