Cardboard Surfboard06.3.08   |   Posted in: Art & Design   |   By: Andrea Tumino
Tags: Cardboard Surfboard, Green Design, Industrial Design, Mike Sheldrake
Since we don’t see a lot of innovation happening in the world of surfboard design we were happy to find this new cardboard-core design developed by Mike Sheldrake. Aside from the innovative construction, we love the honeycomb pattern produced by the crisscrossing lattice work of the laser cut cardboard framework. While surfboard construction hasn’t evolved tremendously over the last half century, product and industrial design certainly have. In recent years, corrugated paper construction has become the medium of choice for its light weight, flexibility and relative strength. While many traditional surfing enthusiasts will probably raise an eyebrow most industrial designers will probably wonder why this hasn’t happened sooner.
This design is definitely something to applauded for specifically for its environmentally low impact. Since the 1950s, surfboard construction has used highly toxic and non-renewable materials that pose hazards to the environment as well as the individuals working with them. Cardboard is obviously a safer, less expensive, more environmentally friendly alternative.Through a lot of research and the use of a 3D modeling program borrowed from the Aerospace Industry, Sheldrake was able to mathematically design this new interlocking cardboard system. Nearly 400 corrugated-paper slats precisely cut by a computer-controlled saw, interlock to form a pattern of triangles and hexagons that provide strength by evenly dispersing force throughout the board. Sheldrake then makes it waterproof by wrapping it in fiberglass cloth hardened with epoxy resin.The surf community isn’t traditionally known for rapidly embracing outside ideas. But we hope this will plant the seed of a new demand for more environmentally friendly ways to rip up your favorite break.