Board Shapers In The Green Zone

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - July 02, 2008
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Kyle Bernhardt and Jeff Bushman work on an environmentally friendly board
Kyle Bernhardt and Jeff Bushman work on an environmentally friendly board

Much like that magic zone that surfers enjoy when they balance themselves on crashing waves, co-owners Jeff Bushman and Kyle Bernhardt get into the zone when they focus on making a better board using environmentally friendly products for their company, Country Feeling Surfboards.

“Even though the world is changing, if we can create more awareness we are helping the planet,” says Bushman. “We’ve been able to push manufacturers by ordering green products. While some people may be talking about being green, we are asking for green products and actually ordering them. We are getting a lot of response.”

To fashion the boards, the materials they use include a sun-cured resin that doesn’t release fumes. Sugar- and soy-based foam, silk and hemp also are natural alternatives to more toxic options.

“The board is not totally green because we haven’t developed a board that works well that way,” explains Bushman.

“What we are doing is a stepping in the right direction. We want people to be really stoked when they buy one of our boards.”

The eco-friendly surfboards are presently available on Oahu at Surf and Sea, Board Riders and Tropical Blends. The line includes longboards, stand-up paddleboards, single-fins and twin-fins.

The company’s goals for the future include developing the boards further and including other products such as waxes and paddles.

“It feels good to do the right thing,” adds Bushman. “We are the ones playing in the ocean, so we need to take care of it.”

Bushman, who moved to Hawaii in 1988, started shaping boards in California in the respectively.

The two shapers coordinate on the design, research and development of the boards. The North Shore residents say they are open to ideas or suggestions on materials and techniques on how they can reach a breakthrough point in making the green board better.

“We want to keep the fun in surfing,” says Bushman. “We want to keep that magic feeling and put a little smile on every day.”

For more information, call 638-7192 or log onto www.countryfeelingsurfboards. com.


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