I emailed with Dave Cross from Sannyasi today in a followup to the ‘Green Board‘ post from yesterday. Dave has just shaped one of the first ‘Eco’ foam blanks made by Sustainable Composites. Sannyasi has been working with the UK based green chem company since the technology was in development, and recieved some of the first foam the company produced.
The blanks are made of a plant based matter/MDI mix and contain 45% organic material “at present”. By Dave’s admittedly unscientific tests, the foam dents under pressure less than high quality PU, though he says the blank is more flexible around the thinner areas of a Mal type shape. When asked about water absorption, Dave stated “water absorbsion is so low as to be negligdable”.
One downer for the thruster crowd is the blanks are off white in color. I for one though, would trade a white blank for a more environmentally correct blank any day if the feel of the finished board was right. I think if you add some creative color work in the resin, (white swirls over an off-white blank would be beautiful) the average consumer wouldn’t think twice. The foam is reportedly receptive to both poly and epoxy resins, but Dave’s opinion is poly and epoxy are “the wrong direction”.
Sannyasi’s goal seems to be making a board as sustainable as possible, which likely leaves the glassing options of Sustainable Composites’ EcoComp resins. EcoComp resins are 40% plant matter and according to their website, have been “designed to decompose in everyday composting systems”. While this approach isn’t likely to satisfy the above average surfer’s required flex and feel characteristics right away, (it took epoxy years to overcome flex issues) without this kind of research and development a sustainable board will never happen.
In the mean time, a proven resin like Epoxy over 45% organic blank doesn’t sound like a bad compromise.
As for cost of the blanks, Dave had this to say…
“We have best intentions from the manufacturing side that it will be comparable to the truly filthy PU’s of the current market.”
The blank hasn’t been glassed yet so no word on how the veg board will ride.