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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.