Sustainable Surfing in Cornwall
Hundreds of millions of people enjoy surfing the ocean waves worldwide, and quite a few of them appear to live in Cornwall! That’s because the Atlantic creates exposed waves, just right for big surf. There are big environmental issues here, but thankfully most surfers tend to be fairly eco-types anyway. Above is Rapanui Organic Cotton Surf Towel.
RNLI say not to go near waves, unless it’s a clear calm day. You can get knocked off your feet by just 15cm of water, which can drag you out to sea. Always swim between red and yellow flags, on a beach with a lifeguard. Never release fire lanterns (like balloons, they are a hazard to wildlife) but also coastguards send out false alarms, mistaking them for coastal flares.
On windy days, admire the coast from afar, by reading The Wavewatcher’s Companion by Gavin Pretor-Pinney (who usually writes books on clouds).
Choose a wooden or bamboo surfboard if you can. Recycled plastic is a good way to use up waste, but the microplastics could break off in the sea, while you are out surfing. Especially considering surfing is quite a ‘rough activity’, and surfboards get bashed about a lot. At least one manufacturer makes surfboards from fallen wood from trees, surely the ideal solution?
Biodegradable Vegan Surf Wax
Maria’s Surf Wax was invented by a 9-year old in Puerto Rico, after her community was devastated by a hurricane. It may be far away but it’s free from fragrance oils and beeswax, and she sells wholesale. More power to her! This is free from palm oil, oil and nasties, and only contains mineral clays, plant resins and organic berries and fruits.
Natural Rubber Wetsuit
Finisterre (Cornwall) makes wetsuits made from rubber, suitable for cold water (also for women). Not machine-washable, this is not totally natural fabric, but as good as you will get for now. It has an elongated back panel for water retention, and fully taped seams. This material is far better than neoprene (used for most wetsuits) that is made from petroleum.
Organic Cotton Surf Towels
Rapanui (Isle of Wight) is a company that makes lots of nice organic cotton casual beachwear. Their organic cotton surf towels are ideal to keep warm after a day in the water, and also help prevent embarrassing towel-drop moments! Made from super-thick and absorbent terry loop, they are a long long knee-length shape with warm hoods and handy pockets. Also for men.
Surf Kernow makes ‘Cornish-shaped organic cotton clothes for surfers. All is made to Fair Wear Foundation standards (far higher than Fair Trade) and they run on clean energy and use hybrid vehicles. Mostly t-shirts and hats, these designs are inspired by the Cornish coastline.