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building eco boards

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Created by Gestalt 22 days ago, 15 Jun 2020
Gestalt
QLD, 12766 posts
15 Jun 2020 11:11PM
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lookng into my next diy board project. got a design ready to go but this time would like to build an eco board

being diy i'm trying to avoid peel ply, vacuums etc.

current plan is,

bio resin
recycled foam core
Sandwich of 4.5 oz double bias basalt / 3mm balsa / 4.5 oz double bias basalt
3oz PET cloth finish (recycled plastic)
0.6mm beech veneer foot strap area (very high density sustainable)
all boxes set in paulownia (sustainable)
basalt/carbon rail tape
double bias basalt patches to nose and tail.
cork foot pads

has anyone been down this road. or have a different take on it?

problem with balsa is water damage. could use 3mm corelite PET which is closed cell and 100% recycled but doesn't have the density of balsa.

Grantmac
321 posts
16 Jun 2020 2:29AM
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Is it just me or could a person build a board from lighter PET foam and simply skip the sandwich? It's only 3.9lb/ft3 after all.
From my reading you can get PET foams in all kinds of densities. It's an interesting material, significantly cheaper than PVC foam and available in lower density. Plus recycled which is nice.
I wonder how available it is?

powersloshin
NSW, 1132 posts
16 Jun 2020 7:58AM
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amazing product, and if you get stranded you can survive eating your board...

Imax1
QLD, 2746 posts
16 Jun 2020 8:00AM
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Awesome , love a board build , pics
I believe those materials will work good .
Downer alert !
I don't want to be the downer guy but in most cases , recycled , eco , is a load of feel good crock . In most cases it takes more energy to recycle or produce these products . Take recycling plastic bottles for instance . Extra wheely bins are made , extra fuel guzzling trucks are deployed with paid drivers . Taken to a sorting station where paid employies sift through the rubbish where over half goes to landfill anyway .The bottles then are transported to a cleaning plant that removes labels and washes . Then dried and granulated . Then melted , filtered , additives added to bring it up to speck and then pelletised , finally into a usable product to make eco fibres . Way more expensive and polluting than new virgin plastic at $ 2 a kg. Recycling bottles to make bench seats , ok , but the extra refinement needed to make fibres does not make sense . Recycling is good but doesn't always work . Really look into how so called eco products are made to make a truely eco board. Keeping in mind , fibreglass is only melted sand , it's not so bad , why is Bassalt any better ?.
Expanding a bit of foam for sandwich material is less world damaging than growing , chopping and machining balsa wood . Reused foam core is a good idea .

I told you this was going to be a downer

To save Earth we have to re use and use less , not so much recycle.

Finished ranting now , look forward to the build and use of alternative materials .
Whats your design ?

Mark _australia
WA, 19839 posts
16 Jun 2020 7:56AM
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^^^ agreed. And often not as strong - if only as natural products have variation and defects. (thinking wood and flax)

However basalt is stronger than glass and cheaper than carbon (a lot) so it makes sense. Not as stiff or strong as carbon but the $$$ and natural product is sensible. My new board I'm doing is basalt-innegra

Gestman, the only problem in your plan is getting a good wood bond without vac. It will mean no compound curves and clever use of taping and sandbagging or something.

End grain balsa?


Gestalt
QLD, 12766 posts
16 Jun 2020 8:41PM
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Select to expand quote
Grantmac said..
Is it just me or could a person build a board from lighter PET foam and simply skip the sandwich? It's only 3.9lb/ft3 after all.
From my reading you can get PET foams in all kinds of densities. It's an interesting material, significantly cheaper than PVC foam and available in lower density. Plus recycled which is nice.
I wonder how available it is?


yeah this is an interesting point. i did some digging and i can't find how it would be shaped by hand. other than that it would be a great solution. maybe the big manufacturers could mold it.

Gestalt
QLD, 12766 posts
16 Jun 2020 9:22PM
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Select to expand quote
Imax1 said..
Awesome , love a board build , pics
I believe those materials will work good .
Downer alert !
I don't want to be the downer guy but in most cases , recycled , eco , is a load of feel good crock . In most cases it takes more energy to recycle or produce these products . Take recycling plastic bottles for instance . Extra wheely bins are made , extra fuel guzzling trucks are deployed with paid drivers . Taken to a sorting station where paid employies sift through the rubbish where over half goes to landfill anyway .The bottles then are transported to a cleaning plant that removes labels and washes . Then dried and granulated . Then melted , filtered , additives added to bring it up to speck and then pelletised , finally into a usable product to make eco fibres . Way more expensive and polluting than new virgin plastic at $ 2 a kg. Recycling bottles to make bench seats , ok , but the extra refinement needed to make fibres does not make sense . Recycling is good but doesn't always work . Really look into how so called eco products are made to make a truely eco board. Keeping in mind , fibreglass is only melted sand , it's not so bad , why is Bassalt any better ?.
Expanding a bit of foam for sandwich material is less world damaging than growing , chopping and machining balsa wood . Reused foam core is a good idea .

I told you this was going to be a downer

To save Earth we have to re use and use less , not so much recycle.

Finished ranting now , look forward to the build and use of alternative materials .
Whats your design ?


i get your sentiment and agree with some of your comments about using less and reusing.

to take it further tho, eco is more about sustainability and less about embodied energy. primarily because the energy could be 100% renewable. at that point energy isn't part of the equation anymore.

for example

timber is sustainable. even better it removes carbon from the air which helps balance the impact of growing it.
recycling foams and plastics means less oil. oil is finite. recycling materials from finite resources makes them more sustainable.
eco fibre are sustainable. take flax as an example. growing flax and processing it leaves a far smaller footprint than fiberglass or basalt cause as said. fiberglass and basalt aren't sustainable.

what the surfboard builders are doing is replacing carbon with basalt. lesser of 2 evils there i guess.

there was a science paper looking at the environmental impact of a surfboard carried out. there is an organisation pushing this stuff called sustainable surf. i can't find the research paper but from memory it was. 40% - resins, 20% - foam, 5% - fibreglass. the report pointed out that replacing the resins with bio resin had the greatest impact. replacing fiberglass less of an impact.

i'll see if i can find it and post it. if anything it;s an interesting read.

the board is an 80lt blasting machine for my son. fast, great for jumping and good for freestyle.

Ian K
WA, 3311 posts
16 Jun 2020 7:24PM
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Select to expand quote
Imax1 said..

Finished ranting now , look forward to the build and use of alternative materials .
Whats your design ?



You'd reckon after 40 years or so all the combinations and permutations have been sorted and it's possible to design the perfect board for your style of windsurfing. ( not that we should put a dampener on research...) In which case the most eco board is one built to last. (Carbon Art?) Then sail it until you drop.

( Though maybe you'll get to needing a new challenge before you drop..... best make it foil-ready. )

Gestalt
QLD, 12766 posts
16 Jun 2020 9:26PM
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Select to expand quote
Mark _australia said..
^^^ agreed. And often not as strong - if only as natural products have variation and defects. (thinking wood and flax)

However basalt is stronger than glass and cheaper than carbon (a lot) so it makes sense. Not as stiff or strong as carbon but the $$$ and natural product is sensible. My new board I'm doing is basalt-innegra

Gestman, the only problem in your plan is getting a good wood bond without vac. It will mean no compound curves and clever use of taping and sandbagging or something.

End grain balsa?




yeah, i really don't want to use a vac. there is a level of waste created by the process i think as a DIY setup i can eliminate. as you point out the lamination process around rails is going to be difficult.

the more i think about it the more i think balsa is not the right material. i'm starting to think bamboo veneer would be better. i found a reference to surfboard manufacturers gluing the bamboo to the foam core prior to fiber glassing. i'm pretty sure bamboo is stronger than balsa. maybe do it as a deck patch only with sandbagging and taping.

Gestalt
QLD, 12766 posts
16 Jun 2020 9:28PM
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Select to expand quote
Ian K said..

Imax1 said..

Finished ranting now , look forward to the build and use of alternative materials .
Whats your design ?




You'd reckon after 40 years or so all the combinations and permutations have been sorted and it's possible to design the perfect board for your style of windsurfing. ( not that we should put a dampener on research...) In which case the most eco board is one built to last. (Carbon Art?) Then sail it until you drop.

( Though maybe you'll get to needing a new challenge before you drop..... best make it foil-ready. )


the boards lifecycle is well beyond human lifecycle.

Gestalt
QLD, 12766 posts
16 Jun 2020 9:40PM
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the blanks seems to be an issue.

i can't find anyone in Australia that sells recycled eps. most of the recycled eps in australia goes overseas. The eco surfboards getting sold in australia are built from recycled eps blanks made in america and sent to australia. there are some embodied energy issues there.

i looked at repurposing the blanks of older boards but that has issues with size etc.

does anyone know where i could buy recycled eps bocks in australia?

Gestalt
QLD, 12766 posts
16 Jun 2020 9:54PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
Imax1 said..
Awesome , love a board build , pics
I believe those materials will work good .
Downer alert !
I don't want to be the downer guy but in most cases , recycled , eco , is a load of feel good crock . In most cases it takes more energy to recycle or produce these products . Take recycling plastic bottles for instance . Extra wheely bins are made , extra fuel guzzling trucks are deployed with paid drivers . Taken to a sorting station where paid employies sift through the rubbish where over half goes to landfill anyway .The bottles then are transported to a cleaning plant that removes labels and washes . Then dried and granulated . Then melted , filtered , additives added to bring it up to speck and then pelletised , finally into a usable product to make eco fibres . Way more expensive and polluting than new virgin plastic at $ 2 a kg. Recycling bottles to make bench seats , ok , but the extra refinement needed to make fibres does not make sense . Recycling is good but doesn't always work . Really look into how so called eco products are made to make a truely eco board. Keeping in mind , fibreglass is only melted sand , it's not so bad , why is Bassalt any better ?.
Expanding a bit of foam for sandwich material is less world damaging than growing , chopping and machining balsa wood . Reused foam core is a good idea .

I told you this was going to be a downer

To save Earth we have to re use and use less , not so much recycle.

Finished ranting now , look forward to the build and use of alternative materials .
Whats your design ?




here is the design. - 2160x580x114_80lt




tarquin1
395 posts
16 Jun 2020 8:03PM
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I tried to build an eco sup once. Flax,cork and bamboo. It all soaked up so much epoxy it weighed a ton and was a mess. I would really like to try the basalt but cant get it in France.
Bamboo soaks up an amazing amount of epoxy. You have to be careful.
You could try Grant Newby on the Gold Coast. He makes eco boards. Proper eco boards with no epoxy. He is always trying new stuff and would know where to get recycled eps blanks if they exist.

Gestalt
QLD, 12766 posts
16 Jun 2020 10:14PM
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Select to expand quote
tarquin1 said..
I tried to build an eco sup once. Flax,cork and bamboo. It all soaked up so much epoxy it weighed a ton and was a mess. I would really like to try the basalt but cant get it in France.
Bamboo soaks up an amazing amount of epoxy. You have to be careful.
You could try Grant Newby on the Gold Coast. He makes eco boards. Proper eco boards with no epoxy. He is always trying new stuff and would know where to get recycled eps blanks if they exist.


legend tarquin. thanks.

i did some googling and found a link on his page. polystyrene solutions on the gold coast. i'd already spoken with them over my big wave board but didn;t know they did recycled eps in-house so that a win and local for me. i'll ring them.

the bamboo is local for me too. local being within 100km.

i read flax also soaks the resin. not sure how to deal with that. need to do more research.

tarquin1
395 posts
16 Jun 2020 8:51PM
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If you get a good tight weave flax it's better than the UD stuff. With the poor man's vac you should be ok. The flax I used said to use 30% more resin than you would for glass.
I have bagged flax and it's great. But as you said peel ply,uses even more epoxy.
As I said I would like to try the the basalt. Maybe give that a go I have heard it's easier to use than flax.
Yes there's a bamboo farm up North from memory. Near Bli Bli?

DarrylG
WA, 271 posts
16 Jun 2020 8:58PM
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Can you get your shape out of a moulded 7' EPS fused surf blank? Water resistant, 32kg/m3 density. Minimal wastage. Aussie made
shapers.com.au/70-fused-eps-hybrid-blank/

KA360
NSW, 739 posts
16 Jun 2020 11:29PM
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Want to be truely eco friendly and recycle . Just buy a used 2015 -2018 Starboard Flare 81 ....., they are magic




Gestalt
QLD, 12766 posts
16 Jun 2020 11:52PM
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Select to expand quote
tarquin1 said..
If you get a good tight weave flax it's better than the UD stuff. With the poor man's vac you should be ok. The flax I used said to use 30% more resin than you would for glass.
I have bagged flax and it's great. But as you said peel ply,uses even more epoxy.
As I said I would like to try the the basalt. Maybe give that a go I have heard it's easier to use than flax.
Yes there's a bamboo farm up North from memory. Near Bli Bli?




yeah that's the one. out of all the woods the bamboo is the most cost effective by far. plus it's a lot stronger than balsa. both however will need sealing before laminating because of the resin uptake.

i've been doing some digging and Paulownia is said to not soak up resin. it;s density is closer to bamboo but not as strong.
i'm wondering if the solution is 3"wide bamboo strips top and bottom acting like carbon fiber stringer. thin paulownia deck patch over that.

i found a place that does end grain balsa like what starboard use.
the Corelite endgrain balsa starboard use is treated with a product to reduce resin uptake. there must be other products like that around the boat building industry.

Gestalt
QLD, 12766 posts
16 Jun 2020 11:53PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
DarrylG said..
Can you get your shape out of a moulded 7' EPS fused surf blank? Water resistant, 32kg/m3 density. Minimal wastage. Aussie made
shapers.com.au/70-fused-eps-hybrid-blank/


nope. not quite enough thickness unfortunately.

Gestalt
QLD, 12766 posts
16 Jun 2020 11:54PM
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Select to expand quote
KA360 said..
Want to be truely eco friendly and recycle . Just buy a used 2015 -2018 Starboard Flare 81 ....., they are magic





do you know any cheap...ha!! wow it does look similar. bit thicker.

i've got the 2012 model in the bigger volume. sweat board.

Grantmac
321 posts
16 Jun 2020 11:06PM
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PET should shape like any closed cell foam. Its mostly marketed as a replacement for PVC, like Divinycell.
The ultimate solution would be to skip the core and build hollow. I know there are a lot of hollow surfboards getting built from wood these days, perhaps the techniques could be transferred. The hollow wood boards are supposed to last a lifetime at the expense of some weight, but surf construction is so light compared to our equipment.

tarquin1
395 posts
16 Jun 2020 11:58PM
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Select to expand quote
Gestalt said..

tarquin1 said..
If you get a good tight weave flax it's better than the UD stuff. With the poor man's vac you should be ok. The flax I used said to use 30% more resin than you would for glass.
I have bagged flax and it's great. But as you said peel ply,uses even more epoxy.
As I said I would like to try the the basalt. Maybe give that a go I have heard it's easier to use than flax.
Yes there's a bamboo farm up North from memory. Near Bli Bli?





yeah that's the one. out of all the woods the bamboo is the most cost effective by far. plus it's a lot stronger than balsa. both however will need sealing before laminating because of the resin uptake.

i've been doing some digging and Paulownia is said to not soak up resin. it;s density is closer to bamboo but not as strong.
i'm wondering if the solution is 3"wide bamboo strips top and bottom acting like carbon fiber stringer. thin paulownia deck patch over that.

i found a place that does end grain balsa like what starboard use.
the Corelite endgrain balsa starboard use is treated with a product to reduce resin uptake. there must be other products like that around the boat building industry.


I dont think the bamboo stringer thing would do much. I played around with bamboo veneer and found that layed at 45? to the grain of the wood worked well. Let the wood bend without cracking along the grain and added a lot of impact resistance.
Bamboo density is around 700kg/m3,Paulownia is less than 300. Depending on the species.
I think a hollow wood windsurfer would end up being very heavy due to all the reinforcing needed.
I did a fair amount of research into the eco thing and spoke to a few big composite companies in the UK. As soon as you add epoxy to the equation dont even use the word eco or bio anymore. One of the big companies had been making bio resin for ages. When it became trendy they changed the labels. It was the same stuff.
Use locally made whatever and that's the best you can do. I have epoxy and fiberglass factories near me. So that's better than using bamboo from china or anything that has been transported from one side of the planet to the other.
Fiberglass cloth production is very efficient and can be recycled easily,until you soak it in epoxy. Then it's all over. It's the hardener that's toxic. The resin isnt too bad. A non bio resin that has a higher mix ratio say 5:1 is possibly less toxic than a bio resin that has a 2:1 mix ratio. Depends who you ask.
The next sup I build will be wood because I prefer working with it and like the look.
And can they stop making bio epoxy out of cashew nuts for f's sake. Choose a cheaper crappy nut that no one likes.

Grantmac
321 posts
17 Jun 2020 12:32AM
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What I'm thinking is the standard wood surf layup is probably enough. They are considered very over built for surfing. If you arranged the ribs so that footstrap inserts installed directly into them that could help.
Also a double central keel which held the fin and mast boxes would be great.

But maybe all that could be done with some sort of foam too.

tarquin1
395 posts
17 Jun 2020 1:40AM
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The ribs aren't thick enough to put screws in. 4mm normally. Everywhere would have to be reinforced. Mast area,foot straps etc.
Yes wooden boards are over built in general. The constant pounding on a windsurfer is different as well.

KA360
NSW, 739 posts
17 Jun 2020 3:42AM
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Select to expand quote
Gestalt said..

KA360 said..
Want to be truely eco friendly and recycle . Just buy a used 2015 -2018 Starboard Flare 81 ....., they are magic





do you know any cheap...ha!! wow it does look similar. bit thicker.

i've got the 2012 model in the bigger volume. sweat board.


But you care about the environment , right ? ............not price.

Gestalt
QLD, 12766 posts
17 Jun 2020 7:42AM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
KA360 said..

Gestalt said..


KA360 said..
Want to be truely eco friendly and recycle . Just buy a used 2015 -2018 Starboard Flare 81 ....., they are magic






do you know any cheap...ha!! wow it does look similar. bit thicker.

i've got the 2012 model in the bigger volume. sweat board.



But you care about the environment , right ? ............not price.


These things are not mutually exclusive

Imax1
QLD, 2746 posts
17 Jun 2020 7:44AM
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Keeping in mind the difference in extra resin and tape required compared to plastic vac bags is probably similar .
If I had a vac and could work quick enough I'd use that . All those mentioned alternative products soak up soo much resin and they have to , to get a good bond without bagging .
I don't bag and wet on board and bench and it costs at least 1 kg extra resin on a average board . Add more with absorbing materials .I have to be so careful and make sure there is enough resin to bond layers together. Resin layer rolled onto board and cork for instance . If resined on only one surface it will be a dry join.

Gestalt
QLD, 12766 posts
17 Jun 2020 8:06AM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
Imax1 said..
Keeping in mind the difference in extra resin and tape required compared to plastic vac bags is probably similar .
If I had a vac and could work quick enough I'd use that . All those mentioned alternative products soak up soo much resin and they have to , to get a good bond without bagging .
I don't bag and wet on board and bench and it costs at least 1 kg extra resin on a average board . Add more with absorbing materials .I have to be so careful and make sure there is enough resin to bond layers together. Resin layer rolled onto board and cork for instance . If resined on only one surface it will be a dry join.


there is a technique used of diluting the resin and rolling that on the surface. once dried give it a sand and then laminate. some surfboard builder do this to balsa before vac bagging and model aeroplane builders do it to their wings.

i'm thinking there may be an opportunity to use this idea.

Gestalt
QLD, 12766 posts
17 Jun 2020 8:09AM
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Select to expand quote
tarquin1 said..

Gestalt said..


tarquin1 said..
If you get a good tight weave flax it's better than the UD stuff. With the poor man's vac you should be ok. The flax I used said to use 30% more resin than you would for glass.
I have bagged flax and it's great. But as you said peel ply,uses even more epoxy.
As I said I would like to try the the basalt. Maybe give that a go I have heard it's easier to use than flax.
Yes there's a bamboo farm up North from memory. Near Bli Bli?






yeah that's the one. out of all the woods the bamboo is the most cost effective by far. plus it's a lot stronger than balsa. both however will need sealing before laminating because of the resin uptake.

i've been doing some digging and Paulownia is said to not soak up resin. it;s density is closer to bamboo but not as strong.
i'm wondering if the solution is 3"wide bamboo strips top and bottom acting like carbon fiber stringer. thin paulownia deck patch over that.

i found a place that does end grain balsa like what starboard use.
the Corelite endgrain balsa starboard use is treated with a product to reduce resin uptake. there must be other products like that around the boat building industry.



I dont think the bamboo stringer thing would do much. I played around with bamboo veneer and found that layed at 45? to the grain of the wood worked well. Let the wood bend without cracking along the grain and added a lot of impact resistance.
Bamboo density is around 700kg/m3,Paulownia is less than 300. Depending on the species.
I think a hollow wood windsurfer would end up being very heavy due to all the reinforcing needed.
I did a fair amount of research into the eco thing and spoke to a few big composite companies in the UK. As soon as you add epoxy to the equation dont even use the word eco or bio anymore. One of the big companies had been making bio resin for ages. When it became trendy they changed the labels. It was the same stuff.
Use locally made whatever and that's the best you can do. I have epoxy and fiberglass factories near me. So that's better than using bamboo from china or anything that has been transported from one side of the planet to the other.
Fiberglass cloth production is very efficient and can be recycled easily,until you soak it in epoxy. Then it's all over. It's the hardener that's toxic. The resin isnt too bad. A non bio resin that has a higher mix ratio say 5:1 is possibly less toxic than a bio resin that has a 2:1 mix ratio. Depends who you ask.
The next sup I build will be wood because I prefer working with it and like the look.
And can they stop making bio epoxy out of cashew nuts for f's sake. Choose a cheaper crappy nut that no one likes.


appreciate your input.

all of my current NXS custom boards are wood veneer on foam vac bagged. i really like the feel of wood and it's impact resistance is fantastic. i've got a sup and a freestyle blasting board build that way.

Gestalt
QLD, 12766 posts
17 Jun 2020 8:26AM
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i'm putting together a technical list of material properties and local sources. i'll post here once complete.

luckily for me living close to the gold coast there are a lot of options. the surfboard industry is quite big there.



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"building eco boards" started by Gestalt