Do you want to learn how to surf while being environmentally friendly? Here’s a how to on all things sustainable for and while surfing!
First things first, let’s talk about ocean pollution. There are around five trillion (big and small) pieces of plastic in the ocean currently.
This causes major damage not only to marine life and ecosystems but also to the human population. Nobody wants to be catching a wave with trash in it so being eco-friendly in and out of the water is extremely important.
Here at HOKALI, we strive to protect and preserve the oceans while teaching beginners how to surf.
For every lesson booked with HOKALI, you are contributing to the restoration of kelp forests with help from Sea-Trees.
Beach cleanups are one of the easiest ways to help out the environment. While you can do this individually strolling along the beach, HOKALI has hosted 18 beach cleanups so far and the next one is on January 29th, 2022!
Picking up trash might not seem like the most glamorous activity but helping to keep the oceans clean will make you feel like a million bucks.
While there are a lot of ways to stay sustainable outside of the water, there are ways to stay sustainable while you are surfing!
Tons of hair ties are found at the bottom of the ocean which is a significant risk to many marine animals. It is pretty hard to surf with hair in your face so hair ties seem essential while surfing but a lot of times they fall out and end up in the ocean.
Surf Rags has created biodegradable hair ties made from rubber and cotton that are going to keep your hair in place but in the case they fall out, aren’t going to cause damage to the ocean and reefs.
Another essential while surfing is sunscreen and there are a ton of reef-friendly sunscreen brands!
Reefs are super important in the regulation of carbon dioxide levels in the ocean which is very important, especially if you are a sushi connoisseur.
Many sunscreens have oxybenzone and/or octinoxate which causes harmful stress to corals and harmful effects to the human body. When shopping for sunscreen, always look for oxybenzone and octinoxate free brands.
With sunscreen, the less ingredients, the better! While spray sunscreen is super convenient, the extra time spent rubbing your sunscreen in is going to protect both land and ocean animals. Supergoop and Bare Republic should be your reef-friendly go-to sunscreen brands!
You can’t surf without a surfboard so how can your surfboard be more sustainable?
Buying from eco-friendly companies, such as HOKALI, is one way to stay a sustainable surfer.
Shopping previously owned/used boards is a good alternative as well. The ECOBOARD project is working towards the production and distribution of eco-friendly surfboards, using less toxic materials and tools.
Along with your surfboard, you can wear an environmentally friendly wetsuit!
HOKALI’s new shop features eco-design wetsuits which are made from limestone-based neoprene, recycled tires, and Aquaglue which are all sustainable materials.
Hand-me-down wetsuits are also a wonderful way to stay sustainable while surfing. If you grow out of your wetsuit, give it to a younger grom! This way you can stay warm in the water all while being a friend to the earth.
There are plenty of ways to be eco-friendly on your way to and from the waves.
Finding a buddy to surf with is a good one because of the convenience and eco-friendliness of carpooling. You are going to limit your carbon footprint while jamming out with your friend on the way to your surf session. Extra points if one of you has an electric car!
You probably know how important it is to hydrate before and after a surf session.
In order to stay hydrated, you need a water bottle. Switch out that plastic water bottle for a reusable one. The brand, Ocean Bottle, is a great choice as it is made out of recycled stainless steel and recycled ocean plastics. That’s like doubling up on sustainability! If you are an avid straw user, consider purchasing reusable straws and making it a habit to carry them with you.
When shopping for other surf gear and clothing, make sure to look for sustainable surf brands and companies.
Patagonia is great for anything from jackets to boardshorts which are made from hemp and other recycled materials.
Vissla is another great brand that goes by its slogan, “To protect and surf”. Their sustainability goes all the way from products to packaging and everything in between.
For surf gear, Future Fins offers a range of fins made from recycled fishing nets. This is going to get fishing nets out of the water but reconstruct them to go back in the water in an eco-friendly manner.
Whether you are an experienced surfer or just learning, caring about the ocean and its health is VITAL to marine life, ecosystems, and your experience and future in the water.
These have just been a few ways to keep the oceans clean and how to surf sustainably!