Over the years we have tried and continue to test a variety of new, old and innovative environmentally friendly materials in an attempt to create a strong, light surfboard that performs as well if not better than the toxic counterparts.
When selecting these materials we think about the lifecycle of that material, How and where it's produced, how it will be processed and implemented in the product, How we can dispose of the excess material and what will happen to that material at the products end of life.
Theres so many criteria these materials have to meet to make it into our boards, The environmental implications of the materials are really important to us but we also want to create products that perform exceptionally well and last a long time so theres a lot of factors that we consider.
We currently use recycled or up-cycled EPS foam where possible, Plywood rails and we either skin them in NZ grown Paulownia or Organic Hemp fibre. Both constructions use a non toxic, Low Voc glue to bond the wood to the foam and a plant based epoxy to keep the boards watertight.
Wood and Hemp, Whats the difference?
Our wooden boards are made from ultralight foam with a 3mm Paulownia skin that we reinforce with 4oz hemp underneath. Most boards are made from medium density foam and fibreglass, the similarities in weight is comparable (if not lighter) to a standard PU board, but the buoyancy and flex is slightly different. All boards that have an EPS core, sit a little higher on the water, which is good for planning and speed through flat sections and works really well for certain shapes.
Traditional PU/PE surfboards are known for their ‘PU flex’, which is what we have been trying to replicate in some of our shorter performance models. So far the boards with hemp fibre combinations have been getting great feedback from surfers and we continue to explore this further. The Hemp we use comes from a certified organic plantation in Europe and we wet it out with the same bio resin that we use to seal our timber boards. For these boards we use a slightly higher density foam.
For boards like retro Fishes, Mid lengths and Logs, we recommend a Timber/Timber combo. And for shortboards and performance style fishes we recommend either Hemp/Hemp or a combination of hemp and timber. You get a little bit more flex from the Hemp top/ Wood bottom boards but the hemp does compress under foot and create deck wells, So if you want your board to look new for longer then go for the wood top.
All these constructions have our unique parabolic stacked plywood rail which provides the strength and a long lasting flex pattern. We haven't had any reports of a snapped board which we attribute to this feature.