When I think of token surf spots around the globe, the UK is not the first one that comes to mind. But as it turns out, Britain’s surf history is some three hundred years old. The British Surfing Museum, in collaboration with the Eden Project(a mecca of sustainability in Cornwall), has just opened their exhibit “Full Circle – surfboard evolution,” which will be on display at Eden until the end of August.
The exhibit shows the evolution of surfboard manufacturing and materials, from natural wood planks to the current standard composites which use petrol products and fiberglass and are non-biodegradable and environmentally toxic. The people at the Eden Project have also developed an “eco-surfboard” for the exhibition, using a combination of materials derived from plants. The wood comes from balsa grown on Eden property and coatings are made from hemp and plant-based oils.
While the Surfing Museum, researches the past and future of surfing, the Eden Project is working to develop an “eco-foam” that would replace the light, durable materials in most surfboards today. The ultimate goal is to demonstrate not only to surfers but to all gear-oriented sports enthusiasts that recreation does not fall outside the bounds of ecological consciousness. This is a hopeful development for the greening of the sports industry. After all, sustainability is almost as sexy as surfing — shouldn’t the two get acquainted?
posted by sarah rich