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Stuart D’Arcy shapes really beautiful, high-performance boards, the kind you’d be stoked to whip out in the car park and show off to all your mates. He’s been in the game for decades, and when asked what he reckons his legacy will be in the surfing world, he had only one word:

“Landfill.”

Yikes. For a dude with such an illustrious reputation, we weren’t expecting that one.

After more thought, it comes as no surprise given the surfboard industry hasn’t deviated much from its manufacturing processes for the last 75 years or so. And as you’ve likely heard by now, the synthetic, oil-based materials we use in our boards, like polyurethane and foam, are detrimental to the environment.

It’s the surfing world’s dirty little secret. And sadly, we’re all in on it.

But we’re seeing some really positive changes emerging on the surf scene and wooden surfboards seem to be at the forefront. As we’ve mentioned, we’re not exactly original when it comes to creating wooden surfboards. Hell, wood was the first material surfed by Hawaiian legends after all.

So since wood seems to be making its glorious comeback, we’ve compared some of the best wooden surfboards of 2021 so you can find the best board to level up your sustainable surfing game.

With further ado, here’s our picks for the top 5 best wooden surfboards of 2021.

Sine Surfboards are on Varuna's list for best wooden surfboards of 2021.

Sine Surf

We stumbled upon Sine Surf through the good ‘ole Gram and as soon as we saw a bloke absolutely ripping on a wooden longboard, we knew we had to investigate.

With a longboard, midlength and a fish on their roster, they’ve provided a versatile selection perfect for any surfer looking to add wood to their quiver.

They’re a small team comprised of engineers and robotics technicians, and these guys have seriously done their homework, providing comprehensive data backing up their sustainable initiatives. The only non-biodegradable components in their surfboards are fin boxes and bio-resin, making their boards more than 95% biodegradable.

That’s damn impressive, gents, and we salute you.

Tonn Surfboards are on Varuna's list for best wooden surfboards of 2021.

Tonn Surfboards

With a unique, honeycomb interior, Tonn Surfboards have beautifully replicated nature’s most ingenious design structure, offering flexibility and ideal weight – which is often hard to come by with wooden surfboards.

Five years of R&D under their belt have resulted in a solid selection of available shapes, including 12 models ranging from a 8’11 longboard down to a 5’6 egg.

These boards are beautifully crafted and look like a Tonn of fun (hehe see what we did there?).

Kayu Surfboards are on Varuna's list for best wooden surfboards of 2021.

Kayu Surfboards

Our balsa wood amigos over in Indo, Kayu Surfboards have a wide selection of shapes ranging from longboards, retro fishes and even SUPs. If aesthetics are at the top of your list, you’ll be stoked to see all designs embodying that beautiful, retro feel reminiscent of 1950s surf culture.

Our favourite part? They also offer chambered wooden blanks in a variety of sizes. So if you’re a shaper looking to experiment with wood, Kayu is a great option to get your feet wet, in more ways than one.

 

No Made Boards are on Varuna's list for best wooden surfboards of 2021.

No-Made Boards

An engineer, marine scientist and designer all walk into a bar…

Non-existent joke intros aside, No-Made Boards’ deep respect for nature and the environment have inspired them to make wooden surfboards and experiment with technologies that can lessen their impact not only on the surfing industry, but also the planet.

Using paulownia wood, their retro shapes, clean designs and having the option to customise your board with inlays makes No-Made a really enticing option in the sustainable surfboard category. We reckon you couldn’t go wrong with one of these beauties.

Is it time for sustainable regulations in surfing? Wooden surfboards could be a start. Here's a list of the best wooden surfboards available.

Varuna Surf

Call us vain, but when it comes to wooden surfboards, we’re pretty damn proud with what we’re building over here.

We’ve reimagined iconic designs from the hands of elite shapers, creating an elevated, sustainable surfing experience perfect for green and seasoned surfers alike.

With an innovative internal structure, we strive to make every board comparable to its PU counterpart, ensuring you don’t sacrifice performance for sustainability in the slightest. Because in our eyes, sustainability and performance aren’t mutually exclusive. You can rip and do your bit for the planet.

Performance aside, we’re also regenerating rainforests in the process, ensuring that over-logged, degraded lands are given the opportunity to thrive. To do this, we first plant fast-growing balsa which shades and kills off grass. Then, we plant native trees in tandem, harvesting the balsa before it flowers and leaving behind the newly planted species to rejuvenate the land. Pretty sweet, right?

There you have it

This article only begins to scrape the surface of wooden surfboards available for ocean-minded individuals like yourself, and we hope that with the climate crises worsening by the day, you’ll be inspired to add a more environmentally friendly board to your quiver.

While wooden boards are a touch pricier than PU surfboards, we reckon they’ll pay themselves off in dividends if it means having a healthy planet in the years to come.

Which wooden surfboard would you be keen on trying out? Leave your thoughts in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!

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