Arctic Foam, the leading polyurethane surfboard blanks manufacturer, announces its collaboration with UC San Diego’s California Center for Algae Biotechnology (Cal-CAB) to produce the world's first algae- based poly surfboard.
“Three years ago Arctic Foam made the commitment to be leaders in the industry in pursuing not only sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions to replacing petrochemicals in the surfboard building process, but to do so with the goal of mimicking the high performance characteristics of WSL championship-winning polyurethane and EPS surfboards. Just as important, we needed to meet that goal with blanks and boards that would not be so exotic as to be out of the reach of the average surfer’s budget. In this partnership with UC San Diego, we’ve taken the first step,” said Arctic Foam CEO, Jose Lozano. “I also want to say thanks and give a big shout out to Solazyme up in the Bay Area, who have been more than generous in providing us with the algae oil we’ve used to test this concept."
"What we’ve got cooking for the next phase will take us even closer to a fully “green” surfboard well within our most ambitious time frame," Lozano added.
“I’m really excited to be able to work with Arctic Foam Oceanside and see them break new ground in eco-construction for surfboards,” said leading North Shore shaper, Jon Pyzel. “Algae could very possibly change the core of what we are making and let us move forward in a more sustainable way towards a greener future for the surfboard industry.”
Marty Gilchrist, Arctic Foam’s head of business development, said “We’ve been amazed at what we’ve been able to get done with Steve Mayfield, Mike Burkart and Skip Pomeroy at UC San Diego. Almost from the first blank out of the mold we were seeing the kinds of density, cell structure, flex, torsion and “shapability” we demand from our top-of-the-line P/U blanks. On top of that, we were able to keep to the aesthetics of our current line-up...avoiding blanks that look like something made out of lawn clippings. Our next step is to fine tune the formula and test the foam under ?the feet of the best surfers in the world. Stay tuned...more to come!”
“Polyurethane foam derived from algae feedstocks will make a more "ocean friendly" surfboard blank with a reduced carbon footprint. This is a dramatic advance for polyurethane foam and will accelerate the sustainable transformation of the surfboard industry. We are in the process of testing the Arctic Algae blanks for possible inclusion in the ECOBOARD Project Benchmark.” said Kevin Whilden Co-Founder of Sustainable Surf.
Cal-CAB is leading the way towards innovative and sustainable solutions to the world’s environmental problems. The surfboard will be unveiled and presented to San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer at a public event on April 21, just before Earth Day, at San Diego Symphony Hall. Mayor Faulconer will host the premiere of National Geographic's “World’s Smart Cities: San Diego” a documentary film featuring innovations from UC San Diego and other regional innovators, scheduled to air Saturday, April 25 on the National Geographic Channel.