Imagine Recycled Content Surfboards That Break in Half. On Purpose.


Photo: Imagine Surfboards

Imagine make surfboards from a 100% recycled, (and recyclable*) polystyrene foam they call, very informatively, B-XP3. Apparently this particular foam, besides being made as a waterproof extrusion, off-gasses 50% less volatile organic compounds (VOCs), during manufacture, than standard polyurethane (PU) surfboard blanks.

Tagged as Eco Boards, these planks are also laminated with a stretch bamboo cloth, instead of the usual fibreglass.Imagine claim fibreglass is often treated with toxic chromium. And, as anyone who laid up fibreglass knows, those pesky little fibre spikes can end up just about anywhere, necessitating protective clothing and face masks.

Like other greener surfboard makers we've noted previously (see links below) Imagine are currently using an epoxy resin to bond the fabric to the foam core, but are hopeful that within a year they'll have a biodegradable epoxy, in their instance, made from unsaturated vegetable oils.


Photo: Imagine Surfboards

The fins also a bit different. They release under undo force instead of breaking and snapping. It appears that you only need to replace a release plug, instead a whole new fin in this happens.

See videos on the ISPO Brandnew site, where Imagine was the Overall Winner amongst 2009 entrants, for combining their more responsible materials and construction with an ability to separate the surfboards in several pieces for transport or storage. Seemingly without any loss in the boards performance.

Like the Sit On Top kayak mentioned in the preceding post, a surfboard that breaks into two sections allows its owner to avoid the use of car roof racks, reducing their fuel usage and CO2 emissions.

Imagine is a Canadian company, headed by South African champion kayaker, Corran Addison, whom we mentioned some five years ago, because he'd developed the idea of river surfing on Montreal's St. Lawrence River.

As with any newish product making strong claims Corran's Eco Boards have copped a bit of flack, particularly for regarding the blanks coming out of China, as you see in the comments in the post on Triple Pundit.

Oh, yeh we know that others have made separable surfboards before, but we can't remember any that had green ambitions as well.

* recycling polystyrene is technically possible, but largely at an industrial level. Most residential kerbside recycling schemes do not handle expanded polystyrene and its ilk, so we aren't entirely sure how Imagine envisage customers will be able to return their (eventually) trashed B-XP3 boards to the materials foodchain.

::Imagine Eco Surfboards
More Greener Surfboards
Bamboo Surfboards
OceanGreen's EcoFoil: A Balsa Hemp Surfboard
Biofoam Surfboard Blanks Are Made With Plants
Get Wood: Grain Surfboards Say Its Good
Wooden Longboards from the Long White Cloud
42 Surfboards. They're Wooden, As Are Many Others.
ReRip and The Future of Surfing
Paulownia: Treehugging for Grommets and Waxheads

Tags: Canada | Designers

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