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CNC Chambered Surfboard – The future?

Chambered board top and bottom

One of David’s latest investigations into developing a more sustainable surfboard involved combining the relatively unknown yet ancient wood, Paulownia, and modern computer numerically controlled (CNC) manufacture techniques.

Paulownia, known as the ‘tree of life’, is the perfect timber for surfboards as it is lightweight and strong, with good flex properties and does not rot in seawater. Managed correctly, it is said to be the strongest weight-to-strength timber available and the fastest growing hardwood.

The chambered structure used in the construction is where the real innovation can be found. Hollow wooden surfboards are usually made out of a ‘fish bone’ frame, like a skeleton, and a wooden skin is then laminated on top. David decided to rethink this process and came up with the chambered technique.

The advantages of this technique include; reduced overall weight, increased structural strength and durability, over 50% reduction in labour hours and a design that can easily be made available as a DIY kit to satisfy the rapidly expanding DIY shapers market.

Driftwood Surfboards take an honest approach to their industry and their goal of driving sustainability. David is happy to share his expertise and enjoys collaborating with other designers and artists.

The stunning graphic on the deck of the chambered board is an example of such a collaboration. David worked with fashion designer, and fellow Falmouth University graduate, Beccy Jayne Taylor who has worked with some big names like Speedo and Honda. Beccy’s design was hand drawn, scanned and vectorised in order to create a unique repeating tile. This was then printed onto silk and glassed over with a plant-based resin. The silk actually increases the strength of the deck, making the board more durable and longer lasting.

A great example of innovation and collaboration, the Chambered Board uses old construction techniques combined with modern technology. The board has been nominated for the Wood Awards, the UK’s premier architecture and furniture competition celebrating excellence in design in the world’s most sustainable material.

Check out Beccy’s amazing work on her website: