What To Expect From Kudo Surf in 2017
Kudo Surf began with the big dream of helping small surfing communities make it to the global stage. The past three years were spent setting up a home base in Siargao and coordinating with professional surfing circuits such as the ASC and the WSL to help them make the important switch to eco-minded competition materials. Not only did we want to help local surfers test their skills alongside the best in the league, we also wanted to influence communities to make better choices for the environment.
Looking back, it was a tall order— but 2016 turned out to be a pivotal year for Kudo Surf. Here are some of the highlights from the year that was, and what we hope to continue in this new year.
1) KS Team Rider Nilbie Blancada becomes the first Filipina to win the ASC.
When team rider Nilbie Blancada took home the 2016 Asian Surfing Championship women’s title, we couldn’t contain our excitement. For years, we watched and marveled at Bebe’s unparalleled prowess in the water. Big day or small day, she’d be out there getting things done.
Bebe wasn’t a stranger to surfing competitions as she has dominated round after round in local and international events. But this win was more than just about surfing— it was about following a dream that began with a borrowed board, and proving that no dream was too big if you gave it your all.
Kudo Surf takes great pride and inspiration from Bebe, and we hope that we can continue to make other surfers’ dreams come true because that is our biggest dream too. When you buy from Kudo Surf, you are helping a local grom or a hometown hero explore opportunities beyond the island.
2) Setting up the first local sewing center for women’s surf suits in Siargao.
Life is better in a bikini, but have you ever tried surfing in a surf suit? (Boys need not answer.) Style meets functionality in a surf suit and we are proud to have opened the country’s first sewing center dedicated to surf apparel in Siargao. We design, develop and produce surf suits and swimmers that will not only make surfer girls look good, but move better in the water too.
The Kudo surf suits and swimmers are now available at our physical store located in Greenhouse, Siargao. Stay tuned for the official release in our online store this year!
3) Making eco-friendly events merchandise for the World Surf League.
Kudo Surf pioneered a product line of eco-friendly custom rashguards and boardshorts from recycled plastic bottles and it was only a matter of time before the World Surf League took notice. Last year, we began supplying the WSL QS and CT events, such as The Pipe Masters, the last leg of the Men’s CT, with rash vests made from upcycled waste. If we can produce not only competition jerseys but also event banners and boardshorts from recycled plastic, then we’ll all be able to enjoy surfing in our favorite spots for years to come.
Kudo Surf supports the WSL’s Pure advocacy, which is a global commitment to research and long term environmental solutions for our oceans. The WSL has partnered with Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, a leading science center for world environmental studies. Together, we can all contribute to scientific efforts to create lasting solutions to improve the health of oceans across the world.
4) Becoming official retailers of respected surf brands from all over the world.
Part of giving the kudos back to the local community involves access to the best surf gear and apparel available. This is why we’ve brought stocks from Seea, Surf Organic, Havaianas, Pleasant, Luci Surf, ASC and WSL to the Greenhouse Surf Shop in Siargao, the home of Kudo Surf. We also aim to elevate the status of hardworking homegrown brands such as Reefside, Aframe, Coco Surf and Cebruery by placing them alongside international brands.
5) Inspiring young people to chart their own destinies away from the city.
The Kudo Surf team is proudly based in a relatively remote Pacific island. We all come from different backgrounds, but we all learned that if you wanted to live a life where you never ran out of good waves and even better company, you should go and make it happen. Today, our designers, writers, sales and operations staff enjoy the limitless benefits of a simpler but more rewarding life. We surf when the waves are good; we work when they’re not. By living closer to the ocean, we relearned the forgotten skill of listening to nature. Once you get a connection like that, you wouldn’t go back to single-use plastics and the nine-to-five.
As 2017 unfolds, we have our sights set on growing our eco-minded efforts to lessen the waste that goes into the ocean. We hope to teach the value of upcycling to local communities located the world over. If we’re allowed to dream big yet again, we want to lead a movement for better lifestyles in and out of the water. Following the footsteps of Bebe, our ASC Women’s Champion, anything is indeed possible if you dream big enough and work hard enough.