In Conversation With… Wyve
What’s the story behind Wyve and how did the idea come about?
Wyve Founders, Léo and Sylvain, are two surfers who have been friends since high school; boardsports have always been at the heart of their friendship! With similar backgrounds in engineering, they wanted to apply their knowledge and skills to their shared passion, in a project that makes sense for both surfers and our planet. After doing some research in the field, they realised that the purchase of traditional surfboards generates toxic waste, pollutes our air and oceans, and that mass-produced boards don’t especially match the technical needs of surfers. Facing this paradox, Léo and Sylvain decided to create Wyve, a brand that is totally rethinking the way surfboards are produced and distributed, and reconnecting surfers with their demands and values. Our mission is to push boardsports towards technical and environmental excellence and to create a community of committed enthusiasts.
Please tell us a bit more about the materials wyve use to make Their surfboards, and the honeycomb design?
We use advanced technologies such as 3D printing and computer-aided design to create surfboards that are custom-made, eco-responsible, durable and with a unique transparent design. Using bio-sourced plastic (from corn starch), we print the core of our boards with a design adapted to the surfer’s needs and desire for digitally optimised progression. The structure is then 'glassed' with fiberglass and bio-sourced resin made in France. This layer covers the surface of the hollow structure, which allows the board to be easily repaired in case of water infiltration. They are produced locally in our micro-factories near the surf spots and distributed in short cycle.
Photo credit: Leo Guthertz
The business clearly has a focus on sustainability and A desire to innovate and protect our oceans – where does this passion come from?
Léo & Sylvain, our Co-Founders, have been passionate about surfing since they were very young and have always been concerned about climate change and the future of the oceans. Leo did some research in oceanography and Sylvain used to be a consultant in sustainable development. They chose to see eco-responsibility as a crucial challenge and an opportunity to innovate and create better products. We believe that technology can complement handmade work to make fully customised surfboards that match both the level and the values of surfers. We know eco design will not be adopted in the long-term if seen at the expense of performance and pleasure - that's why we are striving for excellence in performance too.
What packaging were you using before Flexi-Hex® and why did you make the switch?
We have used Flexi-Hex packaging from day one, and we chose it because we share the same values and we agree with their philosophy focused around creating practical and innovative solutions that ultimately help reduce the amount of packaging waste ending up in marine environments. It combines high performance and sustainability, like our products.
What other techniques do you use to lower your carbon emissions?
Our production is local, from the manufacturing process to the marketing of the boards. We produce in short circuits in order not to harm the environment. We take into account the lifespan of our products through recycling and repair the structures of the boards. Moreover, our boards are made to be three times more resistant to impact compared to traditional surfboards.
We love the ‘Girls in Surf’ section of your blog – what’s the story behind this?
We want to highlight women in the surfing world who are often underestimated. We wrote a series of articles about these women who come from different backgrounds. The idea is to share their passion for surfing, their experiences, their memories and their motivation with the readers who would identify with them. It inspires our community and our team.
"[Flexi-Hex] combines high performance and sustainability like our products."
Any final tips for maintaining a heathy work life balance?
- Surfing two to three times a week during a lunch break
- Prioritising tasks
- Sharing the five yearly objectives with the whole team
- Being 100% off when we decide to
- Travelling to discover new cultures and new people