Original post by Alexander Haro for The Inertia, Wave Tribe: A Company That Walks The Environmental Walk
Surfing is TERRIBLE for the environment. It’s odd that a group of people who collectively claim to love the ocean more than anything else is ok with filling it with God-knows-what, isn’t it? From the materials our surfboards and accessories are made of to our outrageous lust for carbon-puking travel, surfers have a pretty damn big footprint, especially for people that don’t wear shoes very often.
Thankfully, it seems as though the surfing industry is slowly becoming aware that consumers do indeed like our environment. More and more companies are taking a greener path. It’s perfect – it is a valuable selling point for the business, and it’s better for the environment. Of course, the unfortunate truth inherent in business is that people will lie to make money. Some companies aren’t nearly as green as they make themselves out to be. The production of a dirty product is much cheaper than that of a green one, after all. And when they can reap the benefits of a naive consumer, many companies don’t hesitate. Bottom-line, and all that. But well before many of the mainstream companies jumped aboard the green train in an effort to get your greenbacks, Wave Tribe was building products in a more environmentally friendly way than most – and they weren’t just talking the talk. They were walking the walk.
After realizing that there weren’t that many options to buy surf products without effectively shitting on the planet, Wave Tribe landed on the idea of creating products out of materials that were either fast-renewing or recycled. Using materials like hemp, bamboo, cork, recycled plastic, and even old billboards, the little-company-that-could started making board bags, leashes, tail pads, and just about any other surf-related accessory you can think of. They even have DIY surfboard kits. That’s right. They’ll send you everything you need to build your own wooden surfboard except the tools.
I can’t claim that I am the most environmentally conscious person on the planet. I’ve worked in the oil patch, I drive nearly three hours a day (by myself), and I have been part of more than one car burning, tires and all. But I do more than the average person, I think. I am aware of what I’m buying, and I actively avoid plastic. I do have some sense of where the things I buy are made, and for the most part, at least, I only buy used clothes. This is also because I am cheap and don’t care about my clothes, but hey, it works both ways. So when I needed a board bag, I looked around for ones that weren’t going to be a sucking hellhole of environmental misery. Wave Tribe stepped up to the plate with a beautiful hemp board bag called the Global Traveler bag.
Board bags are important. How many times have you carefully packed your board onto a plane in a bag that you thought was going to be good enough, only to arrive at your destination with firing waves and a mangled piece of foam and fiberglass for a board? Made of eco-hemp, the bag I got carries two boards, a wetsuit, and has pockets for fins, leashes, wax, and whatever else you’re bringing with you. It also has way more padding than a normal bag. They’ve got 15 mm of padding, with an extra 13mm in the nose and tail. According to their website, it’s the protected board bag in the surf industry. If you’re going to get charged an arm and a leg for a board bag, you might as well have one that’s going to protect your stuff, right? And at the same time, why not get something that’s not going to take a crap on Mother Nature? Just because we live in a consumer society doesn’t mean we need to consume products that destroy the earth. Do a little research before you buy. And if you’re looking for a board bag, Wave Tribe most definitely has your back.