The Toxicity of Surfing Infographic By Envirosurfer

The Toxicity Of Surfing Infographic By EnvirosurferEco-friendly surf shop, Envirosurfer put this great infographic together illustrating a number of ways we may be harming our environment as water sport enthusiasts.

While the Envirosurfer infographic targets the surf industry specifically, many of these effects and dangers are directly applicable to the kitesurfing industry as well. We use similar materials and techniques in the construction of our boards, the fast growing trend towards kitesurfing strapless (see the level of wave riding on the KSP Pro Tour) means we are using more board wax, and we use the same wetsuits and sunscreen that surfers do.

Click the image for the full sized infographic.

Surfing Infographic by Envirosurfer

Created by Envirosurfer. The eco-friendly surf shop.

While you may argue the exact numbers in the report, there is little doubt that we are producing and consuming a large amount of potentially harmful products in our industry, so it is important that we create awareness and asses the way we use and dispose of the products we use as kitesurfers and surfers.

Let us know what you think of this and share your own ideas on how we can protect the environment, in the comments below. Please help us create awareness by spreading the word, or sharing this article.


The inMotion Kitesurfing Team

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  1. Hey Brendon,

    Interesting article. It’s not an issue that is thought of much in the surf industry. Everyone, including myself, assumes because surfing is “enviromentally” powered they are not harming the enviroment. I for one will definatly be enquiring about new product purchases going forward.


    • Hey James,

      Thanks for your input and support on this. You are absolutely right! I for one didn’t know or think about any of these issues before I saw the research. Hopefully in the near future, eco-friendly products and manufacturing techniques will outpace the conventional ones.


  2. It’s true we don’t really think about the impact the products we use to enjoy these sports have on the environment. I’m sure if you dissect the products used to make up kites, bars, lines, etc. it won’t be too pretty, but I guess it’s way cleaner than boats and jetskis, and we still have a very long way to go to reach the number of kiters compared to surfers. I think in the grand scheme of things kiters’ impact on the invironment is negligible.

    Saying that does not mean that we shouldn’t look for alternative products and materials though – every bit helps! From my experience products that use friendly alternatives are way more expensive, which sucks…

    • You are absolutely right, kitesurfing is WAY more environmentally friendly than say, wakeboarding, fishing, jet skiing etc. But I found it interesting that simple things like the sunscreen we use could have such an impact on the environment. This really opened my eyes…

      As far as our actual kitesurfing gear goes, I think the only concerns really, would be in the manufacturing process and when we dispose of our old gear. However, Laurel Eastman is doing something pretty cool in Cabarete, Dominican Republic, and well worth mentioning here.

      With her Kiters 4 Communities project, they recycle un-usable kites into cool beach bags. The Haitians sew them and earn great money, the kiters get a fun product to use, and all the profit is invested in educating the women – teaching them English so they can get better jobs (Richard Branson’s awesome idea – thanks RB!).

      Plus, this keeps the kites from ending up on the rubbish dumb… :-)

      You can read more about Laurel here:


  3. The suntan lotion thing is terrible and I didn’t know of its effects either. I think we should ban sunscreen, that way the earth as a whole would be better off; with coral not being damaged, and more people dying of cancer thus reducing the population…

    The bag-making project is great – well done Laurel!!

    • Hey BG, sorry for the delayed reply… I just noticed your comment while checking our articles after the re-design of our site.

      I think banning sunscreen entirely will result in a lot of red lobsters running around on the beach, and a skin cancer epidemic, but perhaps with a bit more public awareness (I wasn’t aware that sunscreen was harmful either), we could reduce the impact, and perhaps companies can dedicate more resources to finding environmentally friendlier solutions for sunscreen….