As athletes that rely wholeheartedly on nature to make or break a good day in the water, the surfing community has consistently been among the most active when it comes to preserving our oceans and keeping environmental threats at bay. Ironically, the materials used to produce the very boards they ride on also contain some of the most harmful pollutants known to man.

As both a surfer and a designer with a strong sustainability and material science background, João Teixeira of Portugal recently set out to design a better surfboard that was more in line with the environmental concerns of eco-conscious surfers. The result – which was done in collaboration with a local cork manufacturer – is a black cork surfboard that eliminates the need for harmful conventional surfboard materials including PU Foam, Glass Fiber and Epoxy Resins.

According to the designer, the real innovation behind the otherwise traditional board design is the use of traditional materials that carry cultural, economical and social values in a new context – both in Portugal and abroad.




Paired with the natural wood fins, the board nearly looks like it was grown in the forest – and it’s not half-bad at catching waves, either:

YouTube video

Check out the rest of Teixeira’s eco-minded portfolio over at Behance.


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.