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WSL PURE: Sustainable Innovators Join Forces at the Surf Ranch

WSL PURE Village Recap from the Freshwater Pro
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Partners committed to ocean sustainability gather at the PURE Village to spread awareness and educate Freshwater Pro fans.

With the WSL's commitment to eliminate single-use plastics by the end of 2019, WSL PURE hosted an inspiring group of partners who, together, celebrated innovative ways to #StopTrashingWaves and make surfing more sustainable.

WSL PURE Volunteers at the Freshwater Pro WSL PURE volunteers getting barrelled in the Golf Ball Wave at the Freshwater Pro WSL / Adrian Wlodarczyk

The partners working together to #StopTrashingWaves within the PURE village included "Fore The Waves", a standing wave made of golf balls collected from the ocean by The Plastic Pickup and Counter Current Art, The Cigarette Surfboard, Sustainable Surf, and Earth Technologies. Each partner highlighted solutions for our current environmental crisis through art, storytelling, and sustainable design.

WSL PURE Village at the Freshwater Pro Every attendee received a reusable Hydro Flask and left the event inspired to refuse single-serve plastics. WSL / Zak Suhar

Alex Weber (Founder The Plastic Pickup) teamed up with Santa Cruz artist Ethan Estess (Director, CountercurrentArt.org) to turn thousands of golf balls into the giant interactive wave sculpture featured in the PURE Village at the Freshwater Pro. Weber's research revealed how golf balls break down into micro-plastics and release toxic compounds into the water.

This initiative was made possible thanks to all the generous partners such as Kokua Hawaii Foundation and Hydroflask and donors who supported the project. If you are interested in contributing to the "Fore The Waves" project, please visit this Go Fund Me page and for a deeper look at the story behind the wave, check out this video.

WSL PURE Village FWP Golf Ball Wave A fan in the barrel on eco-boards donated by Slater Designs and Ventana Surfboards. WSL / Zak Suhar

The most common form of beach pollution are cigarette butts and their plastic filters. Industrial Designer Taylor Lane and Filmmaker Ben Judkins of The Cigarette Surfboard were inspired to turn this trash into a vehicle for conversation and action about what we can do to help reduce plastic pollution.

During the Freshwater Pro, fans visited the Cigarette Surfboard booth and left with reactions ranging from awe to disgust. "We knew when people came by the booth they left with something they won't forget," Ben Judkins shared.

WSL PURE Village FWP Cigarette Surfboard This event was the first time all the Cigarette Surfboards were featured together at one location. Fans interacted with the boards and saw the changes in weight as the design developed over time. WSL / Zak Suhar

At the PURE Village, fans shared their excitement with the possibility of seeing the cigarette boards in action. Taylor Lane and Ben Judkins plan on releasing Cigarette Surfboard film in the near future.

"We were super honored to be just one of the rad WSL PURE partners at the event working to raise awareness and action on the many issues facing our ocean" - Taylor Lane, The Cigarette Surfboard.

Fans within the PURE Village also learned about Sustainable Surf's Waste To Waves initiative which finds a positive way to upcycle polystyrene into high performance eco-surfboard blanks.

"Waste should be considered more of a resource, and it was awesome to see so many partners come together to showcase that story in every facet of the event," said Kevin Whilden, Co-Founder of Sustainable Surf.

WSL PURE Village FWP Sustainable Surf Polystyrene would otherwise end up in a landfill, but through Waste To Waves, over 100,000 pounds of waste styrofoam has been collected and shipped to Marko Foam where it is densified and recycled into surfboard blanks. WSL / Zak Suhar

Of special note was the collaboration between WSL PURE, Sustainable Surf, Earth Technologies, Marko Foam, and Outerknown. Recycled styrofoam from the WSL office was used by Marko Foam to make recycled EPS surfboard blanks, that were then shaped and glassed by Ryan Harris of Earth Technologies in the PURE Village. In addition, Outerknown provided waste fabric which was glassed into handplanes as Ryan was on site throughout the day performing live glassing and zero landfill manufacturing demonstrations. Earth Technologies is an award winning environmentally friendly high-performance surfboard and stand-up paddleboard production company based in Torrance, CA.

WSL PURE Village FWP Ryan Harris Ryan Harris of Earth Technologies, demonstrating to fans that there are greener and more sustainable surfboard production methods that do not compromise the performance of the board. WSL / Zak Suhar

The activation in the PURE Village wrapped up with a surfboard giveaway contest where winning fans provided answers to questions related to sustainable surfboard production, the Cigarette Surfboard, and the Golf Ball Wave.

WSL PURE Village FWP Surfboard Winners Contest winners stoked on their new surfboards thanks to Ryan Harris of Earth Technologies WSL / John Suhar

View more photos from the PURE Village at the Freshwater Pro via Instagram at @wslpure and on Facebook within our Freshwater Pro album.

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