Eden rides sustainable surfing wave at Rip Curl Boardmasters

Four revolutionary eco-friendly surfboards are being exhibited by the Eden Project at the Rip Curl Boardmasters Surf & Music Festival at Fistral Beach, Newquay, until Sunday (August 12).

The boards are being heralded as “the most sustainable in the world to date” and two will be surfed by professionals in the Rip Curl Eco Tag Team Contest during the festival.

Every year approximately 750,000 surfboards are manufactured worldwide. The vast majority of these are made from oil-based plastics with little thought to the environmental impact of either their manufacture or disposal at the end of their life.

Eden has been working on its eco board project for four years with the ultimate aim of seeing all boards manufactured using sustainable materials and processes.

The latest boards on show at the Rip Curl Boardmasters have been made with Cornish companies Homeblown and Sustainable Composites. They are lightweight, with a 36 per cent plant-based foam blank (core of the board) laminated in fibreglass cloth and covered in 98 per cent plant-based resin.

Chris Hines, Eden’s Sustainability Director and head of the eco board project, said: “Last October we stated that the term ‘eco surfboard’ wouldn’t exist in ten years time as all boards will be manufactured sustainably. This is now rapidly becoming a reality.

“We are clear in our aims that eco products must be as good if not better than normal products in terms of performance, weight, and durability. They must also be cost competitive.

“The pace of progress is brilliant. The Portreath Valley in Cornwall is the sustainable surf equivalent of Silicon Valley in the USA.”

The Eden eco board project started when some balsa trees were felled in the project’s Rainforest Biome and Chris Hines and his colleague Pat Hudson, Eden’s Waste Neutral Supply Chain Coordinator, decided to try and make the world’s most sustainable surfboard.

It was a 9ft balsa board laminated in hemp cloth and 40 per cent plant resin. The board was produced by a team including Homeblown, Sustainable Composites, board shaper Chris Jones and Ocean Green, who supplied the hemp cloth. It is permanently on show in the Biome where it grew.

The two boards to be surfed in the Rip Curl Eco Tag Team contest are identical and are made from Homeblown Biofoam and Swell EcoComp UV-L Resin made by Sustainable Composites. The other two boards are:

Homeblown – Biofoam
The blanks (core of the board) are made with soya oil that has been refined to mimic the component that normally comes from petrochemicals. This represents almost 40% of the foam formula.
01209 314 446
Homeblown donate 1% of the price of each blank to the Eden Project.

Swell eco-blank
The foam core is made from vegetable oil blended with other natural ingredients, which have been used to replace surfboard foam made entirely from toxic petrochemicals. The gloss surface is produced using a special resin which is 98% vegetable oil and hardened using Ultra Violet rays the same as those found in pure sunshine.
01209 843 484

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