Top 6 Eco Boards

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Firewire

(words by Jim)

At the top of our list is Firewire surfboards. These guys are not only rated Gold Level by The ECOBOARD Project but are also constantly innovating. They seem to be constantly trying out new shapes and materials to be at the forefront of sustainable surfing.

Essentially, Firewire is a collection of the most badass names in surfing including, Slater Designs, Rob Machado Boards, Mannkine, Wingnut, Tomo and FDS.

Each sub-brand brings its own distinct innovation and designs. Below we have listed our 3 favourite boards from Firewire:

Top of our list is the Greedy Beaver. This is our go-to board - it paddles and catches waves like a longboard, but rides like a shortboard. The volume allows you to float over flat sections easily and we love the 5 fin set up, giving you the ability to change up the configuration for different waves. Overall this board is great as you need fewer boards in your quiver to cope with the many different waves. We have surfed this board in both hollow overhead Indian Ocean Waves and sloppy summer Cornish waves and never been let down.

The No Brainer by Slater Designs is the next on our list from the Firewire shaping house. It’s high performance but forgiving and the flat rocker profile lets you use this in less powerful waves, while still maintaining a performance style board.

Our final favourite from Firewire is the Machado Seaside. The shape is so fun and versatile that we decided to make this our first giveaway board (see comp here). We particularly love their experimentation with wool instead of fibreglass.

We also wanted to mention Dan Mann and his Trash Chumlee, such a fun and innovative project.

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Otter Surfboards

Can you get any more sustainable than a board totally made out of sustainably farmed wood? James Otter has spent years perfecting the hollow board design. The boards are built like a plane wing skeleton with a veneer of wood over the top (r as they say: “hollow, skin and frame surfboards”). The only reason Otter is not at the top of the list is the cost, which is justified as they are beautiful boards and ones that should be truly cherished. Add to the mix that you can go and actually build your own board on a week-long course - it just doesn’t get much cooler.

Otter offers a variety of shapes and our personal favourite is the Jetty - a classic magic carpet shape (longboard with the middle cut out) which gives you the versatility to cut down the number of boards you have.

 

Flama - Natural Surfing Evolution

Flama were the first surfboard factory in Europe to achieve a GOLD Level standard from the ECOBOARD Project.

Like Otter, Flama also produces a skeleton hollow board structure, but their skeleton section is slightly different. Flama also does not use any fibreglass to finish their boards, relying instead on the strength of the wood and traditional shipbuilding varnish that has served seafarers for hundreds of years.

Flama has a unique position by being able to say that their boards are 99% are organic.

Our favourite board from their line up is a hard call. They have such a unique outlook and innovate set of shapes. It was a hard call for us between the immaculate replica of Mark Richards Twin fin from the 1980s appropriately called the MarkRichardsCork or the Bou 6’. In the end, it is the Bou 6 that we think just pips it for us.

 

Notox

Notox has been around for 10 years. Their goal is to make the most eco board possible while being as accessible as possible.

What makes them interesting is their build process:

vacuum bagged flax, cork, recycled polystyrene, bio-epoxy

If you hadn’t guessed by now we like to minimise the size of our quiver so we opt for hybrids. Unless you are lucky enough to live in spitting distance of a world class break, a hybrid will get more use than the high performance board we all long to ride year round.

We therefore picked our favourite from their line up as:

Quantum 6.0 - this super fun hybrid allows you play happily up to just above head high waves.

 

One thing to note, that although listed on The ECOBOARDS Project website, some of the biggest brands like Channel Islands Surfboards and Hayden Shapes do not mention their ECOBOARD credentials anywhere on their websites. We found one reference on the Channel Island website with their Mini campaign, but that was it.

Eco Rob Machado Woolight Surfboard

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