Thu, 29 August 2019

What's a good way to start ridding the ocean of one of the worst plastic offenders: bottle caps? Make surfboard fins out of them. Spike speaks to Shaka Surf founder Dominick Tayler.


WINDY FIN: Fins that reduce plastic in the ocean. What's not to like? Yes please. Photo Supplied

We all know the stats. They are shocking. There are approximately five trillion pieces of plastic floating in our oceans. How we get that data, who knows, but whatever the number, it's a crazy amount. On top of that, and more scientifically measurable, it takes 450 years for a plastic bottle to totally degrade.

Spearheaded by Dominick Tayler, Shaka Surf decided that there was enough raw material floating in the ocean to keep them in business for years. Now they produce eco-friendly surf fins full time. Taylor, a front-end developer and SEO expert in his other life, said that the fins were made from recycled bottle caps (and other stuff) to form a composite that goes into moulded fabrication.

"The fins are eco friendly, and with their composites, offer great performance," he said. Describing the ideology behind the formation of his company, he said: “We’re taking plastics out of the ocean and putting them to better use. I think that most surfers and non-surfers appreciate what we do.”


BLUE FIN TUNE US: Storm chart inspired fins designed for high performance. Photo Supplied

For instance, their single fin uses about 70 plastic caps, while their medium G5 high performance fin uses 50. The fins come in FCS 1, FCS 2 and Futures. My favourite, for obvious reasons, was the storm chart inspired design, but they have a whole range - for use with longboards, SUPs, single fins, retro boards, cosmic cruisers and high performance shortboards.

Taylor created the carbon offsetting app www.ecopledge.co that helps you keep track of charity pledges you make for carbon offsetting. The total donations you save are converted into how many tons of carbon you've offset. When your donation is due, you get a reminder.

As you can see, his blood runs green, and it's easy to see his passion for Shaka Surf and fins that are environmentally friendly, and ultimately helping reduce plastic waste in our oceans and beaches. Of course, as a surfer, he also wants his fins to be high performance. Check out their fin guide https://shaka-surf.com/our-fin-guide


SINGLE USE FIN: The single fin uses about 70 bottle caps taken from ocean. Photo Supplied

“To be a surfer is on the one hand a very selfish pursuit,” said Taylor. “It often means you’re going to let down people close to you because you want to go surf good waves at the drop of a hat. On the other hand, I think most surfers have some level of environmental awareness and will do their best to be good custodians of Mother Earth. So, being a surfer for me is about surfing when there are good waves, and trying to give back a little whenever I can.”

As well as recycling waste materials and plastics to make their recycled fins Shaka Surf also wanted to create a standout design. So they enlisted the help of a street artist to come up with a unique aesthetic. This lead to the development of the Swell Lines Collection, paying homage to surfing culture and oceanography. I enjoyed that side of their designs, and thought they were pretty cool. See more here https://store.shaka-surf.com/products

Drop the code SHAKA10 at their store https://store.shaka-surf.com/ at checkout for 10% off all orders. His final word?


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