Have surfers discovered the future of sustainable design?

Like many athletes, surfers — and the manufacturers who produce their expensive boards — are very particular about their equipment.

Even minute details can make or break the next wave, which has led to quite a conundrum for the stereotypically-green surf culture.

Lots of professional surfers, manufacturers and industry nonprofits preach ocean conservation and organize beach clean-ups, but day to day the surfboard industry remains reliant on unsustainable materials laden with carcinogens and petroleum byproducts.

Sure, a few environmentally-minded groups have attempted to develop soy-based oils or other alternatives for foam surfboard cores, known as blanks, but the results have been less than stellar. Inconsistent supply chains, not-quite-right material densities and ugly discolorations have made prototypes far from commercially viable.

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