Australia's surfers outshine rivals with cutting-edge rock-infused board technology.

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Australia’s surfers outshine rivals with cutting-edge rock-infused board technology.

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Australia’s surfboard industry is revolutionizing the sport with an innovative technology that transforms rocks into top-notch surfboards. Here are the key highlights:

  • Eco-Friendly Basalt Cloth Surfboards: These environmentally conscious surfboards, made from basalt cloth, are showcasing impressive performance benefits.
  • Strength and Durability: This cutting-edge technology boasts superior strength compared to fiberglass and is less prone to snapping than carbon boards.
  • Reduced Environmental Impact: Basalt production minimizes volatile organic compounds and pollution, making it a greener alternative to traditional fiberglass.

Steve Hann, a Sunshine Coast surfboard shaper, commended the industry’s shift towards more eco-friendly options that also excel in performance. Basalt’s durability means longer-lasting surfboards, reducing the environmental footprint.

Hann shared his positive experience using basalt boards during challenging surf conditions, highlighting their resilience. He emphasized the importance of leaving a cleaner planet for future generations.

The surf community is divided between those prioritizing sustainability and those sticking to conventional boards. Hann expressed gratitude for the innovation brought forth by John Dowse and Colan, which keeps backyard shapers on the forefront of technological advancements.

John Dowse, representing Sanded Australia, the company behind basalt fiber cloth, extolled the environmental benefits of basalt production. He explained that the process involves melting the rock, extruding it into fine strands, and weaving it into fabric, all done locally in Australia.

Dowse revealed extensive testing results, demonstrating the superior durability of basalt over regular fiberglass. Sanded Australia has developed a hybrid fabric, combining basalt with recycled water bottle material, which enhances impact resistance.

To achieve wider acceptance of basalt cloth surfboards, Dowse believes that more elite surfers need to embrace this innovation. He noted that the adoption of basalt options by major manufacturer Firewire indicates a promising future for eco-friendly surfboards in the industry. As pro surfers get on board with the trend, it is expected to gain even more momentum.

Reference:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-10-01/how-rocks-are-turned-into-cutting-edge-surfboard-technology/102896866

https://academic.oup.com/north-carolina-scholarship-online/book/46204?redirectedFrom=PDF

https://www.boardsportsource.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Boardsportsource-103-English..pdf

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