Whether you are a born-and-bred local or a first-time visitor, there is no denying the spectacular natural beauty of the Noosa Shire.

Each year, the Laguna Real Estate Noosa Festival of Surfing takes a step up in its ecological responsibility towards a completely sustainable event. In 2017, we have urged all partners and promoters to take it upon themselves to match our sentiments, providing more environmentally-viable promotional material.

Partnering with Unitywater, Noosa National Surfing Reserve and Noosa Community Biosphere Association, the festival aims at drastically reducing the level of single-use plastic generated by the event and create greater consciousness in every area of our ‘8 Days of Pure Stoke’.

Unitywater will be providing a ‘Bring Your Own Bottle’ initiative, providing fresh, filtered drinking water for all who bring their own bottle to fill, and festival staff will replace single-use plastic water bottles with reusable bottles and bulk water tanks.

Not only that, Friday, 10th March will also officially become Sustainability Day, with a host of pubic activities taking to the sand. Tom Wegener, long-renowned as a leading innovator of sustainable surf commerce and PhD in Surfing Sustainability, has organised an interactive day of creation and craftsmanship, daring together himself and three other shapers of wooden surfcraft.

Wegener will be hosting workshops of his timber ‘Surfie’ bellyboards, a fusion of inspiration from the Hawai’ian alaia and paipo boards and the bellyboards of the South West of England. Fun for everyone, the Surfies are a far cry from the foam bodyboards of today, and Wegener will be helping members of the public shape one for themselves.

Similarly, Toru Ogawa will be joining us from Japan to coach people in the crafting of timber handplanes. Used for bodysurfing, handplanes are possibly the simplest of surfcraft, but the shapes and designs still need to be carefully created to give maximum lift and hydrodynamics. Toru has spent several years perfecting his shapes and travelling the world to share his skills. Adding to the lineup for Sustainable Friday, he is inviting the public to join him on the sand at Main Beach to shape their very own handplane under his expert tutelage.

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Also from Japan, Nouhito ‘Nobby’ Ohkawa is a master craftsman of timber surfboards. Ceating the boards as sustainably and chemical-free as he could, he was unsatisfied with then affixing fiberglass and polyester resin fins. While timber alone or constructs such as ply are not strong enough to endure the pressures of fins on their own, through much experimentation, Nobby developed a highly technical process to create timber hardy enough for the purpose. Nobby will be inviting the public to shape a fin with him from his special timber composite.

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Lastly, but by no means least, Adam Baldwin will be making the short trip up to Noosa from Caloundra. A teacher at Coolum High School, he too is an expert woodworker, but moves a step further in the realms of sustainability. Timber is, of course, biodegradable, but Adam utilises waste, recycling and upcycling old, broken surfboards and materials he finds to create functional surfboards bound together with organic bio-resin. So successful have Adam’s creations been that he was awarded the ‘Most Functional Surfboard’ trophy in the 2016 Creators & Innovators Contest presented by Vissla and Surfrider. Adam will be on hand to discuss his techniques and the need for us all to readdress our use of materials in all areas of life.

Sustainability Friday’s conclusion will be in scintillating conversation with Tom Wegener and Save the Waves Coalition’s director of programs, Nick Mucha, discussing ways in which the surf industry can improve, as well as the prospect of Noosa Heads’ induction into the heralded list of International Surfing Reserves.

Places for this special event are very limited. To reserve a space with any of these inspiring shapers, please email Tom Wegener at: tom@tomwegenersurfboards.com.