How about an algae surfboard to surf in Portugal?

Surf in Portugal has been growing, not only as an expression of sportsmanship in itself, but also with a deep connection with ecological tourism and preservation of the natural resources. Surfers, like scuba divers and other outdoors sportsmen do have ties with the preservation and protection of habitats, although the ecological footprint of surf can still be a concern.


How surf impacts the environment

Photo: Cristina PiresIf you come surf in Portugal, you may be confronted by how the beach fronts around Peniche or Ericeira have changed, since interest in surf grew, beginning in the nineties. The need to provide proper surfing conditions in areas where the sea already had everything to become an attraction, was a main drive for local authorities to invest in green infrastructures and strive for the maintenance of unpolluted waters. In many instances, surf is just a node in a network of environmentally-friendly outdoors sports, so if you could see Portugal"s surf spots in the 90"s and now, you would really appreciate the differences and the improvement.

Surfboards and wetsuits are still tools with a footprint. The resin required for the surfboards is made of petroleum, of course, and regardless if your ride is made of polyester or resin, there"s a whole industrial process taking place before the board reaches you. The high petroleum requirements of many modern surfboards, can actually place their life cycle in line with electronic devices or auto parts in terms of an ecological footprint. Styrene, Methyl methacrylate, Methyl ethyl ketone or toluene, are just some of the most hazardous components you will find in the fiberglass, polyester and epoxy resin of your surfboard.

This will not stand in a sport that always bore pride of it"s environmental stance. Surfers worldwide have therefore begun searching and demanding for eco-friendly surfboards, wetties and all associated accessories. 

Surfboards made of recycled foam and renewable materials have already begun to appear, and wood is making a comeback, but as engineering and technology evolve, new solutions are appearing, such as surfboards made from algae.


An algae surfboard for surf in Portugal, why not

0dcd726b54 Algae fuel in a beakerThe revolution is the responsibility of students of UC San Diego. In cooperation with a surfboard manufacturer and an algae biotech company, these students developed a surfboard blank that is totally algae-based. Algae are indeed a very interesting raw material, in that they consume CO2 like many plants, and they offer one of the most varied sets of applications in nature, including plastics and foams, such as those which can be used to create surfboards.

Leading the project, Stephen Mayfield, algae geneticist at UC San Diego, reminded that while this ecological surfboard still needs the application of fiberglass and epoxy resin, the breakthrough is quite important on a path to 100% ecological surfboards.

Involved in the project is Greg Long, a Californian big wave surfer, who has teamed up with Sustainable Surf to push forward this new approach to making surfboards greener than ever. Greg attributes his passion for environmentally-friendly surf options to his 2012 near-fatal accident at Cortes Bank, which has led him to rethink his life and projects.

How will this new material do in competition, we don"t know, but we can hope it"s as durable and adequate as any of it"s current, petroleum-based alternatives. Who knows, if the next time you come surf in Portugal, your surfboard will be made from algae?


"I don´t want to leave! Great house! Awesome people! Thank you so much for making me feel so welcome & at home. I hope to come back very soon..."
Rebecca, Henne & Sabine
"This surf house has a lot to offer!!nice rooms, Daniel as an very cool owner,the pool (priceless after our surf lessons!!), an big BBQ, Kickers and lot more..we felt at home and had an wunderful week there....."
Nina & Julian
"Underdog Surf house it already felt like being at home with all the friendly people our new little family nice & long talks, pizza&pasta night and unforgetable nights at Barraca. Thank you for all of it. We´ll definitely come back for the third time! Loads of love..."
"Best surfhouse ever! Great hospitality and even better people.The Ndrdog will always be my choice in Portugal. Daniel and his house are just awesome and you will always find someone to have a great time with a beer after surfing Hope to see you soon bro! Big hug from the jetguys ;)..."
Carina & Ruben
"Dear Elida, Isa, Malthe & Daniel, We had a fantastic time in the Underdog house. There is a really good atmosphere in and around the house!! Cheers on many more anniversary parties. And a special tip for Elida, Isa and Hanna: never travel without GPS/TomTom in Portugal again :). Warm regards ..."
Beth X
"See you Guys!! I had the most fun I´ve had in a long time!! Great meting you all and hopefully I will run into you in the future. Lots of Love..."
Ana B.
"After a lot of research on the internet I finally found Underdog... and I´m so happy I did!!! I am definitely comming back sooner than later. Thank you all for your hospitality!!! Muchos besos,..."
"A wonderful holiday, good surfing and great parties! Thank you, see you next year :)..."
"Had a great time Friday night. Felt so hung over today! Hope your cousin feels better soon. Enjoy the rest of your holiday...."
Simon & Ina
"We had a great time @ Underdog Thank you guys for being so open-minded and welcoming us in this "big family" We will come back home again! Tons of love..."
Inge Martin & Maria
"Thank you for a great stay (again) at the Underdog SH. We love this place and all the beautiful people. We will definitely be backnext year. :) Team Scandinavia..."
"Home is where you heart belongs to... I´m so glad I have this home here in Praia Areia Branca and know there´s a next time we will see us again. Thank you so much for everything. I had an awesome time! Daniel, Isa, Elida & Malthe you´re doing a great job! See you next time, take care, part..."
xoxo Anja
"Hey Daniel, I´m so glad, I found this place! I really felt like home this 2 weeks. You have done such great work with this house. Even on the day we couldn´t surf, it was awesome just to hang around with the people in here. I really want to come back very soon. Lots of Love & Hugs to you &a..."
"Thanks for the warm welcome and great hospitality during my stay. Both the surfing and the chilling out was a wonderfull experience. This place has got me stoked! All the best,..."
"Wow. What a warm welcome. It was an awesome time! Kind of a family thing. Thank you guys!! Cheers,..."
Ane and Heidi
"Holy cow! We love it here!:) The beaches are unbelievably beautiful, and we have even tasted the sand while surfing. Not bad actually. Thank you Daniel for a warm welcome to Areia Branca. And thanks a mill to Elida for imiting us to this amazing place. We have so much enjoyed partying, playing an..."
"JAL & ISA ARE THE BEST!!! Such a good time here. Thanks!! Big kisses from Quebec!..."


title bar


Underdog Surf House

Av. António José do Vale, 7
Praia da Areia Branca,
2530-213 Lourinhã,

TEL: +351 261 419 533
MOB: +351 912 214 416