Fatum Surfboards’ mission is to create beautiful, functional boards using the highest quality ingredients and components while maintaining integrity. We need to follow trends or see what other people are doing. Instead, we focus on our mission and ourselves. We have found a way to be eco-friendly with our newly named ‘Fatum EcoGold Range.
What is so special about the eco-surfboards, and why has it taken us this long?
You might remember seeing or reading about countless solutions to more sustainable surfboards. From Firewire’s ‘wool-core’ range to all the variations that feature EPS as their core. There are many. Let’s not waste time on this; we have never believed in the hype. It’s been a problem that EPS changes the board. EPS should not be used on a surfboard. Our imported South African blanks were made of polyurethane, which is terrible for the planet. What, then, has been the solution?
The core of any great surfboard is an excellent blank. The South African surfboard blanks (which are bad for the environment!) we use now are the best for coaxial and longitudinal dynamic flex, reliability, and tensile strength. They also work closely with our templates to produce blanks that fit them. We have a suitable blank with a lot to say about why Fatum surfboards perform so well. We had to change the blank if we wanted to go greener. The problem was all the replacements we tried were worse than a kipper sack. Until now…
The answer lies in a company called Polyola, which produces very high-quality surfboard blanks. They are a young company with an eye for the future. Their blanks are the most eco-friendly we can make.
There are many misdirections and falsehoods in the surfboard industry. Let’s start with the facts.
Most surfboard blanks cannot be made in Europe and must be imported from South Africa or the USA. They can also come from Australia, Asia, or Australia. This isn’t good for the environment, and with the recent events and current fuel prices, it will only worsen.
Most good polyurethane sheets are made using a chemical known as Toluene Diisocyanate, or TDI. This chemical is the single most dangerous part of making a board.
Approximately 40% of the blank surfboard is milled, sanded, and dumped in landfill
The above blanks are bad for the environment. They’re made in another country, and we then throw away 40% of them. We must admit that nothing has ever come close regarding the functionality of a surfboard.
What makes Polyola different from the others?
Fatum’s Polyola blanks have a performance that is very similar to our South African counterparts. We’ve made more than 50 boards with Polyola blanks. We’ve surfed on them and given them to sponsors and regular Joes as feedback. Gero, our shaper, and everyone else loves them.
Polyola is 100% made in Europe. This is excellent news for us and our environment. No more sending carcinogen-emitting items halfway around the globe.
Polyola doesn’t use TDI to make their blanks. Instead, they use a methylene diphenyl isocyanate (MDI) chemical. MDI is around 3000x less volatile than TDI—another massive environmental victory.
The foam discarded in the process of shaping can be used to create the following blank.
You can select your skin plastics. You can like either polyester or epoxy resin because the polyurethane is blank. Choose your favorite.
What are the disadvantages?
The blanks have a natural yellowish color. This is the color your board would be if you exposed it to UV light for a long time. It’s worth knowing that some people enjoy the look.
You guessed right; the second blank is more expensive. This blank is more costly, as is usual, with products that are made with an eco-conscious attitude. How much is it? As of the date of this article, the cost of a standard Fatum board would be around 100 euros.
That’s all, people. It may have taken some time for us to act in the best interest of the environment, but the results are usually worth the wait.
Gero will be happy to discuss the suitability and benefits of Polyola in your next stick. Our factory shop in Peniche will feature a Polyola test range, and a portion of our stock boards will be made from Polyola.