Our Methods & Materials

Sustainable, low-impact, and environmentally-friendly materials and processes is the norm rather than the exception for the Wave Arcade project.

This approach is typically not the cheapest, nor the easiest, nor the fastest way to get things done, but it’s the right thing to do. Otherwise, what’s the point?

We’re always looking for ways to upcycle old surf junk and use recycled and sustainable materials in our products.

Check out some of the materials, processes, and production partners that help make Wave Arcade what it is.

Wave Arcade Apparel, Accessories, and Surf Art

We employ the help of printing partners to produce our groovy surf apparel and wall art.

These products are printed on demand and made to order with more sustainable processes. Our partners are dedicated to:

  • Reducing waste.
  • Reducing carbon emissions.
  • Using eco-friendly materials and methods.

Most of the shirts and apparel we offer our designs on are 100% organic cotton. Not only are these items eco-friendly, but they’re also high quality, comfortable, and long-lasting.

The inks used are water-based, which adds to their “eco-friendliness” and helps make our designs look great for longer.

Shirts and apparel are printed with a DTG (direct-to-garment) method, which is a more sustainable choice than a lot of screen printing methods. The process and the printers used consume less electricity, less water, and less chemicals than other methods and equipment.

Printed art like our surf maps used Epson ink, which has a low environmental impact as well.

Wave Arcade Surf Crafts & DIY Projects

Hand crafted surf crafts and upcycled equipment are what sparked the Wave Arcade project.

Since then, we’ve expanded to include other things, but you can still find our handmade gear out in the wild and on the website.

Below you can read about the methods and materials we like to use for many of our handcrafted projects.

Hand Crafted, Locally

Local Production in California

We like to work with our hands, and believe it’s a necessary step in the production process to really understand what we make and how it’s going to work. Most of our products that incorporate some sort of CNC step are finished and refined by hand.

There’s something about surfing with handmade equipment that just feels better.

3D Modeling & CNC


Whether we’re prototyping something new or looking to replicate one of our designs precisely, we turn to 3D modeling software and CNC machines like 3D printers and routers.

Up-cycled Surf Junk

We love finding new ways to up-cycle our surf equipment that’s no longer sea worthy.

For example, we’ve found that wetsuits that are no good at keeping you warm anymore are real good at keeping beers cold.

Recycled Raw Materials


Along with up-cycled surf equipment, we use recycled raw materials in many of our products and are always looking for ways to expand this even further.

You’ll find some of our accessories are 3D printed from recycled plastic filament. We’re looking to source the apparel we offer from recycled sources as well.



We make surf fins out of bamboo – a resource that we’ve found aligns perfectly with our aim to create high quality, good looking, and sustainable products. The light weight, strength, and recoil properties of bamboo make for a great fin.

We’ve learned that bamboo is a really interesting plant – it releases more oxygen into the atmosphere than an equivalent biomass of trees, it can grow as much a 3 feet per day and can mature in as little as 1 to 5 years, it grows very easily without the need for additional chemicals or fertilizer, and is stronger than steel in tensile strength.

Baltic Birch Plywood

We also make fins using Baltic Birch Plywood. Lightweight and buoyant, they’re a nice compliment to our bamboo fins. Expect the ply fins to have a bit slower rebound than bamboo, making them ideal for drawn out carves with a little more forgiveness out of turns. They’re great in a variety of conditions.

It’s a sustainable plywood option that works really well for fins. Baltic birch is typically a higher quality that plywood you’d find at a big home improvement store – free of voids and laminated with even, solid layers.

The layers are cross laminated, which gives makes it stronger that a standard ply and contributes to a unique look when the fins are foiled.


We’ve recently swapped fiberglass for hemp cloth to glass our fins. Hemp is another amazing plant that has a wide variety of applications. It’s also another plant that grows quickly, requires relatively little water, and doesn’t deplete the environment where it grows.

We’ve found hemp cloth to actually be stronger than fiberglass. It has some unique flex properties of its own when paired with wood or bamboo, and give a super distinct look to the fins we make.

Carbon Fiber

We use small amounts of carbon fiber in our fins to ensure our bases are solid and strong. When making wood fins for removable fin systems, the base is the trickiest part and the area most prone to damage and breakage. A little bit of carbon fiber goes a long way in keeping our bases intact and promoting flex and twist through the tip of the fin.

Bio-Based Epoxy Resin


We glass our fins with high bio-based (~30%) epoxy resin from Entropy Resins and Resin Research, both of which are marked as eco-friendly resin systems by the Sustainable Surf Ecoboard project.

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