The toxicity of surfboards is no secret. Polyurethane, epoxy resin, expanded polystryene…these are serious compounds with known and unknown harms to the environment and humans alike. The surf industry needs to understand and address the use of these materials in its core product. After 30 years of the same manufacturing processes, it’s time for change. A time for environmental responsibility.

There is movement in the direction of more sustainable, or “green” materials, however, these “green” boards are dependent on the waste of other toxic industries. It’s a flawed system and far from sustainable and responsible. Ours is in an industry that prides itself on its connection to the Earth; hypocrisy at its finest. In 2008 alone, the surf industry racked up $7.22 Million in sales. So suffice it to say, there is money available to fund the appropriate research. No one has. Rerip shall.

For the past three years, Rerip has diverted hundreds of boards from landfills. This is not enough and efforts need to be amplified. This means scaling used board collections nationwide, encouraging used board exchanges, and most importantly, funding research to identify truly sustainable manufacturing process and reducing the toxicity of surfboards. We cannot do this alone. Rerip, along with industry advocates, government officials and material scientists are setting out to establish accountability, measurability, and sustainability in the surf industry.

We are challenging the status quo. We are challenging manufacturers, surfers, government agencies, the media and others. Every one of us has a responsibility to tackle this problem and each of us can play a role in the solution. Immediate needs include:

1. Encourage surfers to donate or resell used boards

2. Scale existing surfboard collection and recycling program through additional drop-off locations, storage space and establishing best practices for programs in all major surf communities

3. Fund R&D efforts for surfboard reuse and establish sustainable manufacturing processes through cradle-to-cradle methodology

4. Promote global involvement and legislation for improved industry standards

Come one and come all. Join us in our mission. The idea is to address the current stock of boards through reuse and recycling programs while concurrently creating a feasible and cost-effective manufacturing alternative for the future. Not only will our collective efforts make the industry cleaner, more profitable, and sustainable, but it will become an example to all industries on how to prosper without cost to the environment.