Opolis & Ventana: A Sustainable Collaboration

 Opolis Optics + Ventana Surfboards

People talk about finding their soul mate, but what about a "soul business?" Is that even a thing? Well, we think it should be. Over the years, we’ve found several “soul businesses,” and among our favorite is Oplis Optics.

Ventana + Opolis GiveawayOpolis x Ventana

Entering to win a $550 prize package is simple

  1. Tag a friend in the @Ventana or the @Opolis Instagram accounts.
  2. If you’re following Ventana and Opolis on July 3, 2021 at 7pm Pacific time, you’re eligible to win a prize package valued at $550
  3. Comment multiple times and tag a different friend each time to increase your chances of winning!
  4. We will select two winners at random on July 3 at 7pm! We'll tag the winners in a post and DM them to let them know.
  5. We will mail the prize packages within one week. (International winners may be responsible for customs taxes in their home countries.)

Prize package includes:


A Workshop Meeting

James Merrill & Martijn Stiphout - Opolis + VentanaWe were introduced to Opolis’ founder, James Merrill, through our mutual friend, Zach Rollins, creator of the Along the Keel podcast. Soon after, James took a trip up the California coast from the Opolis headquarters in Venice Beach to visit Ventana at our Aptos workshop. Within minutes of meeting, we knew we were kindred spirits. James and team have found a way to create beautiful, functional sunglasses out of bio-degradable, plant-based materials and recycled plastic bottles. Like Ventana’s mission to be the most environmentally responsible surf company on the planet, Opolis wants to change how industries invest in materials and manufacturing, to improve our planet on a local and global level.

A Focus on Sustainability

Martin Stiphout wearing Opolis sunglasses

During James’s visit, we talked for hours about ways we could work together to amplify our missions and set a sustainability example for others in our industries. We decided that, once Opolis’ first line of bio-based sunglasses was released, we’d collaborate in a unique giveaway.

Opolis’s Bio Acetate sunglasses are made from plant-based plasticizers using natural materials such as red pulp and cotton. Instead of oil-based plasticizers, the bio acetate is an environmentally friendly product made of renewable materials…not unlike wood. And, of course, Ventana turns storied, salvaged wood sourced from our Upcycle Partner Program into functional ocean products, so we knew our collaboration with Opolis had to incorporate historic wood that is as interesting as the Opolis line.

Western Flyer boat

We decided to make sunglass cases using Douglas fir hull planks from the Western Flyer boat, considered by many to be the most famous fishing boat in the world. John Steinbeck, Ed "Doc" Ricketts and crew chartered this 77-foot sardine boat into the Sea of Cortez in Baja California, Mexico in 1940. The following year, Steinbeck published his acclaimed book, The Log from the Sea of Cortez, about the adventure.

An Epic Surf Session

Feeling good about our plans on that first day of discussions, we took a break to check the surf. No day in Santa Cruz would be complete without a surf session, and the ocean delivered with Steamer Lane pumping a NW swell at 10-15 feet. We jumped in for a sunset session and rode some monsters before bidding each other farewell.

Steamer Lane: Photo by Lauren O'Brien (http://bohemianbo.com)Steamer Lane: Photo by Lauren O'Brien





See you in the water,

David Dennis & Martijn Stiphout
Co-founders of Ventana Surfboards & Supplies

James Merrill
Founder of Opolis.