Let’s talk to the windsurfer Svein. In 1983, you won the Mistral Worlds and you were Windsurfing World Champion. In a few words… tell us something about your passion for sea sports.
Being close to the sea, ocean, rivers and lakes, makes me feel energized, yet mentally relaxed. It’s like love, hard to explain, it’s just there and grows with the years as one understands the strength and fragility of the oceans, while the respects grows when I imagine the millions of years it has been here, while I am just passing by here at earth in a little glimpse. Being able to play on the surface of this gigantic sea of love is my ultimate experience and seeing it being treated better is my goal.
After one year, in 1984, you participated to the Olympic Games of Los Angeles. How does it feel to participate to the Olympic Games?
Being allowed to represent Norway in the very first Olympics of Windsurfing was amazing and one of those truly inspiring occasions in life.
In 1994 you founded Starboard and in the last two decades it’s the premium brand in windsurfing and paddle boarding. What makes you will to do better and better?
I guess we are in this game to give it our best effort year after year and one day pass the torch to those who can bring our little movement a little further, it’s all about getting people into the water so they understand better the importance of protecting it.
The logo of Starboard is TIKI, the fun-loving god-king of water and waves.
What’s the “spirit of TIKI”?
Tiki is indeed the god - king of wind and wave and an offspring of the sun god, loads of energy from that direction.
I read one sentence on Starboard website that, in my opinion, is impressive:
“It’s no longer good enough to be the best IN the world, we really need to start becoming the best FOR the world”. Why?
Our days are numbered in terms of continuing our consumption and single use mindset. People, companies and governments can change to work in new directions, namely figuring out ways where their existence contributes positively to the long-term wellbeing of our planet. For the record, my opinion is that we, humans, may wish to reconsider that we are some sort of king species who can do whatever we want as long as it makes financial sense and falls within our current legislation. We may need to reconnect and work with the other species to become better for the world, creating a dignified level of interspecies respect.
I love Starboard not only for the top products you create but also because we share the same mission: connect people to nature. How does Starboard want to achieve this goal?
Get people into the water, then have them take on the privilege of protecting their playground and build up a resistance against ocean pollution and destruction. It’s about supporting smaller groups and see them further connect through larger frames. It’s a project in work, we’re just getting started on a journey to gather likeminded people forming a resistance movement. My personal take away after going to different types of higher level eco oriented meetings, is that we are Zombies who have not yet realised that time is running, most of us are corrupted including myself, so we also need unspoiled people to join forces with seasoned people who can help guide it all.
Starboard has a strong plastic-free mission. The fins of my board are made by up-cycled fishing nets. In your opinion, what is missing to finally win the global fight against plastic pollution?
We need single use plastic regulations, prohibiting companies from offering products using single use plastic packaging for any product where an alternative product could be used. So, we need for the government that we have voted for, to take some decisive steps.
Companies often pointing at needs for better recycling, circular economy and customers being irresponsible, but it’s the company’s single use packing that is the main issue, so they all need to be forced to look themselves in the mirror.
Starboard has created the first climate park to restore and protect mangrove forests in Myanmar: the THOR HEYERDAHL CLIMATE PARK.
For every board produced, you plant a mangrove tree. Why are you focused on mangroves restoration?
Mangroves are sea trees, they live at the coastline, protecting villages against storms and erosion and helping to clean the water while giving nutrition to water species. Supporting reforesting of mangroves also helps the local economy.
And yes, according to scientists, one Mangrove tree in our Climate park absorb 1 ton of CO2 during its first 20 years of life, then it continues and absorbs even more. From our own research planting mangroves is the most efficient way to balance our carbon footprint and I love the people involved in the project, making it all more fun and engaging.
The target for the Worldview International Foundation is to plant 1 billion trees, absorbing 50 million tons of CO2 annually, just enough to example balance the CO2 footprint of my birth country Norway.
THANK YOU SVEIN
ENJOY THE WORLD OF STARBORD
& STAY TUNED FOR THE NEXT #LETSTALK!