No other sport is so intrinsically linked to nature. Some call it a spiritual experience, most call it indescribable. And yet, in becoming the multi-billion dollar industry it is today, a great paradox has risen. Surfers are indeed directly connected to the earth’s pulse and yet a majority of the materials used are environmentally toxic.
The story begins in the 1960’s, the golden era of surfing, a time of innocence and discovery. Surf culture erupted onto the collective consciousness and became the epitome of cool. Fast forward to December 5th, 2005 and the closing of Clark Foam for environmental reasons, the largest surf blanks manufacturer in the world. Not only was the event a wake-up call for many to shift from petroleum-base products to more eco-friendly materials, it also reframed the foundation of a stagnant culture.
Enter surfing’s renaissance, an era where the new generation is completely changing what it means to be a surfer. And amid timid efforts from the industry’s biggies, a plethora of grassroots up-and-comers is redefining what a surfer is supposed to ride. From wooden surfboards, handplanes and alaias to recycled blanks and organic clothing, wave riding is taking on a new soul. Manufacturing Stoke is an introspective look into the surfing culture’s struggle to be beneficial unto itself, a tapestry of both influential and eclectic members of the surfing community that are constantly striving for positive change.