Earlier this year I started working with Starboard to help produce one of the first eco boards in windsurfing. It is a really interesting field as we are trying to replace toxic material with natural ones such as end grain balsa to replace the PVC core. Starboard’s head of brand and design, Tiesda You, came up with this new technology. Balsa wood is one of the fastest growing trees in the world, offering better mechanical properties than PVC for the same density – 3 x shear modulus, 3 x tensile strength, 20 x tensile modulus, 2.75 x compressive strength and 12 x compressive modulus. This translates into higher rigidity and stiffness, as well as high impact and fatigue resistance. Moreover, we used bio resin, injection moulded inserts or fins produced out of bio-based renewable materials from castor bean plants.
To equalize the carbon footprint, Starboard is planting one mangrove tree for every sold board, which absorbs up to 1 ton of CO2 over the next 20 years. Starboard’s main goal is to become carbon neutral by 2018. Starboard is also looking into providing solar panels for their assemblers as electricity consumption is around 40% of a board’s total emission.