This year’s Vissla + Surfrider Creators & Innovators Upcycle Contest was definitely one for the books. Held at our partners' and friends', The Ecology Center, the finalists gala drew a packed house of enthusiastic guests, all of whom came to view, appreciate, and feel the 14 projects on display.
While everyone wandered through the idyllic organic farm, they were greeted with hors d'oeuvres from local chefs using local organic produce and libations from One Hope Winery and Docent Brewing. As guests appreciated the finalists’ creations, three judges (Vissla founder Paul Naude, master shaper / Vissla Creator & Innovator, Donald Brink, and The Ecology Center founder / Vissla Creator & Innovator Evan Marks) paid special attention to details, creativity, and level of “upcycled-ness”. After much deliberation, the winners were chosen.
In 1st place came Taylor Lane, who built a surfboard made from 10,000 cigarette butts that he collected from the California Coastline.
In 2nd place, François Jaubert. François created a surfboard made from a discarded wood pallete, recycled styrofoam, and 19 smaller pieces of wood. The fins were made from cardboard, efties fiberglass and Lin from Shaperhouse Shop in Biarritz. Finally, the whole board was glassed with biobased epoxy Entropy Resins EU.
In 3rd place was Shane Swindler, who converted an old stand up paddle board into a short board and a trailer to carry the short board. The trailer was made from a discarded stand up paddle board perimeter, wood from a 1913 building and old aluminum golf cart wheels. The surfboard is made from repurposed EPS core of the stand up paddle board, scrap cork anti-stringer, poly rails, speed hold drilled fins, woven scrap veneer top, scrap veneer bottom, scrap glass on bottom, glass tape rails, no glass on top, the dregs of three different resins and custom leash loop. Finally, the fins, rails, and board shape all came from repurposed/modified/stolen from a micro bus by BG Surfboards.
While Taylor, François, and Shane all took home Vissla shopping spree prizes, everyone who participated in the contest is truly a winner. Paul stated, in agreement with Donald and Evan, that every entry into the Creators Contest should be extremely proud of his work, and should share this passion of creativity, innovation, and upcycling with others.
Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate these finalists with us! We are already looking forward to next year…