Carbon footprint of Surfing

a360's picture
a360 started the topic in Wednesday, 3 Feb 2016 at 3:10pm

Was having a beer the other day after a surf with a mate and was discussing things as you do and was wondering other surfers feel about the carbon foot print of surfing or more to the point the equipment ,accessories travel etc that we leave behind ,taking into account the image surfing have as some sort of enviro friendly pastime.
We did up a list , maybe just stirring the pot but!!
Obviously there is alternatives but the majority would use;
Surfboards - Hydrocarbon
Wetsuits - Hydrocarbon
Deck grip - hydrocarbon
Fins - Hydrocarbon
Leggie - Hydrocarbon
Rashie - Hydrocarbon
Boardies - Hydrocarbon
Sunscreen - Hydrocarbon
Wax - Hydrocarbon
Drives hours down south , up north - Hydrocarbon
Fly to indo - Hydrocarbon
get on boat in Indo and motor for hours/days - Hydrocarbon
Fly home from Indo -Hydrocarbon

Are we in a position (as a collective) to lecture others on carbon or just do our best to reduce wherever possible the carbon footprint in other areas?

happyasS's picture
happyasS's picture
happyasS Tuesday, 22 Mar 2016 at 4:09pm

it probably depends upon the level of refinement required. foam seems to be a fairly highly refined product and so likely produces a lot of co2 making it from raw oil based products. it could be conceivable that some products are responsible for more co2 emitted than equivalent carbon units contained within the product itself.

w.r.t carbon included within the product itself and does it count? im not sure....intuitively though, if that carbon (e.g. some types of plastic) is locked up in a form that cannot readily be converted to greenhouse gases or will take 1000 years to biodegrade then perhaps not so much. but if that plastic was made into a biodegradable product that bacteria will eat and quickly convert to co2, or worse still methane, then it has a more immediate greenhouse effect on the environment.

are biodegradable plastics actually better to combat global warming?

mk1's picture
mk1's picture
mk1 Tuesday, 22 Mar 2016 at 4:53pm

Too many questions happy. I might start looking into this stuff on the side some more

Sheepdog's picture
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Sheepdog Tuesday, 22 Mar 2016 at 6:22pm
happyasS wrote:

[quote=Sheepdog... How many crew on the boat?

crew? the answer is about 12. geez, these fuckers must be eating a lot if you think their meals have a carbon footprint on your piddly 5kg's worth of cargo !

jokes aside, I recall a couple of websites saying a 6 foot board manufactured uses up to 300kg of co2.

still reckon 1% is about on the money.

Minimum crew is 14......
Master - 1
Number of navigation officers - 3
Number of deck crew minimum 3
Chief Engineer - 1
Number of engineer officers usually between 2 for UMS and 3 when fully manned
Number of engine crew usually between 3
Cooks - usually 1.

But you've missed my point/s.... Supply and transport of food to boat plus removal of waste we can skip if you like...... My main point is those fridges to keep the food fresh.... The air con etc, lights..... Have you ever heard of an "auxiliary engine"?

Table 2: Fuel Consumption per Day by Mode
Neo Panamax
a 80% Main Engine Load Factor At-Sea
b 72,240 Average Main Engine Power Rating (kW)
c 24 Hours of Transit per Day
d = 1,387,008 Energy per Day (kW-hr)
e 290 290 Specific Fuel Content (g/kWh)
f 1,000,000 Grams per Metric Ton
g =********** 402.2 Main Engine Metric Tons of Fuel per Day at Sea*********

h 1,834 Auxiliary Engine Power Usage at Sea (kW)
i = 12.8 Auxiliary Engine Metric Tons of Fuel per Day at Sea
j = ***********221 Total Fuel Consumption per Day at Sea (metric tons)******

So actual daily usage for a neo or "new panamax" which make up 90% of the world fleet would be 402.2 + 221 metric tons..... Then times that by 14, which is a std travel time China to Sydney.. Any days in dock can be added using figures below. (*****)
k 2,445 Auxiliary Engine Power Usage at Berth (kW)
l = 17.0 Auxiliary Engine Metric Tons of Fuel per Day at Berth
m 765 Boiler Power at Berth (kW)
n = 5.3 Boiler Metric Tons of Fuel per Day at Berth
o =*****12.6 Total Fuel Consumption per Day at Berth (metric tons)*****

stickyson's picture
stickyson's picture
stickyson Tuesday, 22 Mar 2016 at 11:03pm

Vasari after the bakery you have way to much time on your hands!!

Sheepdog's picture
Sheepdog's picture
Sheepdog Wednesday, 23 Mar 2016 at 11:49am
stickyson wrote:

Vasari after the bakery you have way to much time on your hands!!

I know I know..... Googling "panamax fuel usage", copying and pasting that graph was 3 minutes of my life I'll never get back...

happyasS's picture
happyasS's picture
happyasS Wednesday, 23 Mar 2016 at 5:16pm

sheepdog, rather than calculate it ourselves take a look at the following document instead

http://www.cefic.org/Documents/IndustrySupport/Transport-and-Logistics/B...

table 7 has the co2/tonne/km for different size ships. assume a surfboard is 5kg then whatever figure is quoted just gets divided by 200 and then you have co2/km for a board.

this table factors in all engines (main and aux). using this document you can also see the rail/truck transport co2/tonne/km numbers too and add transport to port and transport from port into the total co2 figure.

Sheepdog's picture
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Sheepdog Wednesday, 23 Mar 2016 at 8:07pm

Cool, hapster... BTW, here's the document I cut and pasted from;

http://www.ncdot.gov/download/business/committees/logistics/maritime/tmv...

So we've pretty well got that side of it covered in regards to "The Carbon footprint of Surfing".... Imported Chinese boards - done and dusted..... Can also be used for all other chinese surfing imports, which probably make up 95% of all surfing products these days...

But that is just one small fraction of the carbon footprint.... I've rattled other stuff off the top of my head, as have a few other folk..
A small fraction of making the ship would have to be included... They last for about 30 years... So one ship wouldn't cover a lifetime surfing re' imports... Plus a small fraction of dumping the old ship in a ghostyard.

The making of the board from zero to completed unit... Include blank cut offs and dumpsters taken to the tip, electricity at factories etc.... Transport to and from factories/shipyard/retail shop etc etc, ad to that wetsuits, leggies etc using same format....
Then there's board life expectancy.... Thanks to performance surfing, some boards may last only a few weeks.... So we'd have to find an "average" board life expectancy, and then find out how many surfers there are in the world and work out the average amount of boards used in a life time of surfing.. Same deal with all other surf gear...... That will give us a carbon footprint for the average surfer in a lifetime re' - products... Suppose we'd have to include mags', dvd's, time on surfing websites and power used...
But it doesn't stop there....

Air travel, including board etc - find average
Roadtrips for surfing only - average
Boat trips ( fuel etc etc etc ).
Resorts built purely for surfing - trees cut down, bulldozers, transport of building materials....

I'm sure there's more. lol

happyasS's picture
happyasS's picture
happyasS Wednesday, 23 Mar 2016 at 9:07pm

sound depressing. maybe ill take up tennis. or chess. that must have a friggen low carbon footprint

Sheepdog's picture
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Sheepdog Wednesday, 23 Mar 2016 at 11:18pm

it's the reality check a lot of "hipster" surfers need....

wingnut2443's picture
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wingnut2443 Thursday, 24 Mar 2016 at 7:44pm
Sheepdog wrote:

it's the reality check a lot of "hipster" surfers need....

And possibly the marketing niche aussie made boards needs?

Sheepdog's picture
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Sheepdog Thursday, 24 Mar 2016 at 7:52pm
wingnut2443 wrote:
Sheepdog wrote:

it's the reality check a lot of "hipster" surfers need....

And possibly the marketing niche aussie made boards needs?

Yeah maybe, WN...... As long as the blanks are made here.

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming Thursday, 24 Mar 2016 at 8:49pm

You guys have touched on it a bit, but there is more factors you have to look at to measure the impact of a surfboard.

-Construction and material used= ( Not only are some materials worse than others for the environment when produced or used but there is also the issue of disposal of the waste. BTW. EPS is recyclable so the board you surf in theory could have already had a life as something else previously)

-Transport= (effect on environment like has been talked about, obviously local made and sold wins hands down here)

-Life expectancy= (how long can you use it for before its landfill or recycled or basically how many waves worth can you get out of it)

- Disposal= (can it be recycled? like EPS foam can or will it become landfill)

http://sustainablesurf.org/

http://www.sustainablesurf.org/ecoboard/

http://wastetowaves.org/

Sheepdog's picture
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Sheepdog Thursday, 24 Mar 2016 at 9:28pm
indo-dreaming wrote:

You guys have touched on it a bit, but there is more factors you have to look at to measure the impact of a surfboard.

-Construction and material used= ( Not only are some materials worse than others for the environment when produced or used but there is also the issue of disposal of the waste. BTW. EPS is recyclable so the board you surf in theory could have already had a life as something else previously)

-Transport= (effect on environment like has been talked about, obviously local made and sold wins hands down here)

-Life expectancy= (how long can you use it for before its landfill or recycled or basically how many waves worth can you get out of it)

- Disposal= (can it be recycled? like EPS foam can or will it become landfill)

http://sustainablesurf.org/

http://www.sustainablesurf.org/ecoboard/

http://wastetowaves.org/

See my post wed, 8.07pm

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Wednesday, 4 Mar 2020 at 11:30pm

Surfboard may as well be an Oil Rig Platform with surfers drilling for oil.

2016/17 Study

6ft1" Polyester Surfboard (Production) emits 170kg of co2

6ft1" Polyester Surfboard (Life span) emits 270kg of co2
= 126 litres of Car Fuel >(Epoxy) or 5hr Plane Flight >(Polyester)

9ft1" Epoxy Surfboard emits 454kg of co2
= 189 litres of Car Fuel > (Epoxy) or 7.5hr Plane Flight >(Polyester)

tbb calculated simplest example (Apply Epoxy / Polyester ratio calculation to suit)
tbb Cheat : Divide co2 figures into Board-2/3 ratio-works OK for approx swap rate.

Each Surfer emits 10t of co2 / year = 50 x more than average Aussie.

750,000 Surfboard Industry emits 220,000 t of co2 / yr

http://www.surfscience.com/topics/surfing-lifestyle/life-as-a-surfer/env...

https://mpora.com/gear/mpora-podcast-series-2-episode-1/

http://www.designlife-cycle.com/surfboards

Study Paper
https://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4187&context=sspapers

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming Thursday, 5 Mar 2020 at 8:47am

Seems a bit strange to compare a 6ft PU/PE board to a 9ft EPS/Epoxy board, why not compare apples with apples?

Like done here that shows a 30% carbon reduction for the EPS/Epoxy board http://www.sustainablesurf.org/ecoboard/lifecycle-study/

Or for zoom in of visual graph thing to see a breakdown http://sustainablesurf.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/footprint-web.jpg

Yes this is just looking at ecoboard certified but the list is now very long includes many board builders http://www.sustainablesurf.org/ecoboard/manufacturers/

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Thursday, 5 Mar 2020 at 10:13am

Yeah! Come across that site also Indo...Their own maths didn't add up...(Can't use!)
Checked up their reference & sure enough they're miles out on all accounts!
Polyboard 105lbs of co2 is 75% short of renowned (Published / scientific sources)

Here's the same company quoting 600lbs for (Lifespan of a similar board)
Sustainable surf.org - (6ft Surfboard) = 600lbs of co2 (Includes Repairs/Dumping)
https://sustainablesurf.org/featured-pages-parent/ecoboard/guide-to-eco-...
By there own accounts (The Surfer emits 6x more of Surfboard's co2 than maker?)
So Surfers are 50x the eco vandal + now 6 x more pollutant than the Slab Lab.
SS: Slablab is now the Eco bit > Dumping is worse > Surfing #1 co2 emitter ? C'mon!
tbb doesn't believe surfers are that stupid or pollutant as company makes out!

They need to remove data + post a retraction & owe surfers an apology.
No idea what their agenda is, but tbb couldn't use their corrupted data! (Obviously!)

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming Thursday, 5 Mar 2020 at 11:32am

Maybe there has been a more recent study that was more accurate, and that other figure on the other page is from older study and hasn't been updated as has been overlooked. (having run websites very easy to do)

As the figures for them as such really don't matter what they are as long as the eco boards figures come up much better than the non eco certified boards. (the difference is what is important)

The motivation of the eco board project like most things is $$$$ they get $1 for every certified eco board produced by a company and then obviously the company that gets a eco board rating and label can market their boards as more eco friendly.