Ban The Boog!
Good news for people who like good news.
Steps are beginning to be taken to address the heinous problem of cheap, easily damaged and destroyed styofoam bodyboards that end up clogging up landfill or clogging up the insides of marine animals.
The promised land of bodyboarding that is the Ol’ Blighty with it’s nice and safe wave pools and endless supply of abundant sponsorship just got even better last month. Cornwall council teamed up with the “Keep Brittany Tidy” organisation to install purpose built bins on a number of beaches around the Newquay area to provide a place for people to dispose of their decrepit, cheap arsed boogers after a single use of fun at the beach.
The bins, constructed from recycled wooden crates encourage beach users to deposit their ” old / broken bodyboarder here”, promising to recycle the dead shred sleds.
In Croyde, north Devon, more than 400 boards were discarded on the beach in 2020 and in Newquay beach rangers estimate 20 boards are thrown away every day in the holiday season.
It has been reported that more than 16,000 cheap polystyrene bodyboards are discarded on UK beaches every year.
Neil Hembrow of Keep Britain Tidy said polystyrene bodyboards were “like a tidal wave of waste washed up on beaches“.
He continues: “But a culture change is happening, we are now seeing moves by communities to stop the use of these polystyrene boards and if the pressure grows then hopefully we can get a complete ban.”
Meanwhile in the Hawaiian islands, Maui County council is also looking to enact a ban all together on the sale or rental of these cheap polystyrene bastards.
Former Ocean Safety Lieutenant turned councillor Tamara Paltin, described how she and her team members would, “find all of these disposable styrofoam boogies in half on the beach and we’d go and pick them up and you couldn’t really throw them away because the rubbish can was overflowing with boogie boards” while patrolling the beaches of Maui.
So it seems that the sun may be setting on the age of cheap and nasty EPS or styrofoam boogies. Whilst not only welcome news on the environment front, it could also have a positive affect on the bodyboarding industry as a whole.
In an article your author wrote for Movement mag in 2019, the impact that the rise of these cheap nasties have had on the bodyboarding industry was layed out by master shaper Nick “Mez” Mestritz.
“In the boom of the 90’s at a calculated guess I would estimate a maximum of 100,000 boards were being sold in Australia each year. In 2019 I estimate somewhere upwards of 200,000 boards are now sold in Australia. So, In terms of actual sales volume, there are double the amount of bodyboards sold today.”
Mez continues “However, of the 100,000 boards sold during the 90s, 95% of them were made by bodyboard companies and sold into traditional surf stores with an average sale price of AUD$200. Do the math on that and you find that bodyboard sales were generating $20,000,000 per annum”.
“This meant that everyone was making money, the board brands, the wholesalers and the stores. It also meant there was enough profit for the brands to sponsor riders, contest and to advertise in magazines.”
“But, perhaps most tellingly in our modern, globalized world, it is the rise of cheap, easily manufactured boards, sold through sporting and department stores, that are impacting most greatly”
Mez says “In 2019, of the 200k boards sold in Australia, 170k are low cost EPS boards sold in department stores or sports stores with an avg sales price of $50. While this still generates sales of $8.5 million, the margin on these types of boards is minuscule and not one cent goes back to the sport or any legitimate bodyboard brands”.
This has had a huge impact on the financial viability of the “high performance” bodyboarding industry.
Mez lays out the maths “That leaves roughly 30k high performance boards being sold by 12 bodyboard companies, with at least 50% of these also being low cost, low profit margin EPS boards”.
“At the end of the day there’s very little money left over for advertising, riders or contests.”
So the banning on the sale of these Styrofoam environmental disasters could help breath new life into the bodyboard industry by requiring people to once again purchase quantity, long lasting boogs from core bodyboard brands in order to get their gutsliding fix.
More as the story develops….