Skip to main content

Surfboard dubbed ‘The Roach Tail’ is made from 10,000 cigarette butts

When you think of cleaning up the ocean, you might imagine large-scale beach gatherings where trash is picked up and removed, rather than reused. Santa Cruz based surfer Taylor Lane had a bigger idea in mind when he constructed “The Roach Tail” — a surfboard made from 10,000 cigarette butts collected from the California coastline. His creation brought to light an important environmental concern and earned him 1st place in the Vissla and Surfrider Creators & Innovators Upcycle Contest

Taylor’s idea sprung from participation in a beach cleanup in Northern California, during which he realized cigarettes are the most common form of ocean pollution. After 200 hours of labor, many setbacks, and multiple failures, he successfully constructed The Roach Tail and entered his masterpiece into the Vissla Upcycle Contest, hosted by surfbrand Vissla and the nonprofit Surfrider Foundation.

“People see this board and they are visually drawn to it, it’s visually disgusting — but awesome in how gross it is,” Lane stated to the O.C. Register. “It just ties together surfing and something we care about — the environment, the ocean, and the health of the ocean.”

The contest challenges surfers to take waste and create something that can be used in the ocean, “converting waste into want.” Applicants create their projects over a three-month period and must document the process in photos or video. This year’s competition publicly recognized 14 finalists at a gala held on October 20 at The Ecology Center, drawing a full house of guests who came to check out the projects. 

The winners are deliberated based on detail, creativity, and level of “upcycled-ness”. The second-place award went to François Jaubert, who constructed a surfboard from a wood palette, recycled styrofoam, and smaller pieces of wood. The third-place award went to Shane Swindler who engineered a short board and a trailer to carry it from a discarded stand up paddle board perimeter, wood from a 1913 building, and reused aluminum golf cart wheels. While the top three contestants took home shopping spree prizes, all the entries were recognized for their passion in helping make the ocean a better place.

Plans for The Roach Tail don’t stop here. With the help of filmmaker Ben Judkins, Taylor Lane intends on creating an environmental surf documentary on the making of the board and recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to highlight beach pollution from a new angle.

Amanda Ellis
Amanda is an outdoor junkie and digital nomad with an insatiable hunger for gear. Based out of Raleigh, NC she travels to…
The best electric bikes for 2023
Aventon Pace 500.3 with rider on it

Whether you're wondering what the fuss is all about with e-bikes, or you're an enthusiast shopping for a new model, the options have never been broader. There is an e-bike for just about anyone who wants to try electric two-wheeling, whether you want to spend $500 or $5,000. Using e-bikes for commuting is an eminently practical and cost-saving alternative form of transport for some people, but most riders choose e-bikes for fun and adventure.

Here are eight of the best e-bikes available today, from our favorite overall pick to more specialized choices for every type of rider, whether you're looking for something fast, portable, and just more affordable.

Read more
The 6 best portable power stations, tested by experts
EcoFlow DELTA 2 on table at campsite for quick charging.

Having some form of backup power is not only going to make your life easier, but it might literally be life-saving, depending on the situation. Luckily, there are a lot of options for it, whether you need something to charge your phone or get your car jump started while being stuck in the middle of nowhere. To that end, we've collected some of the best deals we could find across the board so that you don't have to wade through all the options and retailers to find the best deal for your needs.
The Best Portable Power Stations

Best overall portable power station:
Best portable power station for the campsite:
Best portable power station for the long haul:
Best power station for the mobile professional:
Best portable power station for your car: [/cc-link
Best for smartphones: [cc-link url="" merchant="5b9be81f89f4b3242158adcd" type="textlink" align="default" cta="Anker Power Bank"]

Read more
The 15 best GoPro accessories in 2024
best GoPro accessories

If you own a GoPro, you are probably already obsessed with capturing thrilling action shots. But what if we told you there were a few different ways you could make those action shots even better? There are a wide variety of GoPro accessories out there that will let you create even more exciting content on your next adventure. If you don't already own a GoPro, check out some of the best GoPro deals happening right now. Then add some of the below accessories to your cart as well to heighten your GoPro experience.

FitStill Waterproof Case

Read more