World’s first algae-based surfboard is another move towards sustainability
Surfers always have a connection with the waters they surf in, perhaps all the more reason for them to use an eco-friendly surfboard. The current breed of surfboards is made from polyurethane foam which is a petroleum-based product. Such kind of surfboards are a hazard for the environment as well as marine life in case the surfboard is submerged in the depth of water when the surfer hits a strong ocean current and loses control. Thus came into existence this algae-based surfboard co-presented by Stephen Mayfield (UC San Diego biotechnology professor).
This is the world’s first surfboard made from algae oil and is one step towards eco-friendly and sustainable living. The surfboard has been produced in collaboration with Cal-CAB BAAN, Arctic Foam, Solazyme and Avila Surfboards. According to the makers, this surfboard is exactly the same in look and function when compared to surfboards made from polyurethane foam. But with just one difference, it is biodegradable and does not cause any damage to the marine life.
To achieve a polyurethane foam like structure, the oil obtained from algae is mixed with catalyst and silicates in right proportion to achieve hardness that is ideal for the surfboards core. The coat of fiberglass and resin is also made from renewable and sustainable oils using the same algae oil.
The surfboard was presented to champion surfer Rob Machado by Marty Gilchrist and Steve Mayfield at the premier of National Geographic’s World’s Smart Cities: San Diego documentary. This documentary will showcase the innovations from UC San Diego and will be aired on April 25 and May 1 on National Geographic Channel.