Good level-headed discussion. With candor and good will. Makes me happy
I may try some Virial just for the experience.
All the best
Personally I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught. - Winston Churchill
Has anyone come across agave blanks from Indonesia? I am not trying to start rumors but I have seen it mentioned in the marketplace.
How can there be a future for foam if major cities in the USA are banning its use, like NYC and SF? The future of foam is to move away from it. It is toxic stuff that can be replaced with natural or less polluting substances, just as humanity has done away with lead in products like paint and gasoline.
It is hypocrisy for the progressive culture of surfing to hold onto an outdated, and ultimately bad material. We can do better, and the answers are out there.
You lead the way big dog. Trees take longer to replace than foam. News to me that SF and NYC have banned it. Can you foot note or site your source for that claim?? There's nobody producing foam in those cities anyway. Very few shapers operating in those cities as real estate and shop space costs are prohibitive. In 2006 a buch of profits on this very site made predictions and claims such as yours. To which none of those forecasts came true. Other that SUP(poly for the most part is too heavy), EPS foam surfboards and alternative foams account for about 10-12% of the total market. Wood at less than 1%. All for good reasons. There are now three Poly Surfboard Foam manufacturers marketing foam in the U.S. and three EPS manufacturers. If anything the loss of Clark has been a boom to the Surfboard Industry. You can't "supersize" your soda in NYC either. Who gives a $#!t what they do in SF or NYC. Follow that one right off the cliff. That's for sure.;
Here´s a list from the Surfrider website of cities with public bans on foam. I over simplified the ban in SF, thinking it was across the board like NYC but in fact it only pertains to food packaging.
I live where agave grows abundantly and many people surf, although they are buying boards from the other side of the world in USA and other far off lands. So yes, I am starting the agave movement here on this old colony. What good is surfing if it is bringing people to my home islands to trash it by discarding busted boards in our land fills. I understand how foam is not a percieved mainland problem but when we scale life down to the island level, we will need to find solutions for foam that never returns to the Earth, which is afterall, an island in our solar system.
Compared to all other materials for building surfboards, in my opinion, agave is the least amount of embodied energy. I can spend an hour in the shop and turn hand cut stalks into a blank. The mushrooms and balsa and all that require massive energy inputs to to harvest, transport, synthesize, cook off mold, etc. Agave is the original foam. I gather foam came from the word phloem, which describes the inner fibers of plants that transports nutrients, the soft foamy material.
PU makes for great surfboards but no one has fjgured out how to make it disappear when it is no longer in use. I like the recycled EPS companies but in the end humans will have to close the pandoras box we have opened.
And, McDing is not using foam following others off the cliff? If we know foam is bad in the long term in relation to humanity and life on Earth (sea life included) why are people blindly using it? Wasn´t Clark Foam forced out of business for contaminating the environment they shared with so many people, at least, once they decided it was no longer making them MONEY?
First of all; there is no reason for me to believe that building and surfing PU or EPS is following anyone off acliff. Secondly make a good strong board of PU or EPS and when it is old you can build a fence around your yard of boards from you former quiver. The idea that surfboards of any kind contribute significantly to landfills and the destruction of the Planet is complete blind exsintrict Bullshit. Do what you like but don't lay your Bullshit trip on me. What about all those poor Agave stalks that you cut down that never grew into trees . Abusive if you ask me. A rip off of the planet. Quit surfing so we can make Tequila. L
The basis of my work and belief is I can promote positive change. I have slaved in grocery stores and long wondered what person in their right mind would package fruits or meat or whatever on a white foam tray when they can use cardboard or a plastic bag? That white stuff never goes away and it is nearly impossible to find a place to recycle it. That´s the point. I realize many shapers just consider their love for surfing and making things with their hands but why not also think about the material?
Like I said before, PU foam is archaic and bad for humans and the planet, no matter what form - much like asbestos, lead and mercury. People have long used materials that they later find out to be harmful to themselves and the environment. Dont be blind to the fact that foam is one of these harmful products, and there are alternatives.
I get it is more difficult to work with new and natural materials compared to foam but that´s where this craft will evolve. It has always evolved through materials and how people adapt to the new form.
I found agave (because it grows wild where I live and is considered a pest) and there are many more alternatives to foam out there. I have learned much through observing the plant life cycle. I am willing to teach you a little about the plant if you are interested. For one, it is a plant not a tree and the flower is the last stage of its life before it dries out and dies into organic material for the soil or part of a surfboard.
Its a lot of work to shape but for the machinists its all the same. I mean no offense but I feel strongly about an evolving surf.
First of all I am not hot. No need to cool down as I am already " cool, calm and calculating". I'm just sick and tired (gag me with a spoon) of lame "save the planet" rhetoric. Go off and make your very pretty, poor performance Agave boards. Foam surfboards are here to stay. Less likely to run into objections from the likes of me. Pretty damned obvious that you don't know the differance between Asbestos and Foam. Shows your lack of knowledge. An obvious comparison that you hoped no one would point out as asinine. Lowel
Saw something that may be Varial foam recently. It was shaped by Rusty and sent to a glasser here. Very light and hard. Looked up their site, but it doesn't look like they sell single raw blanks. You can get a machined blank from them, but I don't know what those cost. If the raw blanks were available and they didn't cost a lot, I'd certainly try one.
I'm still using inexpensive EPS for now, and adding balsa skins or more glass for added when strength when needed. Was planning on switching back to PU, but I've been getting good deals on EPS. It will be a while before I actually work with anything else.
The other blank I really liked was the XTR XPS foam I was lucky to try.
Wood blanks have all kinds of issues when compared to foam. Weight would be a big one, having a consistent even weighting across the whole board, and keeping it down. I haven't found wood that makes a lighter board than foam. Starting with raw trees takes a lot of work and time, and if bugs get to the wood before you can use it, you're screwed.
We use petroleum to make foam, but I'm pretty sure that we're using by-products and that the main use for petroleum is fuel. Either to make fuel for transportation or the Energy sector. The Energy sector uses the waste product called fuel oil. It's a heavy, tar like product one step above the stuff they pave roads with. Foams are made from other by-products that are pulled off crude oil during the refining process.
I don't know what is worse, sucking oil out of the ground for fuel or cutting all the trees down for all the wood products we use. Cutting trees has direct impacts on a variety of animals, and the environments where trees are "logged". It is a big reason why we are contributing to climate change. The cutting of all the tropical rainforests has a huge impact on the world's climate, and air quality.
Tree farms are not necessarily good for the environment either. We clear cut huge areas of the natural habitat to create sterile zones of harvestable trees, or planations of highly desireable plants.
The styrofoam they make for food products is a totally different product from polyurethane surfboard foam. The total volume of PU surfboard foam made world-wide is probably a drop in the bucket compared to styrofoam used for other products.