Country Feeling Surfboards are some of the most sought-after boards in Hawaii and now these shapers are using that influence to do something good for the surf community. Master Shapers Jeff Bushman and Kyle Bernhardt are now working together to not just make great boards, but to make great boards that are also safe for the planet.
Transforming the industry from ego to eco, these shapers aim to get back to the basics of surf and the magic that each of us finds just being out in nature. "That silent conversation with nature? That's the Country Feeling." Just "surf" over to their website and immediately you will mellow out with relaxing surf music and idyllic pictures of surf, sand and sun. What makes these boards different?
They're made from "soy- and sugar-based foams, plant-based and solar-activated resins, and hemp, silk and bamboo-cloth." The boards come in many of the standard shapes, "fishes, single-fins, twin-fins, funboards, longboards, and stand-up paddleboards."
The boards also have a solar cured resin, which eliminates 70% of the VOC's generated using normal catalyzed resin. While Bushman and Bernhardt admit that the pollution generated in the making of surfboards is small compared with the auto or chemical industry, "we're the ones playing in the ocean and it just seems like the right thing to pursue" says Bushman.
The Challenges of Going Green
Many surf companies are going green these days, particularly after witnessing directly what human actions are doing to the oceans, the very oceans that these surfers drink and immerse themselves in every single day.
Sourcing better materials has been one of the hardest parts of this process, admits Bushman.
"Promises made from vendors about their products have often led to dead ends. This is a frustrating process but we're hopeful that this will improve as we learn more and there is more involvement from others in the industry. This is why we would like to make this inclusive and share what we have learned with others."
The Future of Country Feeling
The team riders are all encouraged by the new boards and are implementing green into their daily practices, and the Country Feeling blog also promotes green lifestyle tips. Boards are currently available in retail stores in Hawaii and custom orders are available worldwide. There are plans to make the boards available for worldwide distribution in the next six months.
Country Feeling does plan to expand their green surf life into other areas, including organic surfboard wax, and standup board paddles with other materials like hemp and bamboo. Their tshirts are all organic cotton and they are looking at alternative materials for other similar projects they have in the works.
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