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The Roach Tail

Three quarters of smokers report habitually flicking their cigarettes. Aside from being an eyesore, 80% of discarded cigarette butts make their way into our water systems — streams, rivers, and gutters that lead directly to the ocean. There are 5.6 TRILLION cigarette butts littered each year around the world, which makes them the most littered item on Earth. These butts carry more than 7,000 chemicals, such as lead, arsenic, and formaldehyde, which leach into the environment, contaminating water, poisoning fish, and killing other animals. Just ONE cigarette butt can have adverse effects on marine life.


Taylor Taylor is an Industrial Designer by trade, a surfer by passion; he has shaped only a handful of surfboards, but is unquestionably talented with his hands. He has an enormous amount of ambition, dedication, and skill at creating just about anything. A surfboard made out of cigarette butts... doesn't make much sense. But it couldn’t be impossible, could it?

For surfers, littered items on beaches have harmful effects on the place we love and yearn to keep clean. Discarded cigarette butts and other plastics are completely contrary to the surf culture we are trying to promote. The Cigarette Surfboard would function as a catalyst for conversations on these issues and, hopefully, as an impetus for increased awareness and a search for solutions.

It was clearly more than a creation for the contest; it could operate as a political, environmental, and social statement. We decided to go for it. But could we actually create a surfboard made from cigarette butts?


The Cigarette Surfboard was made for an international competition held by the surf company Vissla, in collaboration with the Surfrider Foundation. The goal of the contest was to create an article of surf-craft out of upcycled materials. We saw this as an opportunity to address a major issue that, as surfers, we experience on a daily basis: beach and ocean pollution.

After taking 1st place at Vissla + Surfrider's Creators Contest in 2017, news of the Cigarette Surfboard went viral, captivating minds and publications around the world. Recognizing the global impact of their creation, Ben and Taylor were inspired to make a full length environmental surf film about the Cigarette Surfboard and beyond. To learn more about "The Film" click here

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