This year marks our 6th annual Vissla + Surfrider Creators & Innovators Upcycle Contest, where the public was challenged to take something that might be considered waste and create something that can be used in the ocean. Rather than hosting a physical Upcycle Exhibiton event, we went digital to maintain safe social distancing while also holding true to our efforts in raising awareness of plastic pollution and encouraging people all across the globe to ‘convert waste into want.’
For the first time ever, we opened the voting process to the public. Individuals were given the opportunity to view each project, learn about the process and materials used to create it and cast their votes for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners (upcyclevote.vissla.com). The public’s vote made up one of three total votes to decide the winners––additional judges included Surfrider CEO, Chad Nelsen, and Vissla CEO, Paul Naude. Over 20,000 people from all around the globe cast their votes for this year’s winners, with the finalists’ projects getting over 85,000 views during the five-day voting window.
In 1st place came Charlie Cadin from St. Aubins Bay, Jersey with a surfboard made from dried sea lettuce and fiberglass. Once dried, the sea lettuce created a rigid sheet from which the deck, bottom, rails and skeleton were shaped.
In 2nd place came Andreas Noe and Štěpán Řezníček from Peniche, Portugal. Using an old fridge that was discarded close to sea, they stripped the Styrofoam and glued it together to create a surfboard blank. To create the design on the deck and bottom, they used cigarette butts, face masks and various microplastics, all collected at/around the beaches in Peniche.
In 3rd place came Marceau Pegon from France with a surfboard made from over 600 rolls of toilet paper, cork, recycled cardboard, and a piece of surfboard foam for the rails.
Congratulations to all the finalists and winners. We are thrilled to have adapted and proceeded with the contest despite not having an in-person Upcycle Exhibition as we have in years past. We are blown away by the amount of people that participated, viewed and voted on the projects from all around the globe and look forward to including the public in the voting process going forward.
Each year the projects just keep getting better and better. Upcycling has been a part of our mission since our inception, so the opportunity to get people from all over the world engaged in participating feels incredibly special. While the above winners will all take home Vissla shopping spree prizes, everyone who participated in the contest deserves to have their creative upcycling efforts celebrated.
See you next year,
***hopefully in person!***