sustainability Guide 2011

Gary Young

Gary Young / Surfers are not the only ones balancing on surfboards. Board shapers are faced with the challenge of balancing performance, durability, weight, green factor and cost. Gary Young of Bamboo Surfboards in Pahoa believes that he found the perfect balance.

The bamboo in his surfboards replaces carbon and synthetic fibers, which are expensive due to the energy required to make them. Although bamboo has many beneficial properties, Young had to stop making these green, cost-competitive boards due to a lack of suitable raw material.

Committed to creating an environmentally friendly board, Young has moved from bamboo to albizia under a new label called Albizia Wooden Classics Hawaii. The fast-growing tropical tree has proven to be better than bamboo and is priced similar to fiberglass boards, according to Young. With the rising cost of synthetic materials and the fragility of fiberglass, he eagerly awaits the crossover point where going green and durable will be the strongest factors when purchasing a board.