– stripping surfing back down to its most elemental form

One Year In

It occurs to me that perhaps sooner than later the need for a site like Phoresia will no longer exist. In the last year we have written not only about alternative surfboard technologies and socially responsible products, but we have also explored some of the emerging business practices centered on sustainability. When we first started out there was little on the web about sustainable surfing products and the words “sustainable” and “green” still carried a hippy/treehugger stigma. David and Rick about to paddleout in Central FloridaSince then the scientific community has agreed that global warming is a human induced threat, causing public perception about the environment to make an about face. Now we see “green” and “sustainable” everywhere. In fact, there’s no longer a need to wrap those two words in quotes because we all know what they mean. Multinational corporations have taken heed and discovered that the benefits of sustainable business practices go beyond ethics. By becoming more energy efficient they are cutting production costs and boosting shareholder profits. In addition, some of the mega companies are using these new greening processes as marketing tools and gaining new consumer support. Of course, many companies mask their marketing behind green banners and in reality they are doing little. But in the end the dollar always wins and together with consumer, political and economic pressures, companies will be forced to become efficient or perish. Gone are the days of waste. The days of maximizing every resource are here to stay.

So why is Phoresia at risk of extinction? -Because along with mega businesses the surf industry too will change to meet new business standards and phoresy will become ubiquitous.

I’d like to take a moment to review what we’ve learned in the last year:

  • There are heaps of board builders out there using a variety of methods to create surfboards that are high performing and have a lower impact on the environment than what we’ve used in the past 40 years. Take a look through our archives to see a few of these pioneers.
  • The surfboard manufacturing industry in itself is not as evil as we may have thought (I am referring to myself here). Compared to other composites industries like the airline industry, surfboards are small fish in the ocean.
  • The part of surfing culture/lifestyle having the most impact on environmental and social responsibility is the textiles industry.
  • People are really interested in lowering their surfing impact. We know because we have done no marketing to promote our site. It has seen consistent growth since last August. Most interesting of all, approximately 30% of all our visitors have come via web searches using the words “sustainable, surfing.”

Rick and David taking in the scenery in Oregon with Mt Hood in the background.Before we got into this project there were some things that we already knew. We knew that grassroots movements do have an impact. We knew that the surfing community, no matter how much it strays into over consumption, is ultimately earth friendly. We knew that change was bound to come. Our work is not done. We will continue to search out products and people who are concerned with the planet and its people. We hope to bring fresh new writing from contributing authors. In the past year the interviews have become our personal favorite material and we will continue to pursue interesting dialog with surfers all over the spectrum. As always, we welcome your comments, questions and contributions.� is brought to you by volunteer surfer labor. We make no material gain and we are stoked that you too are thinking about your impact.


Ricardo and David

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5 Responses »

  1. To the editors,

    Hi, just read your article through an alert and its nice to know about the consioousness among the surfers.

    Please can you refer to me how the textile industry is impactful, as you say !

    Awaiting your reply

  2. Nice job guys. Yours is a essential element of the surf blogosphere (and surf media in general) and a daily stop on my morning blog roll. Here’s to many more years to come… or maybe there will be no need for a blog on sustainable surf products in the future!

  3. The toughest!

  4. There will always be a place for Phoresia. I think it is important to always examine our current system ,no matter how great it may seem, and see if we can do better. Our “sustainable”, “green”, “eco friendly” materials being used today are in actuality nowhere near the true meaning of those words. Products will evolve and consumers need to be informed.

    Keep up the good work.

  5. I’d like to echo the last comment and say thanks for providing an informative website. You were largely ahead of a trend and I hope you continue to remain as cutting edge. As optimistic as you might be, the fight is from from over. There are so many angles you could take, outsourced foreign maufacturing of wetsuits, the way surfers choose to travel, the surfer’s role in enviro activism…

    Hey, can you guys research recycling skateboard wheels? I go through a tonne of urethane and I bet it can be re-used somehow… Maybe its too toxic to even think about recycling…