Stab Magazine | Kelly Slater's Turning Florida's Algae Bloom Problems Into Tail Pads

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Kelly Slater’s Turning Florida’s Algae Bloom Problems Into Tail Pads

Environmentally friendly threads, the Eco-friendly surfboards, golden tickets, and algae technology… What will he do next?!

news // Aug 23, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

There have been over 40 large algae blooms reported in Florida this summer. It’s turned waterways into florescent green sludge and has become a contentious issue. But, Kelly Slater’s here to do something about it. 

Florida’s native son has stepped up in his unique way by introducing a new line of Slater Designs deck pads made from “pulverized” algae. Partnering with a company called Bloom Foam, the pads are expected to hit shops this fall.

“Through this patented algae technology, we have created a product with increased durability, improved shock absorption, and reduced weight,” reads the company literature. “In keeping with Kelly’s commitment to sustainability, Slater Designs collaborated with Bloom Foam to develop the most eco-friendly traction pad on the market today.”

Bloom Foam defines themselves as “the world’s first plant-based, high-performance solution to synthetic and petroleum-based flexible foams.” Made with algae biomass sourced from lakes and ponds at high risk of algal bloom, their goal is also to reduce the dependence on petroleum.


IMG 2461

It’s green! So green. Photo: Bloom Pads

Algae blooms form in warm water that has been polluted with nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen, found in fertilizers. When rains comes the resulting runoff spills into the ocean and creates something that’s been described as “guacamole-like.”

“These types of blooms are going to be more prevalent as the climate warms,” explained Rob Moore, senior policy analyst for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) water program. “That’s yet another motivating factor for the U.S. and for governments around the world to take rapid action to decrease emissions that are causing climate change.” 

It sounds like some governments need to take a page out of Kelly’s book. From OuterKnown’s pursuit of greening up the apparel industry to his work with Firewire and the Ecoboard Project, and now deck pads made out of algae if he’s not careful his environmental endeavors may overshadow his 11 world titles…


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