Maui Leaf Lite

What is Maui Leaf Lite?

Awareness that environmental protection is critical to sustain surfing for future generations is growing within the surfing community. Maui Leaf Lite surfboards aim to reduce the social and environmental impacts of traditional surfboard building. Wedding sustainable materials with progressive designs yields light, futuristic boards that facilitate modern surfing’s development.

The materials used to build Maui Leaf Lite boards are recognized throughout the Surfing industry for their sustainability because, even among eco-boards, the Leaf Lite line exceeds current standards. Timpone works closely with material producers to ensure accountability in the production of the eco-materials. To further emphasize the importance of quality materials, Timpone collaborates with the industry’s only third-party Sustainable Surf Organization to establish material and production standards within the board-building community.

Leaf Lite boards also push the limits of progressive surfing with lightweight construction that can be adapted to accommodate all board design dynamics. The forward-thinking materials used have no performance trade-offs, resulting in lighter-weight, stronger surfboards.

The positive impact of Maui Leaf Lite boards aims to extend beyond surfing and engage with the global conversation around sustainability and environmentalism. At Timpone, we work hard to stay at the vanguard of surfing’s movement toward a reduced environmental impact.

What is the Maui Leaf Lite difference? 

Jeff Timpone builds Maui Leaf Lite surfboards with the same methods he has used to build traditional polyurethane and polyester boards for the four decades that he has been shaping boards. Jeff doesn’t see the Leaf Lite project as an effort to reinvent the surfboard. Leaf Lite boards represent an opportunity to open surfers’ eyes to the impact of their choices. The Maui Leaf Lite surfboard line is most revealing for the way it differs from classically constructed surfboards. Leaf Lite boards differ from other surfboards in two subtle yet distinct ways.  

The first difference between traditional polyurethane boards and Leaf Lite boards comes from the materials used in the surfboard construction. Maui Leaf Lite surfboards are built using material alternatives including recycled EPS foam, natural fiber reinforcements, and bio-based epoxies. These are proven, reliable building materials sourced from post-consumer waste and renewable raw materials. Such alternative materials are known to reduce the negative environmental impact of surfboard construction and increase the safety of material handlers.  By electing to use the least environmentally degrading materials, sustainability is built into every stage of the shaping process. 

The second difference between Maui Leaf Lite and traditionally constructed surfboards comes from the customizable nature of Leaf Lite boards. Modern surfboards are categorized into models based on features and characteristics of a board’s design. Categorizing models imprints rigid definitions of board differences while ignoring materials. Far from ignoring differentiations between shapes, we believe entrenched, marketing-driven categories suffocate creativity in board design. Custom-built Maui Leaf Lite boards are unregulated by the structure of any single model, thereby offering both material options and design options. 

As a board builder, Jeff offers a unique product through the Maui Leaf Lite line. These surfboards will continue to push boundaries and challenge rigid conceptions of what a surfboard represents. All with an eye on improving the future of surfing. 

Why does it matter? 

Over the last 50 years, surfing has spread to 6 of the 7 major continents and is practiced on thousands of islands throughout the world’s oceans. As the sport grows, people chase waves in more and more remote destinations, including Nova Scotia, Tasmania, Alaska, Morocco, and even Siberia. Two things fuel this growth: improved technology and an increase in the surfing population. Within the surfing industry, it is commonly estimated that there are now more than 20 million surfers, worldwide. While wetsuit technology expands the range of the surfable, board building technology is also improving, but not always in the ways it should. 

As the ecology of our world changes, it has become common knowledge that humans have made an impression on our planet. Recognition of the impact of humans on nature can come in the form of something as simple as single-use plastics washing up on local beaches or the haze of a polluted skyline. Surfing relies upon nature, so surfers need to be attuned to natural changes and surfers must acknowledge that their surfboard buying habits have an impact on the environment. 

Upwards of 400,000 surfboards are made each year around the world. Because most modern surfboards are built with the bottom line as the top priority, most surfboards are made with non-biodegradable petro-chemicals on the largest scale possible with the most accessible technology. Unfortunately, the antiquated technologies that provide cheaper surfboards create unnecessary emissions and waste while opting not to use recycled or degradable materials. Petroleum-based plastics used in surfboard foam and resin does not degrade naturally. Because they cannot be recycled, the by-products of surfboard production become trash. That trash goes to landfills in the best-case scenario. Otherwise, these petroleum products float idly in our oceans, streams, rivers, lakes, and wetlands, where they have devastating effects on vital ecosystems. That standard must be challenged in order to move the surfboard industry in a more sustainable direction 

As board builders, we are responsible for making the best surfboards we can. At Timpone Hawaii, we believe that means making surfboards that perform to the highest standards in the waves, while also minimizing environmental impact. Our Maui Leaf Lite surfboards use alternative materials to reduce our impact on the environment. Each Maui Leaf Lite is a reminder to the surf industry that shapers don’t have to sacrifice performance to achieve the goal of reducing our environmental impact. By prioritizing technological innovation that raises the level of surfing and is environmentally sustainable, we ensure that future generations fall in love with surfing as we have and take the sport to places we have yet to imagine.