Almost all surfboard fins and plugs are made from polyester resin and fiberglass or petroleum-based plastic. Although it’s still early days, some fin makers are beginning to experiment with various composites including wood, bamboo and recycled plastics. EcoFins are one of the most advanced in their plans to use more recycled plastic.
EcoFins are the first sustainable, performance surfboard fins made from recycled ocean waste. Developers Felix Wunner and Luise Grossmann of FiveOceans teamed up to realise their vision of a high-quality product made of recycled material that meets the expectations of surfers.
FiveOceans collaborated with shapers, and material and fluid dynamics experts to come up with a process to convert existing waste to a high performance, fibre-reinforced composite. The result is a fin up to 15% lighter than comparable fins on the market which still possesses enough strength and flex for surfers of all levels!
The ecoFin offers ideal stiffness for all small to double overhead waves and varied board types. A solid flex in the base offers controlled drive while a responsive flex in the tip helps accelerate turns off the lip.
EcoFins are made from polypropylene, reinforced with long fibre glass. Polypropylene is commonly found in plastic lids and packaging, and is a polymer that doesn’t decrease in mechanical strength when recycled. Using these products FiveOceans developed a performance composite material, tested for strength, polymer degradation behaviour (UV treatment) and dynamic performance at several institutes including the University of new South Wales.
Raw materials for ecoFins are collected from Bali, where there is no shortage of plastic rubbish! The Indian Ocean Gyre washes up tons of plastic rubbish every day. With enough material floating in our oceans to make millions of fins, FiveOceans is not worried about running out of material.
- 5 Trillion pieces of plastic float in our oceans – concentrated in 5 garbage patches
- 8 Million tons are dumped every year
- It takes 450 years for a plastic bottle to degrade
- UV breakdown releases toxic substances like Bisphenol A
- Unknown amounts of micro particles enter our food chain
FiveOceans estimates that based on a weight calculation one ecoFin contains approximately 50 plastics lids.
EcoFins and other FiveOceans products are available from https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/fiveoceans/ecofin-a-performance-surfboard-fin-based-on-ocean