All SUP boards start as blocks of raw EPS foam. Like so many other man-made raw materials this EPS foam is toxic at its base level and has a half-life measured not in hundreds of years but in thousands. The reality of the manufacturing process—no matter how efficiently it’s done-- is that there will always be significant amounts of excess foam for the planet to absorb in some fashion or another. As SUP continues to spike in popularity around the country and world this has become a significant environmental issue. To make matters worse, 95% of SUP boards are made overseas where guidelines governing safe disposal methods of these harmful raw materials are lax at best. At Glide we’re pleased to be part of the solution rather than the problem. When establishing our production headquarters in Salt Lake City 4 years ago we consciously chose a facility located a few short miles from ACH—the largest foam manufacturer in the entire country. Thanks to this proximity, not only is the carbon footprint minimal getting the material to and from locations but—more importantly-- ACH picks up our remnants to recycle them into our next order of foam. The result is zero waste and not a single ounce of foam biodegrading in a landfill over the course of millennia.
As harmful as excess foam is to the environment, the single biggest ecological danger posed by SUP boards are the resins used in the final lamination process. Unlike our competitors who import their products from overseas, Glide refuses to use low cost, highly toxic Polyester resins that pose a myriad of threats to the waterways. And while some SUP companies have at long last transitioned to less harmful epoxy resins, Glide has taken adherence to green manufacturing principles even one step further. Just over a year ago and after much experimentation, Glide made a wholesale switch to 100% non-toxic Entropy Bio resins. While this may sound like marketing mumbo jumbo—in reality it was a huge step in the quest for a truly “green” SUP board. And along with the environmental benefits, our “cocktail” of resins combined with the intricate application process we employ produces a stronger, longer lasting SUP board. Additionally, the "bio-based" content of the Entropy Bio resin significantly cuts the carbon footprint of this resin, which can be a big plus for the fate of our oceans, lakes and rivers. If you need a quick primer on why our carbon footprint matters to the ocean, check out this article in the New York Times.
The positive benefits to our oceans and waterways from sourcing significantly lower carbon intensive products and materials is clear:
Additionally, polyester resin has Styrene in it.
Here is another worthy New York Times article to understand what this means.
Another key differentiator Glide won’t look the other way at the environment’s loss by coating our boards with admittedly gorgeous but toxic auto paint. There is a reason Glide boards are distinguished by such a unique look. A beauty pageant board that is harms the ecosystem of our oceans and waterways is bad for the planet. Period. Study after study shows that auto paint leeches into water thereby contaminating our waterways. Not to mention the inevitable auto paint that is chipped off of boards through normal wear and tear and ultimately ingested by fish. Both our Bio Resin Epoxy and our GSS Polymer finishes have the lowest environmental impact of any finishes on the market. It’s expensive and labor intensive to manufacture truly green, ecologically friendly SUP boards. But this is more than marketing to us at Glide. Our mantra is to be part of the solution, not the problem. This guides our every action and keeps us focused on being good global citizens.
Lastly, Glide SUP Boards are manufactured in the USA—smack dab in the center of Salt Lake City-- which means that we adhere to the EPA’s very strict guidelines. As opposed to 95% of SUP boards that are made in China or Thailand. Anybody seen the pollution in Beijing lately?
Being manufactured in Utah also means that your new board doesn’t ship from the other side of the world. Imagine the massive carbon footprint stomped into the atmosphere getting container loads of cargo ships across the Pacific Ocean to America.
Without sounding too pompous about our green manufacturing processes, we simply ask you to consider the environment when shopping for your next SUP board.