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Channel Islands MINI: Big on Sustainability

CI commits to sustainability with production model eco-friendly groveler

You know Sustainable Surf, of course. The fine folks out there busting their ass in surf industry land in a seemingly quixotic quest to bring environmental awareness and sustainability to our ocean-centric, but not always ocean-friendly pastime. We gave them the Agent of Change Award at the 2014 Surfer Poll Awards primarily for their Ecoboard campaign, a system that verifies that a surfboard is built with sustainable materials, widely used by some of the best, and biggest, surfboard companies in the world.

Now, they've got an even higher standard—the Gold Certification. To hit this lofty mark is a little bit complicated, so I'll strip it down to its most compelling elements. The board basically has to pass a higher standard of sustainability—more transparency regarding all aspects of the materials involved in the board's building and the supply chain of those materials. It ain't an easy mark to hit and Sustainable Surf says that gold-certified sticks have a 30 percent smaller carbon footprint.

Channel Islands likes what Sustainable Surf is doing so much with the Gold Certification program that they've decided to stick a model in their production line made to the Gold specs: The MINI Eco-Hybrid (released in conjunction with a new hybrid Mini Cooper car). Every single one of these little beauties CI cranks out will adhere to the hardline Gold Certification standards. Clean EPS blanks, and the finest sustainable resins you can get. CI even delivers the little boards to shops by hand, so they don't use packaging materials. It's among the most environmentally-friendly, sustainability-minded production models on earth.

It also looks fun as heck.

Low rocker, wide nose, big squash tail. A squash-tailed fish, basically. Comes in a five-fin setup, so it can be a quad, a twinnie, a thruster, finless, whatever you want to do. Toss it in the back of your car (sustainability-minded hybrid, maybe) and it takes up no space. Stock dims are anywhere from 5'1" all the way up to a 6'3" but the board's gonna work best in the low 5-foot range, unless you're a gigantic person. 

Sustainable boards are the future. Even if you’re not a rabid environmentalist, enough surfers and surfboard builders are to change the market. Channel Islands has been out in front on this for awhile, and they’ve committed a big part of their Carpinteria factory to sustainable production. They’ve even got costs down—the MINI is about the same sticker price as any other board in their line. Now, the excuse that “they cost too much” isn’t much of a reason to ignore sustainable boards…And that’s a good thing.