Friday, November 29, 2013

Quiksilver and Canopy: Apparel Saving Forest Ecosystems

When purchasing active clothing for a day out on the beach, one might not be aware of the materials that make the wicking and water-resistant clothing perfect for sportswear. For example, the synthetic material rayon creates comfortable fabric for surfers and beachgoers trying to keep cool. But when taking a closer look, wood cellulose-based products like rayon and viscose can be made up of forest fiber from endangered and ancient trees from rainforests. Without knowing it, your t-shirts, tank tops, or boardshorts can be made up of trees that have been cut down from rainforests in Indonesia or the northern boreal forests in Canada. 

Fortunately, Australian company Quiksilver is working to counteract this trend in the clothing industry. Quiksilver, PrAna, Lululemon Athletica and Patagonia will be among the first in a group of apparel companies to work with Canopy, an environmental non-profit committed to protecting forests, species, and climate by working to help large industries move towards sustainable practices. Fashion industry designer Eileen Fisher and Canopy are leading the campaign by raising awareness on how the fashion industry affects forest conservation.

These companies are also developing new purchasing policies with suppliers to eliminate the use of endangered forest fiber in clothing. Quiksilver, prAna, Patagonia, Lululemon Athletica and 14 other designers are committed to research and development projects for sustainable alternatives, such as recycled viscose. 

The campaign will hopefully encourage the fashion industry to develop eco-friendly alternatives for clothing production. As of last year, an estimated of 70 million trees from endangered forests were chopped down for fabric production. This threatens the habitats of species such as the orangutan and caribou. This trend in deforestation is expected to double in the next 20 years.

You can also help protect the rainforest and support Canopy's campaign to end forest depletion by being mindful of what you buy to enjoy the salt life. Purchasing Quiksilver products is just one step towards making better environmental choices. Contact us to learn more about the Quiksilver line.

Monday, November 25, 2013

8 Safety Tips to Learn Before You Start Surfing

Learning to follow a few key surfing safety tips is essential before riding your first wave. Whether you're a seasoned surfer or a dabbler in the sport, maintaining the proper surfing etiquette can save you and the surfers around you from experiencing a life threatening injury. Provided below are 8 safety practices that you should follow every time you enter the water with your surfboard.

1. We all have to start somewhere, and the best way to be equipped with the proper tools to become a safe and proficient surfer is to receive surfing instructions from an insured surfing professional. Before you attempt surfing on your own enroll in a surfing class to learn the basics. Not only will this make you a safer surfer, but it will help you buildup your confidence.

2. For your own safety and for the safety of your fellow surfers take a class in CPR and First Aid. Unfortunately, accidents happen and having the right know how can save somebodies life.

3. Remember, to educate yourself on the laws of the current beach you are visiting before you even consider getting into the water.

4. Weather can change in an instant, and if you are not keeping an eye out you may get yourself caught in a dangerous situation. Pay attention to the weather forecast before you go out and always take into consideration that when the weather changes currents and waves can become unpredictable. 

5. While we all want to reach the rank of professional surfer, it's critical to remember there are some situations that are beyond our skill levels. Knowing your limit is essential to staying safe. If you push yourself to far, you may wind up getting seriously hurt.

6. At the beginning of your surfing experience staying away from areas where there are large crowds of surfers is your safest bet. Surfing etiquette is a very real and necessary part of staying safe, so before you begin venturing into crowds be sure to learn the rules or you could put yourself and others in unnecessary danger.

7. Don't forget to wear your leash. This important safety measure keeps your surfboard from getting away from you and getting in another surfer's way.

8. Helping your fellow surfers when they are in need is a must. If you spot somebody that is in trouble, lending a hand or alerting the proper authorities can save them from a dangerous situation. Always keep an eye out and remember you would want somebody to help you if you found yourself in need.

Learning the proper safety protocols at the beginning of your surfing career can not be overlooked. While honing your skills makes you a better surfer, so does following proper surfing etiquette. If you're a beginner looking for a surfboard that is right for you, please contact us, and we'll be happy to help you.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The 10X Phenomenon

I’ve heard many times that we, you, or any business should build a “remarkable” product or service.  Doing so will get attention from customers and make your business successful. 

I agree. But what is remarkable?

For the first time, I heard someone put it bluntly.  They said, “remarkable is 10 times better than what exists today”.  An order of magnitude better.

So make it 10 times cheaper, 10 times faster, 10 times bigger, or 10 times ________.  Impossible?  Maybe.  Difficult? Most certainly.  But that’s what makes it remarkable.

Can we do something remarkable at Surfboards Etc?  I think we can.  How are you going to become remarkable?

Adam Swiecki
Surfboards Etc

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Exercises and Tips to Help You Improve Your Balance While Surfing

If you're looking elevate your surfing, consider improving your balance. Adding balance training to your exercise routine can make riding waves longer a reality instead of a far off dream. Below are 5 simple but effective exercises and tips that will boost your balancing abilities and enhance your surfing skills.

1. A balance board can strengthen your core and improve your balance. Utilizing a board with a cylinder roller allows you to train the muscles that help keep you steady and on your feet while surfing. Consistent training can increase your muscle-memory, which makes achieving balance an easier accomplishment.

2. Walking along a balance beam or a tight rope is a great way to practice your balancing skills. Start your balance training by perfecting your beam walk, once you feel proficient on the balance beam, up the difficulty by switching to a tight rope. To create a tight rope, you will need, a sturdy rope and two unmovable posts to tie the ends of the rope to. While walking across the rope, focus on placing one foot in front of the other instead of placing emphases on how fast you are able to walk the length of the rope.

3. An easy exercise you can do while standing just about anywhere, is balancing on one leg. There are a few key factors in assuring this balancing act is efficient. The first one is slightly bending your grounded leg while lifting your opposite leg a few inches in the air. The second step is sustaining a straight posture while keeping your hips square. The third and last factor is keeping your core muscles contracted. Once you have balancing on one leg down to an art, you can add tossing a ball between your two hands into the mix.

4. Your core strength is vital to your balancing technique. While there are many types of exercises that are dedicated to improving your core, one activity that focuses on balance and your abs is standing on one leg while throwing and catching a medicine ball with a partner. Incorporating this exercise into your training routine is a great way to build your core muscles while gaining a better handle on your balance.

5. Skateboarding on your days away from the waves provides you with an excellent chance to improve your balance. Consider picking up the sport as a way to heighten your overall surfing technique.

Perfecting your surfing technique involves many intricate elements that must be honed with practice and exercise. Balance is just one of the elements that you can improve through hard work and dedication. If you're in need of a custom surfboard or you're looking for a certain surfing accessory, please contact us and we'll be happy to help you.

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Evolution of The Surfboard

In the Beginning...

Ancient Hawaiian surfboards were made of solid wood and were between 10 to 16 feet long. The size of the surfboard represented a persons social class rank. Shorter boards were used by commoners while the longer boards were reserved for noblemen and chiefs who were often the most talented surfers. While in today's world surfing has turned into a recreational sport, in ancient Hawaii it was considered an extremely spiritual activity that involved rituals and prayers.

Introducing the hollow board
Tom Blake introduced the world to the first hollow board in 1926. After drilling hundreds of holes into a 15 foot, redwood board, Blake surrounded the top and bottom of the board with a thin layer of wood. The increased speed and maneuverability the board provided made it a success among surfers, and it soon became the first mass-produced surfboard. Additionally to his creation of the hollow board, Blake improved the stability of surfboards by adding a fixed fin to the tail of the board. Blake's influence on surfing didn't end their, he is also credited with the invention of surf photography, which increased the visibility of surfing around the world.

Balsa wood is the answer to a lighter board
The emergence of the lighter surfboard took place in the 30's when boards were constructed with balsa wood. The 30 to 40 pound weight difference the new material created grew in popularity. Unfortunately, balsa wood was not easy to come by which led to surfboards that were made with a combination of rosewood and Balsa wood.

Fiberglass boards make their mark
With inventions such as plastic, styrofoam, and fiberglass being presented to the world, it was only a matter of time before surfers utilized the new materials. Using plastic, rosewood, and a fiberglass seal, Peter Peterson crafted the first fiberglass surfboard in 1946. Another contributor in the fiberglass movement was a man named Bob Simmons. In 1949, Simmons created a board called the sandwich using styrofoam, plywood, balsa wood and fiberglass.

The march to the modern surfboard continues
The evolution in surfboards continued as board makers experimented with materials and board shapes. The 50's saw polyurethane foam being used in surfboards, along with the introduction of the gun surfboard which made control on large waves easier. The arrival of the 60's and 70's brought the short board into existence. Reducing a 10 foot board to a 6 foot board opened the doors for a more ambitious surfing experience. The 90's reintroduced the surfing community to the longboard, which is still in use today.
Surfing technology will continue to evolve through the decades with each new innovation striving to better the surfing experience. For more information on the modern surfboard, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

References history of the surfboard