Surfboard Manufacturer Moss Research expands offering of the Eco-Flex® process to include licensing of the technology to strategic partners and making sustainable board building materials available to all surfers and shapers.
For Immediate Release, October 5th, 2015
San Diego, CA:
In 2008, surfboard shaper Jake Moss was sick of feeling sick. A master craftsman with over 17 years of experience shaping boards and a devout following of surfers worldwide, Moss made the decision to only produce and manufacture high-performance eco-friendly surfboards in the healthiest, most sustainable and environmentally-conscious way possible. After 2-years of experimentation and feedback from his loyal customers, Jake developed a production process and combination of materials, which he called Eco-Flex®, that met his high standards of performance while minimizing negative health and environmental impacts. In 2010, Moss became the first surfboard manufacturer to pursue a professional 3rd party Sustainability Report for the Eco-Flex® manufacturing process and facility. When Eco-Flex® received a Gold Level Endorsement of Sustainability, it set a benchmark for the surfboard industry.
Way ahead of the curve, with more than 6 years of making 100% eco-friendly surfboards under his belt, an eye on the future, and the support of a key group of advocates in the surfing world, (world renowned surfboard shapers, artists, activists, scientists, craftsmen and professional surfers), Moss wants to share his Eco-Flex® material process and boards with surfers and shapers everywhere.
“I think surfers have really started to become aware of how ironic our current situation is,” Moss says. “I mean, here we are, a large and increasingly influential group that loves the oceans and earth because they provide something incredibly special and meaningful to us. We are constantly fighting to protect our waterways, beaches and coastlines from pollution and overdevelopment. Yet the equipment we use on a daily basis is made of extremely toxic materials. Not only to the ocean and general environment but also the craftsmen who make our boards.”
It’s an environmental and social disconnect Moss hopes Eco-Flex can solve one surfer and one surfboard at a time.
“Surfboards aren’t like clothing,” Moss’ Eco-Flex partner Pat Quealy says. “As surfers, we can’t point our fingers and blame anyone else. We’re the only one’s who buy surfboards so it’s on us to make better choices when it comes to what we ride.”
So what makes an Eco-Flex® surfboard better? Start with a locally-sourced supply chain from beginning to end. “We use U.S. made, recycled Marko Foam blanks and the highest bio-percentage plant based resin from our neighbors in California at Entropy Resin,” explains Moss. The Marko Foam blanks are recycled from waste-stream materials and the Entropy Resin is up to 30% plant based, used with a combination of reinforcements including recycled print fabric and rapid-renewable plant fibers. This makes the total construction of the Eco-Flex board 60% plant-based and recycled waste-stream materials. The Eco-Flex construction process produces 90% less Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) than traditional surfboard construction and emits no CFC’s or other greenhouse gases. The entire board can be recycled, including the repurposed plywood fins. But it isn’t just about the process.
“One of the coolest and most surprising parts about Eco-Flex®,” Quealy says, “is the increase in the board’s durability and overall performance and flex patterns.” It sounds complicated, and it is. The higher bio-content in the materials Eco-Flex uses creates longer polymers, resulting in an increased and prolonged structural and material memory. For surfer’s, this means their Eco-Flex board stays livelier and full of ‘pop’ longer. “Plus it’s way more ding resistant and doesn’t take on water through the dings,” Moss explains. The end result is a board that is 75% cleaner to make and lasts twice as long as traditional and toxic Polyurethane/ Polyester surfboards. “I’m happy with what we’ve been able to accomplish,” Moss says, “but we’re totally committed to making the process and materials even better. Our goal is to make a 100% sustainable, high-performance surfboard.”
With plans to expand their production and distribution facility in San Diego, pursue a coveted, Environmentally Preferable Product (EPP) certification (a first-of-its kind in the surfboard manufacturing industry), and offer educational training courses to first time DIY shapers and veterans alike, Eco-Flex® aims to disrupt the entire surfboard manufacturing industry. “By asking surfers everywhere to demand a better, more environmentally-conscious, high performance alternative from their favorite shaper,” Moss says, “we can force the whole industry to move away from using toxic materials.” Eco-Flex® will also offer educational and developmental programs to local schools. “How cool would it be to get a bunch of kids in here, teach them about the Eco-Flex® process and get them stoked to ride these eco-boards?” Moss adds, “all it takes is one generation saying there is a better way and everything can change.”
Eco-Flex® is turning to the surfing community to help realize their dream. A crowd funding campaign launches in November with a goal of $60,000 for the additional space, foam recycling center and retrofitting needed to create a community generated, sustainable “shapers village” and training facility in their current Point Loma location. Rewards for their campaign include everything from Stainless Steel Water Bottles at the entry level to special 1-on-1 shaping clinics with Jake Moss using the Eco-Flex® process to design and make your own one-of-a-kind eco-board. “I want to share this with as many people as I possibly can,” Moss says, “there really is no reason we as surfers should be riding non-recyclable, toxic, unhealthy boards that wear out and break apart faster than our clothes.”
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