Kitesurfing is a wind-powered water sport that uses a kite and a board to propel you across the ocean. Apart from the fact that kitesurfing improves coordination, balance and concentration, it trains reflexes while strengthening the whole body.
Since kitesurfing is a relatively new sport, the range of eco-friendly gear available is limited in comparison to other water sports, such as surfing. But that shouldn’t stop your adrenaline from rushing like the wind. In this post, The Fair Cottage walks you through you some of the coolest eco-friendly Kitesurfing gear on the Market.
Picture Organic Wetsuits: EicoPrene as an Alternative Material
Most wetsuits available on the Market are made from synthetic foam, a type of waterproof rubber that maintains flexibility over a wide temperature range. The problem with these foams is that they are normally made either from petroleum or limestone, which are non-renewable resources and have high carbon footprints in their production.
Picture Organic provides a great alternative to oil and limestone based wetsuits called EicoPrene — an impermeable foam that possesses the same technical features as neoprene. However, unlike neoprene, it is non-petroleum based fabric, made with a mix of 70% limestone and 30% recycled tyres. The interior is made with recycled polyamide or polyester. The EicoPrene liner also provides warmth and dries very quickly, whereas the exterior fabric enhances the wetsuit’s hydrophobic properties.
But that’s not all, to bond the foam and the exterior fabrics together, this brand uses a solvent-free, water based glue called Aqua-A™, thus helping to avoid allergies and pollution that the release of solvents in glues sometimes leads to. For more information on wetsuits, check out wetsuits innovations article.
Ruben Lenten's Board: LEN10 OCEANA by LIEUWE
Kitesurfer Ruben Lenten, 2005 Red Bull King of the Air winner, is an ambassador for the Sustainable Surf, an organisation which promotes lifestyle choices for water sports athletes with the aim of lowering impact on marine environments.
In 2018, together with the famous brand Oceana, he decided to launch a sustainable board as part of his efforts to preserve nature : LEN10 OCEANA by LIEUWE. Florian Lieuwe and Rik Haenen are the brains behind this fantastic kiteboard, which uses wood from suitable sources, green resin and reutilized waste materials.
But what makes Ruben’s line different from others? Besides being handmade, his board carries the ECOBOARD Project Gold Label, issued by the non-profit Sustainable Surf, who verify that materials used for the production of the board meet the strict requirements set out by the ECOBOARD gold standard.
ECOBOARDS have the same technical performance attributes as any modern water-sports boards, while having reduced environmental and toxic impacts, through the use of more sustainable materials and manufacturing processes. What’s more, Gold Level Label guarantees the usage of recycled materials during manufacturing and a considerably lower carbon footprint.
KitePride Recycled-Sail Bags
Sails have a limited lifetime. After several years of holding up under strong winds, they tend to lose the tension that is required to practice the sport. But how does replacing the sail affect the environment? Kites have quite a significant ecological footprint because they are made of polyester, a synthetic petroleum-based fibre produced with very harmful chemicals.
KitePride was created in 2010 by Tabbea Oppliger, a kitesurfer who was aware of the environmental impact of his sport and the limited amount of eco-friendly gear available on the Market.
This Brand came up with the idea of collecting materials from old kites, calling the initiative KitePride VIP Membership. Athletes who sign up for the program commit to donating their old kites to the brand, rather than simply throwing them out as waste, thus reducing plastic waste.
As if it all that were not enough, any person who buys a KitePride bag, manufactured from donated material, will learn the story behind the original kite and the oceans it once flew above. With KitePride VIP, members can also create a profile in order to share stories and track their equipment once it has been turned into a bag and sold.
Certainly, KitePride provides athletes an option to enjoy the sport and create environmental consciousness at the same time!
The Fair Cottage team encourages you to look for new initiatives to make your favorite sport more sustainable. Stay with us, whichever way the wind may blow.
If you have any comments or know any other Kitesurfing sustainable brand that we should know about, please post it on the comments section, check out our Instagram page or contact us via email.