Matt Biolas of Mayhem Surfboards was invited to visit a cutting edge surfboard skunkworks in Southern France.
An old friend of his who was involved in the Saloman "S-Core" Surfboards years ago was waiting to show him what he has in store for us next.
From Matt Biolas "For years I have thought that a board could be finished with what I often refered to as "Plastic bottle glassing" and envisioned wrapping a blank with something to the effect of a clear plastic bottle. Not being an engineer, I never put any effort into seeing it become reality, rather patiently wait for some one else to do the hard work and then bring it to us…and down the line…to all. To some degree the wait is over. Not yet perfected by any means, but definitely ready for some RnD , JAB surfboards have created a process to "finish" custom,hand shaped PU blank surfboards with a Polycarbonate (What most our sunglasses and Jet airplane canopies are made of) skin.The stuff is incredibly strong and resistant of impact dents and puncture holes, but at the same time, it feels soft under foot (like a hand glassed board as opposed to sandwich construction) The material lacks the tensile snap and rigid livley pop of a a board with fiberglass fibers, but there are many ideas on how to recreate the feel of a glassed blank that will be played with moving forward. Light, incredibly strong, shockingly environmentally friendly, low cost , recyclable and designed to be locally made…..the clock is ticking."
A hand shaped, PU blank finished, not "glassed" with a Polycarbonate "shrink wrap" skin. Note the seam on the top of the rail.
The deck being wrapped with 1mm clear polycarbonate skin. The pre heated material is softened and forced down and around the blank with considerable pressue. The blanks need to sit on a rocker bed to hold their shape.The graphics are inkjet applied onto the skin before it is applied.
Another view. The leash plaug and Future or FCS fusion fin systems are inserted into the blank ahead of time.
Fairly simple machinery. Note the hole in the polycarb where the board used to be. The board is cut out, and the remaining excess material is tossed into a hopper and broken down for reuse..the is essentially no waste. No fumes, no VOCs, no nuthing….
The bottm edge is cut with a special tool that doesnt cut the foam..only the wrap. Its pretty easy to set a decent edge in the tail, but fine tuning afterwards should net a true hi performance edge where needed.
Remember "Shrinky Dinks"?
Pascal, with a finished board.