Edit ModuleShow Tags

Shaping the Future

A North Shore-based company turns sugar, soy and hemp into surfboards.


Shapers Jeff Bushman (left) and Kyle Bernhardt have answered the call for eco-friendly surfboards.

Photo: Courtesy of Country Feeling Surfboards

Kyle Bernhardt doesn’t consider himself an environmentalist, at least not in the strict sense. The North Shore-based surfboard shaper does what he can—recycles, uses natural fibers, rides his bike—but knows he could do more.

“I can’t say I’m a no-carbon-footprint guy,” says Bernhardt, who still drives a Chevy van to deliver his surfboards. “But every little thing you do can make a big impact.”

That’s the philosophy behind Country Feeling Surfboards, a new line of eco-friendly surfboards he developed last summer with veteran shaper Jeff Bushman.

The boards—from retro twin-fins to stand-up paddleboards—aren’t entirely green. But they’re made mostly with sustainable materials such as organic cotton, hemp and soy. Going entirely green is the larger goal, he says.

“It’s a constant evolution,” Bernhardt says. “This is definitely a viable alternative and the response from people has been incredible.”

In just a year, the company has been flooded with inquiries and orders, many from surfers around the globe looking for a rideable board that’s kinder to the environment.

Soy- and sugar-based foams replace synthetic blanks; durable hemp replaces fiberglass deck inlays. Even the resin used—one that’s catalyzed by the sun—allows 70 percent fewer volatile organic compounds into the atmosphere. These materials, and the additional labor it takes to produce the surfboards, do mean a higher price tag. Shortboards start at $695; stand-up boards cost about $1,500.

A high-performance board that can function on a competitive level may still be a few years away, however.

“Shapers have used the same materials for the past 30 years, and everybody’s grown accustomed to the way the boards feel,” says Bernhardt, who’s been shaping for 21 years. “When you bring in new materials, you can’t guarantee that same feeling. That’s our biggest hurdle.”

To learn more, visit www.countryfeelingsurfboards.com.



Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Subscribe to Honolulu

Honolulu Magazine January 2018
Edit ModuleShow Tags



Here’s How Hawai‘i Responded on Social Media to the False Ballistic Missile Alert

Ward Warehouse

A false alarm caused by human error sent the entire state of Hawai‘i into panic mode.


Twitter is Going Nuts Over Barack Obama’s Backward Hat and Rubbah Slippahs


Vacation mode: Activate.


6 Things You Need to Know About Rat Lungworm Disease Before You Eat a Salad

Rat lungworm disease

Everyone’s talking about the recent disease outbreak affecting the Islands. Find out what it is, where it comes from and how you can prevent it.


Here’s How to Survive a Possible North Korea Nuclear Strike in Hawai‘i

North Korea

What you need to do according to the Hawai‘i State Department of Defense.


20 Great O‘ahu Hikes

Explore 20 great adventures that offer beautiful vistas, waterfalls and more.



Edit ModuleShow Tags