Over the past few years, many companies have started to take their environmental responsibilities a lot more seriously. Now, when it comes to making stand up paddle boards, traditional methods are not all that great for the environment.
It’s not that you could not source boards that were made with more environmentally sound principles, but you could expect to pay through the nose for them. That’s changing quickly as consumers are demanding that manufacturers do their bit for the planet.
There are a few companies that are making great strides towards sustainable manufacturing practices. Now, there is a difference between sustainable and environmentally-friendly manufacturing.
Sustainable practices are where supplies are sourced responsibly, and the impact on the environment is significantly reduced. The methods take advantage of the best manufacturing processes and best eco-friendly materials to reduce the overall impact on the environment.
The processes are not completely environmentally-friendly, but they are a vast improvement on the traditional methods. They also make it possible to create boards that are more economical than would otherwise be the case.
Here is a rundown of the brands currently making strides in this arena:
• Surftech: The company joined the Sustainable Surf ECOBOARD project last year and has been pretty innovative. They have reduced foam waste substantially and now use a resin that is at least a quarter plant-based.
• Glide: The company has been aiming for more efficient processes to reduce their use of fossil fuels. They also use sustainable resin and recycle the EPS foam. You won’t find epoxy paints on their products because of the harmful nature of these products.
• Starboard: The company took a step towards sustainability by ensuring that their resins are non-toxic. What’s really innovative is that the paddles incorporate a trash-picker. That means you can help clean up the waterways without missing a stroke.
• Solace: This company is getting creative when it comes to testing new materials. They make their boards out of three primary materials: cork, hemp, and bamboo. All of which can be sustainably sourced and are naturally buoyant. They also use less resin than most materials.
• Infinity SUP: This company has high hopes. They want all their boards to be sustainably manufactured in the future. They donate 1% of their profits to environmental causes and make their boards from materials that can be responsibly sourced.
• Invert SUP: Invert coined the term “Ecolicious” and we love it. They use resins that are plant-based and have restricted the use of fiberglass. They’re firm believers in using recycled materials to reduce their environmental impact overall.
Overall, many manufacturers are coming up with innovative approaches to reduce waste and their reliance on harmful chemicals. This has been extremely good for the industry. The use of bamboo as a replacement for fiberglass, for example, makes boards stronger and more eco-friendly.
As companies continue to investigate the use of more sustainable methods, we can expect to see even more innovative advances. The upside is that you won’t have to sell a kidney to be able to afford your new, eco-friendly board.