Been watching this thread with interest, as our products have been mentioned. We have a lot of companies using our flax and basalt hybrids. A lot of the comments here are right - best Eco board... One which lasts the longest!
But what if you can build a board with eco fibres and they do last last? This is why we have designed, built and tested every fabric and fibre we offer in our range. We have a R&D testing factory on our shop premisis and we test everything before we sell it. One of the favourites mentioned is Basalt flax hybrid - its a great cloth and weight of 3.7oz suits surfboards. wetted out weight is very similar to 4oz eglass - as with all these eco fabrics the better results are with Epoxy.
We have done tests with a big board company R&D dept and with Epoxy and basalt you can put more weight onto a basalt board than a normal fiberglass epoxy board this company has a board breakage machine set up. Each time we tested a basalt (and some of its hybrids) over a 4x4x4 board you could put on 50-150kg more pressure before it broke.
Flax we do a 3oz cloth so weight cloth is slightly more than a 4oz wetted out. Again in the test machine it handled ok... breakage was just under a 4x4x4 board (broke about 20-50kg less pressure than the 4x4x4) we were not looking at compression the company we worked with were looking at breakage for an eco series - they will be coming out with a range in a special hybrid we did for them later this year.
So these fabrics do have a place in surf - I know its not for everyone.. same as the ole "poly vs epoxy"camp. I personally like the look of the eco boards - and performance can be the same to your usual 4x4x4. I usually ride basalt (and hybrids) boards and most of my boards are still surfable in performance after 5 years which my old 4x4x4 wouldnt do..
. it doubled up while posting?
Hey sanded, thanks for chiming in!
That's great to hear your'e actually testing the materials, I think that's a big missing step to have some apples to apples data on equivalent builds with various materials and layups.
Do you have any distributors in the US, or do you just do international shipping?
Been following you on Insta so I see a lot of the stuff you post. Always impressed by the build quality and willingness to experiment.
Here's an interesting read in context of Flax gaining some traction in boatbuilding:https://www.proboat.com/2022/05/greenboats-flax/
A relevant excerpt from that article:
"While not as lightweight and as stiff as carbon fiber, it (flax) takes less than 1% of the energy (measured in megajoules, MJ) to produce, and less than 9% of the energy required to manufacture glass fibers, according to a life cycle assessment (LCA) calculation done with the MarineShift 360 software (see below and sidebar). That LCA also ranks flax fibers and bio-based epoxy resin at the top of low-emission composite materials, close behind hemp, ahead of basalt fibers, and way ahead of glass fibers in polyester resin."
I'm just trying to find some alternatives that are equivalent to a standard epoxy layup but less impactful on the environment.
Speak to Timmy from RevChem and also the guys at Fibreglass Florida, They can get stuff in.. actually looking at launching our Keyline Epoxy over there also.. so hopefully soon you guys will have access to that as well.
Unless you walk to your surf spot the mode of transportation you use to go surf has a bigger impact on the carbon footprint of what you're doing than the materials in your surfboard. The wetsuit or trunks you wear, the leash, all of it.
If you want to be a good world citizen then stop surfing. If you don't want to do that then build your boards to last and only build enough boards to round out your quiver. Insofar as the hierarchy of needs go, function comes first and fashion comes last
That's a pretty nihilistic view gdaddy.
I get the sentiment, and you are correct, but that's not a pre-requisite to learning and experimenting.
If you can't do it all, do nothing... gets us nowhere.
Appreciate your feedback though, your assessments have been right on.
This quote sums up my current mindset in regards to this topic:
"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is more people that have come alive."
- Howard Thurman
Suffice it to say that "greener" has been a topic of discussion here for many years and the outcome remains the same. Performance is a good reason to keep an eye on new materials but it's like anything else, there is always a point of diminishing returns. If you're using more resin or more sealers or more cups or more tape or more brushes to work with a fiber then that counts in its footprint. If you're vacuum bagging to use a cloth then the consumables AND the additional equipment and energy it takes to use that process counts toward the footprint of that clotth. If you're using acetone in conjunction with using a resin then the acetone contributes to the footprint of the resin. And so forth.
The sum consists of multiple factors, not just one or two.
Just as an example, I don't buy or use fin boxes for the multifin installs, I make my fins and glass them on. That alone will offset whatever eco-savings you can get out of using a different cloth and the so-called eco-epoxy for your lamination. I make leash loops instead of using fin plugs. I'll use alternate materials if it suits the aesthetic but I don't indulge in the fiction that I'm saving the planet. I don't live in a pup tent or grow my own food or forego the use of electronics in my lifestyle, all of which contribute a lot more to my footprint than what choice of cloths or resins or blanks I use to build a surfboard.
If your pusuit of green construction makes you feel better about it then by all means, you do you. After all, these board are in part an expression of our individuality. Or our tribal uniform, if you want to look at it that way. But the one thing I know is that the wave doesn't care what our personal virtues are.
Haha! Esoteric! Convenient to the inconvenient truth. Better to buy Chinese soft tops and let them do the polluting.
That which can be assorted without evidence was read in an illegal magazine.