Surfing was always about communing with nature. But as the sport became more professional and industrial, boards underwent some changes. Initially made of wood, they started being made from oil-based plastics responsible for large quantities of carbon emissions.
In Portugal, in the historical location of Óbidos, carpenter José Antunes made the most of the misfortune of losing his job to counteract this trend – he started making surfboards from wood. José started by making durable toys for his two children. But, if children could have wooden toys, why not adults too? And that is how Yoni Surfboards came into being.
Always with ecology in mind, for every board sold, Yoni plants a tree. Made from Portuguese wood and organic resins, these hollow wooden boards are manufactured using a technique which dates back to the early days of surfing. This allows them to last for longer and to reduce the characteristic weight of wooden boards. Based on the three pillars of ecology, education and ethics, Yoni is part of the practice of fair local commerce. It also shares a percentage of the profit amongst the staff.
But José does not limit himself to the sustainable manufacture of surfboards. He also offers courses on constructing wooden boards at a cost of 600€, with accommodation included. And with the advantage that, at the end, participants keep the board they have made.
“For each board sold, Yoni, which uses Portuguese wood and organic resins, plants a tree”